Berto is deep into training, Virgil Hunter tells John Dennen
THE world is waiting to find out who Floyd Mayweather’s final opponent will be on September 12. But the odds are that Virgil Hunter will find himself in the opposite corner. One moment Amir Khan, whom Hunter trains, was the favourite to get the Mayweather fight, now Floyd’s next opponent could come in the unlikely form of Andre Berto, a man Virgil also coaches.
Hunter is remaining philosophical until the fight is signed. “For me personally, until it’s a go, it’s the same thing as usual. I never get out of shape about it, or look forward to it. Just take it a day at a time,” Virgil told Boxing News. “I’ve been through all this before. I can’t let it lean one way or another on me. Because I have other matters, other fighters to take care of. If it happens then we’ll prepare. Until it happens, it’s just talk, like it always is in boxing.”
Amir Khan has missed out the chance to fight Mayweather before. “It was frustrating to him. Of course, he wanted the fight. But I’m sure he’s accustomed to it by now, he should be. So who knows, who really knows?” Hunter mused.
While Amir has been in England, Andre Berto has been in the gym with Hunter for the last five weeks. “He’s doing well. He’s up here, he’s practising, getting better and better. He’s really starting to come around,” the trainer said of Berto. “The main thing is to be in the proper condition and that’s what my focus is with him right now, conditioning him and sharpening him. He hasn’t started sparring yet but he’s in the gym, 10 pounds off the weight. The first thing is conditioning. The fight comes along, I think you have to consider his part of it and Mayweather’s part of it, how he chooses to fight. You can’t have a solid gameplan, I think you have to have pieces of game plans. So when that time comes I think I’ll be able to think a little better and visualise a little better when that time comes, if it comes. Right now conditioning is first and foremost.”