Floyd Mayweather’s last victim wants back atop boxing


Andre Berto’s boxing career is like a used car. Some parts are fine, others not so much.

He has won two versions of a welterweight championship and took Floyd Mayweather the distance in his last fight before retirement. But there also was the stunning loss to Victor Ortiz and back-to-back losses to Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass in which Berto took punishment.

Saturday night he tries to polish his legacy when he takes on former champion Shawn Porter in a non-title bout at Barclays Center. Showtime will televise. Both fighters need a win to position themselves for a potential title shot later in the year.

WBC/WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman defeated previously unbeaten Danny Garcia last month at Barclays Center. Errol Spence will challenge Kell Brook for the IBF welterweight title on May 27 in England. The winner of Berto-Porter could be next man up.

“I was at Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia, and I thought that it could have been me that night,” Porter said. “But I’ve reminded myself that my time is coming and this is the first step towards that. I’m going to let Keith Thurman know that I’m coming for him. I’m going to make sure he knows that I want him. I’m going to do everything I can to get that fight after I get past this one.”

Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Thurman when the two met last June at Barclays Center in a slugfest televised on CBS. Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) has won three of his past four fights, including a fourth-round knockout of Ortiz in their long-awaited rematch last April. It was Ortiz who handed Berto the first loss of his pro career when they met in 2011, stripping Berto of the WBC belt he had defended five times. He has since been among a group of contenders, popular for his aggressive style.

“Becoming a three-time world champion is great motivation,” Berto said. “The WBC belt was the first belt that I won, and I want it back. I avenged my loss to Victor Ortiz last year, but getting the green belt back would bring everything full circle. At this point in my career, every fight is big and a potentially career-defining fight.”

Porter feels the same way.

“This is a very important fight for me,” he said. “I’ve watched Berto since the amateurs and on into the pros. I’ve seen him do it all. I’ve seen the best of his career and the worst. I’m going to do what it takes to end up on the right side of this.”

In other bouts, WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs) from Houston defends his title against Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs) of Dallas; four-time world champion Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano will look for a record-setting fifth world title when she battles former world champion Dahiana Santana for the vacant WBO bantamweight belt.


Newark native and Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson makes his pro debut Saturday night in Carson, Calif., facing Edgar Brito (3-2-1, 2 KOs) of Phoenix on the undercard of a Top Rank pay-per-view offering featuring undefeated champions, Oscar Valdez, Jessie Magdaleno and Gilberto Ramirez.

“I’m excited to start writing this new chapter in my book,” Stevenson said. “I want to make a statement in this fight. I want a KO. I’ve had a pro style for so long that the adjustment for me has been easy.”



Source link