August 1st, 2013 By Zak Attack
FALL FROM MEDIOCRITY QUICK & PAINFUL
Los Angeles, CA- In 2011, Andre Berto (28-3, 22 KOs) was an undefeated boxer. He had HBO behind him and had held the WBC welterweight (147 lb.) title since 2008. Berto was expected to become one of the sport’s next stars. Then he ran into a sometimes vicious Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs).
ORTIZ-BERTO EASY FIGHT TO REMEMBER
In their 2011 Fight of the Year candidate, Berto was bested by the southpaw Ortiz and missed out on a Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs) payday in the process. Andre was expected to win the fight, but fell short after 12 rounds that saw both men score two knockdowns each. Still, Berto put on the kind of performance the fans love, and he remained relevant.
ANDRE SHOWED FLASHES OF “GOOD STUFF”
The Haitian-American rebounded later that year with a 5th round stoppage of a good fighter in Jan Zaveck (32-3, 18 KOs) and picked up the IBF welterweight diadem in the process. Berto dropped the belt to pursue a rematch with Ortiz which never came to fruition. Andre instead elected to face upstart Robert Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs). Again Berto was the favorite in the fight, he was drubbed early on and again he fell short by unanimous decision.
SO GUERRERO ENDED UP FLOYD’S LATEST FOIL!
Guerrero went on to be dominated by Floyd Mayweather, but earned the type of paycheck that again eluded Berto. After suffering another loss, Berto was inactive for a while before taking on Mexican gatekeeper Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KO) this past July 27.
DISRESPECTED KARASS BRINGING GAME TO NEW LEVEL
What was supposed to be another Berto comeback was a very competitive fight and most felt Soto Karass was ahead when the referee called a stop to the action after Berto was sent to the canvas by a short left 48 seconds into the 12th round. The stoppage may have been premature, but Berto should not have put himself into a position where a seemingly easy win slipped away yet again.
BERTO “NAME” LOOKS OK ON RESUME
Although Berto’s career has lost a lot of luster recently, he still has options at 147. Shane Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KOs), Adrien Broner (27-0, 22KOs), and Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) are all realistic options for the 29-year-old. The best possible fight at this time would be a rematch with Victor Ortiz.
REMATCH WITH ORTIZ LOOKS MORE THAN LIKELY
Both fighters are coming off back-to-back losses, and their first fight was highly entertaining. A rematch might answer a lot of questions about where each stands at this point in this careers, and would undoubtedly produce fireworks. I got to speak to Victor briefly recently and he told me expects to return in September. Assuming he is successful, a Berto rematch in early 2014 makes the most dollars and sense.
CAN BERTO REVERSE HIS SLIDE?
Berto is now 1-3 in his last four fights. His career appears to be on a downward spiral, and while Soto Karass is a solid fighter, he is not a world-class guy. The natural speed, power and athleticism of Berto is what put him on the boxing world’s radar screen, but his declining technical ability is removing him from that very same radar. As a parting shot, we now see Berto never “had the goods” per se, just an Al Haymon “flash” in the pan. In other words, he’s done!