Floyd Mayweather has officially announced that he will fight Andre Berto at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on September 12.
Speculation has circulated for weeks that Berto would be the surprise choice to face Mayweather in what is being billed as the unbeaten American's final bout, but Mayweather has now finally made the news official.
''I'm ready to get back in the ring on Sept. 12 and prove again to the whole world why I'm the best ever,'' said Mayweather.
''I always bring my A-game, and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception. He's a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best. Forty-eight have tried before, and on Sept. 12, I'm going to make it 49.''
The problem for Mayweather, however, may be that too many people don't doubt those words one bit. Few expect anybody in and around Mayweather's weight to beat the 38-year-old, but nobody will expect Berto to even trouble the pound-for-pound king next month. One man who has to believe, though, is Berto himself, and the Haitian-American insists he has the tools to knock the king from his throne.
''I'm coming to kick Floyd's ass on Sept. 12,'' claimed Berto.
''Best believe that I plan to bring it to Floyd and I'm not concerned about what 48 other fighters have been unable to do. Somebody is getting knocked out, and it wont be me. You don't want to miss this.''
Unfortunately, some already do.
Which will likely be the biggest battle for Mayweather in the coming weeks: selling the fight to the public and TV networks around the world. The fight will take place on Showtime PPV in the US, despite speculation that the event could land on US terrestrial television network, CBS. But the worldwide TV deals are yet to be agreed, and it's hard to imagine the fight being an easy sell. Not that Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, is too worried about that currently.
''We don't worry about things like that,'' claimed Ellerbe.
''One thing we do know is Berto is always in an exciting fight. He's been in two fight of the year (candidates) against Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero. With that being said, we know it's going to be guaranteed excitement. And this will definitely be Floyd's last fight, and the fans will get a chance to witness history.''
In addition to dismissing the chance of the fight being a tough sell, Ellerbe also dismissed the idea that the fight could have landed on terrestrial TV instead of PPV.
''In order to execute something like that you need months and months to plan that out. We need six to seven months of lead time to make something like that possible. Ultimately, it wasn't possible.''
Mayweather could alternatively have chosen either Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter as his opponent instead of Berto - three fighters who all have more credibility for a fight with ''Money'' than Mayweather's now confirmed next foe. Berto is 3-3 in his last six fights, but has held a world title at welterweight on two previous occasions in his career.
Mayweather will tie the great Rocky Marciano with a win over the 31-year-old Berto, by extending his unbeaten record to 49-0 in what Mayweather still claims will be the final fight of his career.