Floyd Mayweather Jr says concerns over his health mean Saturday night’s bout with Andre Berto is definitely his last.
Many are tipping Mayweather to make a U-turn on his threat to walk away from the sport just one win short of a half-century, but the 38-year-old insists there is no going back after this weekend in Las Vegas.
The WBA Super and WBC welterweight champion said: “Number 49 is my last fight. No one is in my shoes. My health is more important.
“If you stick around anything too long, anything can happen. I’m not really worried about losing, but I want to have a sharp mind. You can make a lot of money, but you still want to be able to talk, walk, and have a sharp mind.”
Mayweather, who eased to victory over long-time rival Manny Pacquiao in May, was also quick to defend his claim of being “The Best Ever”.
He said: “I’m not Nostradamus but if you go look at an old interview, I talked about Pacquiao, what they were going to say, what they were going to do and how that fight was going to go.
“Everybody that said throughout the years that I was a coward, I was scared, ‘he couldn’t beat Pacquiao’. They gave him this. They gave him so many accolades and he’s ‘an all-time great’.
“But all these people had to eat their words. So if he’s an all-time great, then what does that make me? If they’re saying he’s the fighter of the century, what does that make me?
“So when they do rate me and when my fight is over, the only thing I can do is believe in myself and believe in my skills. I’m going to be “The Best Ever” till the day I die.”
Assessing the threat posed by Berto (30-3-KO23), ‘Money’ added: “He feels like he has nothing to lose, and I think that when you’ve got a guy that’s put in that situation, it makes him work that much harder because he’s got a chance to be one of the top guys in the sport when I’m through.
“It’s like they say in football, any given Sunday. I say any given Saturday, anything can happen. So I’m prepared. I’m prepared mentally and physically. I’m in top shape. I’m ready. I’m pretty sure he’s in top shape and he’s ready. But I’m not going to overlook him.
“I want to win just like he wants to win. I’m working out – I’m pushing myself every day. As I get older, I’m working harder. Actually, I think this camp I sparred a lot more, I pushed myself a lot more. I think I worked harder this fight than I did for the Pacquiao fight.”