Washington - Floyd Mayweather said on Wednesday that he is more likely to
end up in movies than keep boxing, as he rounded on his critics ahead of what
he insists will be his last fight.
The unbeaten pound-for-pound king takes on massive underdog Andre Berto on
September 12 in Las Vegas in a welterweight world title showdown that has so
far failed to capture the public imagination.
The brash American, 38, will make it 49-0 with victory - equaling the record
of heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano - and has consistently said he will hang
up his gloves afterwards. Few believe him.
In a conference call with reporters, Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of
Mayweather Promotions, said there had been "significant"
entertainment possibilities for the champion for when he calls it quits -
including three "major" movie offers in the last week alone.
"I've been approached on numerous occasions (to act) but I'd rather be
behind the scenes. I've had my time to shine," said Mayweather,
reiterating Berto would be his last bout and he is having no second thoughts
about giving up the fight game.
Boxing fans and pundits have hit out at the self-styled "Money"
and "TBE" ("The Best Ever") Mayweather's choice of Berto
(30-3), who has lost three of his last six fights and was cherry-picked ahead
of more exciting -- and more dangerous - men.
"When you are in my shoes, they are always going to criticize, that
comes with the territory," said Mayweather, the highest-earning sportsman
in the world.
"I couldn't care less. Nobody is forced to watch. Watch if you want to
watch, don't watch if you don't want to watch. Write about it if you want to
write about it, if you don't want to write about it, don't."
The experts may have written off Berto, 31, but Mayweather insists he is
taking his opponent seriously and says he is training harder for the rank
outsider than he did for his so-called "fight of the century" against
Manny Pacquiao earlier this year.
Mayweather extended his unbeaten run with a unanimous points decision over
the Filipino in a disappointing bout.
Underestimating Berto, an aggressive fighter who is likely to be on the
front foot against the defensively brilliant Mayweather, would be a dangerous
mistake, said the champion.
"He has nothing to lose and when you have a guy that has nothing to
lose, that makes him work that much harder," said Mayweather.
"He's got a chance to be the top guy in the sport when I'm through...
anything can happen (in a fight) so I'm prepared and in top shape, as I'm sure
"But I'm not going to overlook this guy."