Two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) participated in a media workout at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd, Berto looked focused and in great shape, jumping rope and shadowboxing, as he looks to become the first fighter to defeat 12-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME PPV® (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
In addition to Berto, top 168-pound contender George Groves and former three-time world champion Jhonny Gonzalez participated in the media workout as they prepare for their respective fights on the SHOWTIME PPV broadcast.
The training session was hosted by TV & CBS Radio personality Big Tigger and Emmy® Award-winning sports reporter Mark Kriegel and streamed in high definition across multiple platforms, including via satellite feed, YouTube and social media.
Promoted by Mayweather Promotions, the Sept. 12 four-fight pay-per-view telecast will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and is the sixth and final fight of a record-breaking deal between Mayweather and Showtime Networks Inc. SHOWTIME Sports® will support the event with the Sports Emmy® Award-winning series ALL ACCESS.
In world championship fights on the pay-per-view telecast, Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight title in a rematch against four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), and Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBC Super Middleweight World title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). The opening fight of the telecast will feature former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight scrap.
Plus, former 154-pound world champion Ishe Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) will be opposed by longtime top-five contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) in the 90-minute COUNTDOWN LIVE: MAYWEATHER vs. BERTO” preshow on Saturday, September 12.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions LLC., are priced at $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $300 and $150 and are on sale now. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per household for all ticket prices except the $150 ticket category, which is limited to four (4) per household. To charge by phone or with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
What Berto, Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, George Groves and Jhonny Gonzalez said Friday:
“From an energy aspect I feel great. It’s my first time in a while coming into a fight with no injuries. This is the healthiest I’ve been since I can remember.
“At the end of the day, this fight was supposed to happen two or three times. Situations with me not taking care of myself and not taking opponents seriously caused it to happen. But styles make fights and we’ll see what the boxing fans say Sept. 12.
“I know that I’m still the same guy who people thought could have given Floyd problems a couple years ago.
“Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero both got fights with Floyd because they beat me. There must be something to that. They said ‘if he did something to Berto, he should get a shot at Floyd.'”
“I’m not going to watch his sparring. I don’t want to watch him driving his cars, none of that. I want to see him Sept. 12.
“This is my first time going into a fight without all the pressure on my back. I’ve always been the favorite in every fight. I don’t know what he’s feeling and I don’t really have to care about it.
“It’s a different mindset. Coming from where I come from, we always had to defeat the odds. We didn’t have what other people had. We had to work twice as hard for everything. To be noticed to be seen. Even back then it drove me to be the best that I can be. I wanted everyone to know I was somebody you had to watch.
“I’ve faced these odds my whole life. I was discounted two years ago when I was laying in the hospital. I’m constantly envisioning victory.
“We have a unique opportunity right in front of us. We have a chance at history and to cement a legacy for my fighter (Berto).
“What is the key to winning this fight? (Berto) has got to want to win. He has to want it more. He holds the keys in his hand. You can plan as much as you want for tomorrow, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We can only prepare.
“If (Berto) wins this fight, you’ll see me jumping up and down and it will be hard to compose myself. I’m usually pretty composed, but you might see me jump up and fall out of the ring and hit my head or something.
“Training camp has been going great. We’re fully acclimated to the time change and altitude. We’re performing very well in the gym and fulfilling the plan. I’m ready to rock.
“We’ve trained in the U.S. before. Last year we came over to spar with Gennady Golovkin. This time we’re out there for much longer and it has been very successful.
“I like training in the altitude and I expect it to help me on fight night. We got used to it over the weeks of camp and now it’s time to bring the extra energy to the ring.
“Every fight is more important than the last. It doesn’t matter who you fight, it can affect you in a big way. I have a style that will naturally engage with the fans. People like to see me fight. I look to take the opponent out and that will be the same on Sept. 12.
“I feel great. I’ve been preparing at the gym a lot and I feel very good about this fight.
“I am ready to win in this division and compete for a world title right away.
“I am fighting so quickly after my last victory because I am very confident. I want to stay active. I want to gain what I had before the loss to [Gary] Russell. I’m moving forward.
“I know that my opponent is a strong fighter. He’s going to throw a lot of punches but I’m going to bring it right back at him hard.
“Being on the Mayweather card is a blessing. I’m excited to be in Las Vegas with the whole world watching.
“I’m honored to be fighting on the Mexican Independence weekend. I’m ready to represent for my Mexican people. I’m going to leave everything in the ring.
“What I want out of this fight, is an opportunity to win a world title. This is why I train so hard, to win world titles and fight in big fights.
“I believe in my power punches. I’m intelligent on the inside and the outside. I believe in myself as a fighter and that is why I’ll win.”