From the moment that reports first surfaced that Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be ending his career by taking on Andre Berto as his final fight on Sept. 12, the undefeated boxing champion was immediately criticized.
The criticism is warranted, considering Berto has lost three of his past six bouts.
But during Thursday's press conference in Los Angeles, Mayweather defended his choice of Berto as his final opponent, promising a fight full of fireworks and bloodshed just over a month from now.
"With the way he comes, and with the way I'm going to come, if it's not a knockout, there's going to be some knockdowns," Mayweather declared before the media, including ESPN. "A lot. And there's going to be blood. There's going to be knockdowns, and there's going to be blood. A lot."
Mayweather added: "I don't know why, but I'm just training a lot harder for this fight. I just want to go out with a bang, I guess."
While many boxing fans believe that Mayweather will return for a 50th fight—possibly a rematch against Manny Pacquiao next year—Money promises this is his last bout. Whether fans are willing to believe him is up to them.
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"They say they'll offer me a lot of money" to keep fighting, Mayweather said. "I have a lot of money. I'm OK. It's the end of my [Showtime] deal. I'm an old man now. I'm 38."
Berto used part of the press conference to take a shot at Mayweather over not delivering an exciting fight against Pacquiao on May 2 in a hyped mega bout that fizzled.
"I know how people feel [after the Pacquiao fight], and it's my luck that I come right behind that," Berto said. "If I would have paid that type of [pay per view] money, I probably would have felt some type of way, too."
Mayweather returned fire, saying: "Well, he's fighting a boring fighter, but he's getting his biggest payday."
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(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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