Andre Berto working hard to reach ‘destiny’ against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Andre Berto addresses reporters about his upcoming fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a news conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 6.

Andre Berto addresses reporters about his upcoming fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a news conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 6.

(Nick Ut / Associated Press)

Andre Berto knows what everyone’s thinking and has heard how Floyd Mayweather Jr. seems to be going through the motions in preparing for their Sept. 12 fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Former welterweight champion Berto (30-3, 23 knockouts) is a 40/1 underdog at Nevada sports books, few believing he’ll be able to land punches on the cagey, sophisticated Mayweather (48-0, 26 knockouts) in what the welterweight champion has said will be his final fight.

Berto’s hope is that at the intersection of Mayweather’s overconfidence and the challenger’s determined preparation for the fight of his life, magic will happen.


“My coaching and my camp have exceeded my expectations,” Berto told the Los Angeles Times on Friday before meeting with other reporters at a media day in downtown Los Angeles. “I’m pushing myself so hard, taking it to another level. I can’t wait.”

While Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr., said at his son’s media day Wednesday in Las Vegas that he expects a game Berto, the champion appeared to be practicing in a more casual style than usual.

He arrived two hours late for his workout, sparred for the first time in front of live television cameras, kept the workout to less than two hours and showed off his fleet of vehicles, including his new $4.8 million Koenigsegg vehicle purchased in Southern California.

Berto interprets the atmosphere in Mayweather camp as an extension of human nature. It’s hard not to exhale after raking in more than $220 million in May for beating Manny Pacquiao in a bout that generated a record 4.4-million-plus pay-per-view buys.

“That’s something he has to deal with and go through,” Berto said. “Maybe he thinks it’s easy, that he doesn’t have to be pushed, but I’ve learned in a lot of situations, life can come at you in ways you don’t expect and change your plans.

“I can tell you I’m looking forward to making history. Destiny’s at play.”

Berto has repeatedly said he feels reborn as a fighter after enduring a career-threatening shoulder injury in a 2013 loss. He returned from the soul-searching layoff more humble, and knocked out Josesito Lopez in the sixth round in March.


“I know Floyd’s sharp and elusive, but he’s not stronger than me and I believe he hasn’t dealt with the type of ability he’ll see from me,” said Berto, who’s training in the Bay Area under Virgil Hunter.

Many believe Berto’s only chance for victory is to duplicate Marcos Maidana’s May 2014 effort and throw the kitchen sink at Mayweather.

“Maidana’s game plan of pressure was good, but he was all over the place,” Berto said. “The thing with me is that I’m a lot more polished. Faster. More precise with my punches, better technique-wise.

“This is my first time as an underdog. That’s motivation. I bust my [rear] every day. And I feel real confident. I’ll make people believe.”

Twitter: @latimespugmire