Las Vegas: Floyd Mayweather has earned the right to retire and deserves more respect, his vanquished opponent said on Saturday, hitting out at those who questioned the unbeaten champion.
Referee Kenny Bayless (C) separates Andre Berto (L) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (R) during the seventh round of their WBC/WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pic/AFP
Andre Berto was magnanimous in his defeat on points to Mayweather, who reiterated afterwards that his 49th victory was his final fight. But few believed Mayweather prior to the showdown when he said it would be his swan song. Berto, 32, said Mayweather deserved a break.
'A tremendous job'
"He has done tremendous things for the sport and broken all the records and made s**tloads of money," said the beaten Berto.
"I am not here to say if a man should retire or keep going. This is a brutal sport and he put in a lot of work. Too many people are questioning that.
"You put in 20 years running and training and being able to stay undefeated — he should be able to do what he wants."
Berto, a former two-time world champion who has now lost four of his last seven fights, said the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was "a lot closer" than the scorecards suggested. The judges had it 118-110, 117-111 and 120-108, all to Mayweather, the welterweight world champion.