LOS ANGELES -- Andre Berto has been written off by virtually everybody as he prepares to step into the ring with pound-for-pound king and welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather.
He knows he is the massive underdog for their world title fight on Sept. 12 (Showtime PPV, 8 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. And Berto just doesn’t give a damn about the odds.
In fact, Berto, who held an open workout on Friday at a hotel across the street from Staples Center just hours before the Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares weigh-in -- in order to attract media members covering that fight -- already looked to be in tip-top fighting shape.
It is obvious he is taking his assignment with Mayweather seriously. Berto is never on weight two weeks before a fight. Until now. When he came into the ballroom for the workout you’d have sworn it was for the weigh-in, not a workout.
Berto said he was already down to 149 pounds, meaning a strong workout could have left him easily at a fight weight of 147 pounds. Normally, two weeks before a fight the former two-time welterweight titlist -- who is only 3-3 in his past six fights -- said he weighs 155 to 158 pounds.
But Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) said he was taking the fight with Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), who claims it will be the last of his career, more seriously than any fight he has ever had. He also said he was taking his nutrition much more seriously than ever.
“I’ve been having a tremendous camp. I have a tremendous chef and nutritionist,” Berto said.
He said he is not worried about trying to hold the weight for two weeks because he got down naturally without suffering.
“I’m not trying to [be this low], that’s the thing,” Berto said. “I’ve been eating three, four times a day, taking in a lot of calories, taking in a lot of good proteins and carbs. I’m just putting the right things in my body, use everything as fuel.
“I’ve had the energy. [My] shoulders are good. 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.”
Berto said he has been hunkered down with trainer Virgil Hunter preparing for the fight and is not paying attention to the critics, who have roundly dumped on it as a mismatch that will tank on pay-per-view.
Berto said he has stayed away from social media, where he is usually active, during most of his training camp, and is not paying attention to what Mayweather has to say.
“You can have you’re 'MayVinci' code, you can have your puzzle, you can have your Jumanji all you want,” Berto said. “We put in the work, we’re focused, [the] whole team is confident. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in probably in my life and we got to [go] out there and do what I do. That’s it.”
Berto insisted that he paid no attention to the serious sparring session Mayweather did for the media last week. Showtime had streamed it for anyone to watch.
One might think it would be beneficial for Berto, or at least Hunter, to have taken a look, but Berto said that was not the case.
“I'm not going to watch his sparring. Everybody is dialed in on what we have to do fight night. I don't want to watch no sparring,” Berto said, before cracking on Mayweather, whose robust personal life and expensive car collection has been featured on the “All Access” series during the lead up to his bouts.
“I don’t want to watch him bowling. I don’t want to watch him with any of the broads. I don’t want to watch see him driving any of his little Tonka cars. None of that,” Berto said. “I just want to see him Sept. 12. That’s it.”