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Atlas: Berto can’t take shots anymore

Andre Berto(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) By Dan Ambrose: ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas thinks Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) can no longer take head shots any longer, and he also thinks his legs are shot. Atlas doesn’t believe that Berto is completely shot at a fighter, because he still has good punching power and decent hand speed, but he definitely thinks Berto’s ability to move and take shots has been compromised in the last four years of his career.

If you look at Berto’s fight against Victor Ortiz in 2011, it was around this time that Berto stopped being able to fight in the center of the ring for the full 12 rounds. Berto needed to rest frequently against the ropes in the Ortiz fight.

We hadn’t seen that in Berto’s previous fights in his career. Ever since the Ortiz fight, Berto has needed to retreat to the ropes to rest his legs.

“The way to beat Floyd is to outwork him,” Atlas said to “He is a very conservative fighter. He does just enough to win. He’s going to do just enough to get by. He’s not going to take chances in the ring. I happen to think that Berto’s legs are shot. I think he’s a guy who can’t take shots anymore. But again, Floyd’s not an explosive guy, so we’re not sure if he’s going to be able to exploit that. He’s a fighter who doesn’t have the durability or the legs anymore, and obviously that’s why Floyd picked him,” At las said.

Not being able to take a punch would be a problem for Berto if he were facing a puncher, but he’s not going to have to deal with that on Saturday. Mayweather isn’t a big puncher. He can throw with decent power but not enough to get his opposition out of there.

If Mayweather was a combination puncher, then Berto would be in big trouble in this fight. Mayweather hasn’t knocked anyone out since his cheap shot stoppage win over Ortiz in 2011. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2007 before you could see a knockout for Mayweather, when he stopped Ricky Hatton.

“If he’s [Berto] going to win, he’s going to need to go for it. He’s got to be busy and stay behind his jab, put punches together and try to out-think Floyd,” Atlas said. “Floyd handpicked him, so maybe he’s looking past him. To me, if you want to be the best ever, then you’ve got to go fight Golovkin,” Atlas said.

Berto doesn’t have long enough arms to reach Mayweather even if he decides to throw a lot of jabs. Berto will need to really attack Mayweather and get close enough to land his power shots. That means he’s going to need to be alright about getting hit a lot.

As for Mayweather fighting Golovkin, Atlas needs to forget all about that. He’s not going to be able to shame Mayweather into fighting a KO artist like Golovkin by bringing up the boxing greats like Sugar Ray Leonard, who moved up to middleweight to defeat Marvin Hagler to beat him in 1987. Mayweather obviously knows his own limitations, which is why we’ll never see him fight Golovkin.

“I had a tremendous training camp. I am in better shape than I’ve been in years,” Berto said. “I’m looking forward to making history on Saturday. I don’t know anything about any code that Mayweather has. When I want to walk through a door I just break through.”

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