Editorials

What’s Next for Andre Berto?

PBC Carson Stub Hub CA April 30 2016
Photo by Suzanne Teresa/PBC

In an anticipated rematch against Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz stepped into the ring last Saturday night as the favorite to win. Ortiz’s fans erupted in cheers and claps as Ortiz made his way into the ring, while Berto was welcomed to a crowd full of boos and discouraging slanders.

Having already beaten the former WBC Welterweight champion in their first fight, Ortiz was expected to beat him fashionably quicker this second time around.

It has been said that boxing is the theater of the unexpected and therefore anything can happen in the ring. Well, last Saturday night, the odds prevailed against Ortiz when Berto dropped Ortiz in the fourth round with a vicious uppercut.

Ortiz then got back up from the canvas only to be met by a continuous onslaught from Berto that finished him with a right hook to the head, sending him to the canvas for the last and final time.

The crowd became ecstatic in a matter of seconds and the once loyal Ortiz fans, soon turned against him when they all cheered Berto’s name in triumph.

Berto stepped into the ring that night to a crowd full of boos, and left the ring with a crowd full of cheers.

Berto was in need of a win with the way his career has been going lately. So what’s next for Berto? In all honesty, Berto’s performance against Ortiz wasn’t enough for a title shot anytime soon.

Especially after Ortiz had also scored a knockdown on Berto in the second round. Berto is a solid fighter, with great punching power and smart aggression. But Ortiz could’ve beaten the count and should’ve been able to recover like he did in their first encounter.

Ortiz clearly doesn’t have the willing heart to continue on fighting big competitive fights anymore as he displayed when he retired in the fourth round of their rematch that night.

Therefore, who knows how the fight would’ve gone had Ortiz mustered the will to recover and keep on fighting. That being said, a rubber match for both men is uncalled for. Berto displayed a great dominating performance against Ortiz that there is no reason for a trilogy. The book was closed on that rivalry.

It had been rumored that Berto was scheduled to fight Lamont Peterson in a WBC Welterweight championship elimination contest after Danny Garcia fought Robert Guerrero in January for the vacant WBC 147-pound title strap.

A fight against Peterson would be an interesting matchup. Peterson possesses great boxing skill and a good ring IQ. He has a jab that scrambles his enemies’ radar and keeps his opponents at the perfect distance to set up and land his combinations.

Fighting Peterson is perfect for Berto to come back to. It would display a comparative performance against Garcia’s outcome when he fought Peterson a year ago and will therefore put the winner in a position for a shot at Garcia’s WBC title belt.

Since Garcia’s last fight against Guerrero, Garcia has shown minor improvements. Not enough improvements to make a fight against Floyd Mayweather (if Mayweather makes a return to the ring) a competitive one, but enough improvements to say his defense is a tiny bit better.

However, if a fight between Mayweather against Garcia does happen in the near future, Garcia should definitely fight Berto first. For one, a fight against Berto will really show the boxing public if Garcia stands a chance against Mayweather—seeing how easily Mayweather dominated Berto.

Since losing to Mayweather, Jesus Soto Karass, Guerrero and arguably against Luis Collazo; Berto has shown that he struggles against jabbing fighters. If Berto was to make a quick return to the ring, he should wait for the winner of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter fight.

Either one of those two fighters possess the skills to make a fight against Berto an entertaining one. Porter has all the action-based qualities to make a match against Berto a good fight, while Thurman has the reach advantage of a jab and power behind both hands to test Berto’s ability as a fighter.

Whatever direction Berto ends up taking, the welterweight division is stacked with very talented boxers and strong matchups. There is enough high quality opposition right now that makes a fight with any of the fighters mentioned above, a bang for your buck and a real treat for the boxing fans.

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