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Floyd Mayweather hits back at critics of his choice of Andre Berto

Floyd Mayweather left and Andre Berto face off at a press conference ahead of the upcoming fight in Los Angeles. Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Image: Floyd Mayweather (left) and Andre Berto face off at a press conference in Los Angeles ahead of their upcoming fight

Floyd Mayweather has hit back at critics of his choice of opponent Andre Berto for next month's Las Vegas title bout, which is expected to take him into the history books.

He also apologised to female mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey for mistakenly referring to her as a man, then laughed off a suggestion the two could meet in the ring, saying he would have to take a huge pay cut. 

The outspoken welterweight king has faced a storm of criticism since announcing earlier this week he will face the unfancied Berto in Las Vegas on September 12,  instead of a more dangerous opponent such as Britain's Amir Khan.

He is widely expected to beat Berto to equal Rocky Marciano's legendary unbeaten record of 49-0 to cement his own place in the history books.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr expects Andre Berto to put him under pressure in his final fight before he retires

But Mayweather, whose super-fight with Manny Pacquiao in May was widely regarded as a one-sided flop, insisted on Thursday that his meeting with Berto, had box-office appeal. 

"I have been getting backlash," Mayweather said. "They say no-one in the sport will buy the fight. I picked him because he is an exciting fighter."

Floyd Mayweather
Image: Floyd Mayweather shows off his WBC belt

Mayweather also dismissed suggestions that he should have chosen Britain's former two-time world champ Khan who is considered a tougher opponent and who has been angling for a confrontation with the American.

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"How many championships has Khan won, two. Berto has won two also," Mayweather said.

Andre Berto
Image: Andre Berto is Floyd Mayweather's chosen next opponent

Mayweather and Berto came face to face in Los Angeles on Thursday for a press conference to launch the countdown to the fight.

There was no trash talking but the fighters did get together for a stare down at the front of the podium. 

Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) thanked Mayweather for the opportunity and his trainer Virgil Hunter spent more time at the podium lavishing praise on Mayweather than he did talking about his fighter. 

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Andre Berto is confident that he can upset the odds and become the first man to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr on the 12th of September

Mayweather meanwhile brushed off criticism of his cagey, tactical performance against Pacquiao, which failed to live up to the hype. 

"My job is to go out there and be a chess player and that is what I did. I found a way to win," he said. 

Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Image: Floyd Mayweather on his way to victory against Manny Pacquiao

Mayweather meanwhile reiterated that next month's bout is his final fight - a claim few commentators are taking seriously given that he is likely to face a money-spinning payday for a chance to go 50-0, to beat Marciano's record. 

In his apology to female mixed martial arts star Rousey, Mayweather admitted he had never heard of her when the question was posed to him about her last July.

"They asked me about Ronda and I thought it was a guy. I didn't know it was a female. I apologize. I wish her all the best," Mayweather said.

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Welterweight Amir Khan has once again said that Floyd Mayweather is scared to fight him after announcing he'd be fighting Andre Berto in his 'farewell'

But when asked if he would consider fighting the undefeated Rousey, he replied: "Are you a comedian? You a comedian?

"I am in the one hundred million dollar business, not the one hundred thousand dollar business."

Rousey, who needed just 34 seconds to knockout Bethe Correia in a UFC fight on Saturday and whose last three matches have gone a combined 64 seconds, beat Mayweather to win the US cable TV's ESPY award for 2015 Best Fighter.

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