Berto Defeats Forbes; Collazo, Jacobs Also Win – Latest Boxing News

By Boxing News - 09/28/2008 - Comments

berto452356.jpgBy David Lar: Making his first defense of his WBC welterweight title, undefeated Andre Berto (23-0, 19 KOs) pounded out an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over Steve Forbes (33-7, 9 KOs) at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California. Berto, 25, rose to the occasion against arguably his best opponent of his career in the 31 year-old Forbes, a former IBF super featherweight champion and a former contestant on the reality television series The Contender. Forbes looked good initially, matching Berto’s hand speed with blazing speed of his own, and landing well in the first two rounds. Indeed, Forbes appeared to win both the first and second rounds with his fast left hooks which he landed often against Berto during this time of the fight.

However, Berto adjusted well, and then completely took over the fight with his explosive combinations to the head and body of Forbes. As the fight progressed, Forbes seemed to drastically reduce his own punch output to the point where by the 11th and 12th rounds, he was only attempting a handful of punches per round. Berto had a lot to do with that, because he punished Forbes badly, hitting him often with hard uppercuts and combinations and giving him a thorough beating.

In contrast to Forbes recent 12-round decision loss to Oscar De La Hoya in May, Berto looked much more impressive against in beating Forbes, and didn’t take a lot of punishing shots to the head like De La Hoya did in the fight. In fact, Berto made it seem like a walk in the part with his one-sided beating. The final judges’ scores were 116-111, 118-109 and 118-109.

Forbes was cut over his left eye in the 3rd round, from what appeared to be from a right hand from Berto. However, the referee ruled that it was from a head butt. Thankfully, the cut wasn’t a factor in the fight as it didn’t worsen as the rounds wore on. Berto began to fight with much more confidence in the third, hitting Forbes with blazing fast power shots and keeping him on the defensive for the most part.

Forbes, who can move well when he chooses to, decided to stand and trade with Berto at the center of the ring rather than use his feet to stay out of the way of Berto. As a result, Forbes found himself taking a lot of big shots from the slightly quicker, and much more powerful Berto. Rather than changing his tactics in the subsequent rounds and choosing to box Berto from the outside, Forbes stubbornly stuck to his original game plan of trading with Berto at the center of the ring. As such, Forbes took a real pounding in rounds three through twelve.

It was like watching a clinic, with Berto ripping Forbes with hard combinations that reminded me a lot of a young Meldrick Taylor. Unlike some of his other fights in which Berto was forced to take a lot of punishment himself because of his leaky defense, he had an easy time defeating the undersized Forbes. In the end, Forbes, who not too long ago moved up from the light welterweight division to fight De La Hoya, was simply too weak to handle the power of Berto. Forbes really needs to consider moving back down a weight class, because he’s just over his head against strong welterweights like Berto, Paul Williams or Antonio Margarito.

In other action, undefeated super middleweight prospect Daniel Jacobs (10-0, 9 KOs) was extended the distance for the first time. Jacobs (10-0, 9 KOs) defeated Emmanuel Gonzalez (9-3, 4 KOs) by a six-round unanimous decision. Jacob, one of the best prospects on boxing, dropped Gonzalez twice in the fight, once in the second and another time in the fifth, but was unable to finish him off inside the distance. Incredibly, it was the first time that the hard-punching Jacobs was unable to finish off one of his opponents. The final judges’ scores were 60-62, 59-54, 58-53.

Luis Collazo, the former World Boxing Association welterweight champion, stopped Russell Jordan (15-5, 10 KOs) in the 8th round of a one-sided fight. With this win, Collazo, the WBC number #1 ranked welterweight contender, will be Berto’s next opponent.