The last man to fight Floyd Mayweather is not counting out Conor McGregor on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
And Andre Berto believes if it happens — if McGregor defeats Mayweather — it would deal a serious slap to the sport of boxing.
“If this were to be an upset, it would definitely be a big blow to the boxing game, for sure,” Berto told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Definitely, definitely. It’s gonna be a big blow to Floyd’s legacy, as well. Just being undefeated and able to let some guy upset you and he’s an MMA fighter and he probably talks a little more shit than you talk. It’s gonna be tough for him to swallow if that happens.”
Berto fought Mayweather in September 2015, falling by unanimous decision. He also has a friendship with McGregor going back years ago when they were rehabbing injuries at the same facility in Los Angeles.
The former boxing world champion believes McGregor does have a path to victory against Mayweather. Berto, 33 said he can see it going one of two ways: McGregor landing a big shot early and finishing Mayweather or Mayweather picking the UFC lightweight champion apart for the better part of 12 rounds.
“I see Conor coming in there really showing that bravado, showing that cockiness and showing that he’s really there to fight,” Berto said. “And somewhat trying to steal the stage from Floyd just with his antics and he kind of gets Floyd into a mind-game situation, has him pulling some type of mistakes and [Mayweather] gets caught with a big shot and gets hurt. And [McGregor] could stop him.
“Or I see Floyd not playing into any of these antics and being who he is, to stay poised and to stay sharp and let his boxing skills just pick Conor apart. And either late rounds stop Conor just from the accumulation of shots or maybe cuts or just being beat up, or just outboxing him for 12 rounds and just trying to make him look silly.”
If it’s the former, Berto said, it would not be a good look for his sport. McGregor has no professional boxing bouts on his record. Mayweather, meanwhile, is 49-0 in the ring and known as one of the greatest of all time.
“It’s gonna be a real tough pill to swallow for the boxing game,” Berto said. “Especially for one of our top, top guys — probably one of the best in the game. That would be a tremendous pill to swallow. Of course, like I said, we’ve been going back and forth with the whole MMA thing for a long time. Boxing and MMA.”
Berto, who has a 31-5 record as a boxer, knows all about that. He has an intimate knowledge of mixed martial arts. His brother Edson and sister Revelina are MMA fighters. His father Dieuseul fought at UFC 10.
So with his knowledge of fighting Mayweather and his relationship with MMA, Berto has a unique perspective on Mayweather vs. McGregor. “The Beast” said he plans on being in attendance at T-Mobile Arena later this month for “the circus.”
And if McGregor is on the winning side, it would be a big deal — not in a good way — for the sweet science, he said.
“I was able to grow up with both,” Berto said. “I just love combat sports in general. But if he takes the L, it would definitely be a huge blow to [boxing], for sure.”