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Berto will be fighting big fight in early 2011, or else he won’t be fighting on HBO, says Greenburg

Image: Berto will be fighting big fight in early 2011, or else he won't be fighting on HBO, says GreenburgBy William Mackay: WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (26-0, 20 KO’s) has had a real cushy situation for the past three years with virtually all his fights ending up being shown on HBO, despite pretty much everyone of them being a mismatch against an less than interesting opponent. After three years, Berto, 27, has failed to build a large fan base among boxing fans in the United States. Quite the contrary, Berto appears to be turning off fans with each fight due to his inability to be matched against an appealing opponent.

For example, Berto has faced the following fighters since winning the World Boxing Council welterweight title with a 7th round TKO win over Miguel Angel Rodriguez in June 2008: Steve Forbes, Luis Collazo, Juan Urango and Carlos Quintana. Those are good serviceable fighters, but none of them are what you would call a big named star. Berto had a chance to fight Shane Mosley this year, pulled out of the fight after the earthquake in Haiti. You can understand Berto’s situation for that one fight, because the earthquake affected family members in Haiti.

However, that doesn’t explain why Berto has failed to fight a big named star in the past, and it doesn’t say much for why Berto is facing little known Freddy Hernandez (29-1, 20 KO’s) on November 27th on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katisdis bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Berto needs to and has needed to step it up several levels in the past two years in terms of higher competition, yet the training wheels have remained on for some reason.

In an interview by Ross Greenburg, the president of HBO Sports by Dan Rafael of ESPN, Greenburg says “The bottom line is Andre Berto will be in a big fight in early 2011, or he won’t be on HBO. Whenever he fights next, if it’s not against a big-name opponent, then you won’t see him. He knows that, his management knows that. And his promoter knows that. Believe it or not, they feel the same way. We’ve been very patient. Now it’s time. If it doesn’t happen, so be it.”

It’s too bad that Greenburg didn’t star this policy beginning with the Berto-Hernandez fight on November 27th, because that fight will be the co-main event for the Marquez vs. Katsidis bout, and it will clearly be shown on HBO. That’s not the fight that boxing fans wanted to see Berto in. Many of them were hoping, a the minimum, he would be facing #2 WBC welterweight contender Selcuk Aydin, the young Turkish slugger.

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