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Video: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter final press conference

Andre Berto Shawn Porter

By Allan Fox: Former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) wants his victory over Andre Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) on Saturday night to send a message to WBA/WBC 147 pound champion Keith “One Time” Thurman that he’s ready for a rematch against him to avenge his loss to him from last June. Thurman barely beat Porter by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 115-113.

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

The Berto vs. Porter fight will be taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Berto’s name is being used first before Porter’s in the promotion of the card, but it actually should be the other way around. Porter is ranked above #4 WBC Berto at #3 with the WBC, and he’s the guy that has been doing better in his career in the last few years. Berto is guy that was successful in the past up until 2011. It’s been pretty much downhill for Berto since 2011 unfortunately.

The 29-year-old Porter should be able to handle Berto without too many problems. Berto has never beaten a truly top notch fighter during his career despite him having held the IBF and WBC welterweight titles. Berto’s best wins of his 13-year pro career have come against Juan Urango, Carlos Quintana, Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Jan Zaveck, Luis Collazo, Freddy Hernandez, Steve Forbes, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, David Estrada, and Michel Trabant. Those were/are not great fighters. Berto appeared to lose to Collazo in their fight in January 2009, but he was given a decision.

In looking at that fight again for this article, Berto was very lucky to escaped with a victory, because Collazo got the better of him in almost every round. Berto appeared to win 3 rounds and was still given the victory. In recent years, Berto has lost 3 out of his last 6 fights. He’s 3-3 in his last 6 fights. His wins have come against Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez and Steve Upsher Chambers. Berto hasn’t done anything to deserve to be fighting Porter in the WBC title eliminator. The WBC would have done better if they had Porter fighting someone like Tim Bradley in their eliminator or even Adrien Broner.

This Saturday night on April 22, Porter will be fighting the 33-year-old Berto in a WBC welterweight title eliminator on Showtime Championship Boxing. The fight has been put together by Premier Boxing Champions.

“The number one thing for me is to win this fight and show Keith Thurman that I’m ready for the rematch,” said Porter.

Porter is going to have to wait a while before he gets a rematch with Thurman, because he’s talking about facing Danny Garcia in an immediate rematch. Garcia wants the fight too, so it’s not going to be difficult for the two of them to fight against. Porter just needs to stay busy so he doesn’t sit idle for an extended amount of time like he’s been doing lately. Porter was out of the ring for 1 year after his win over Adrien Broner in June 2015.

Porter came back 12 months later and lost a narrow 12 round decision to Keith Thurman. That fight was 10 months ago. Porter should be fighting at least 2 times per year, but he’s fighting only once a year now. If Porter stays out of the ring for the remainder of 2017 after the Berto fight, then it’ll be another year where he’s failed to stay active after important wins. I’ll be surprised if Porter fights again until 2018 after the Berto fight.

“I’m still on top of my game,” said Berto. “I respect Shawn and his dad, but right now, they’re in the way. I’m going to show you what it is to go through adversity in life and make it to the top again,” said Berto.

Berto is definitely NOT at the top of his game at this point in his career, but he was never really a solid fighter even in his prime. That’s the big issue for Berto. Even in his prime, he was pretty well beaten by Collazo, Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero. Those guys beat Berto up. Before those fights, Berto was beating mediocre fighters one after another. He wasn’t facing the best like Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Berto finally did face Mayweather in 2015, and he lost badly to him in a one-sided 12 round decision.

Like Porter, Berto has been inactive too for an extended amount of time. Berto hasn’t fought in the 12 months since beating Victor Ortiz by a 4th round knockout in April 2016. Berto was dropped in round 2 by Ortiz. However, Berto was able to come back and knock Ortiz down 2 times in round 4 to get a knockout. Ortiz is just a shell of the fighter he once was back in 2011 and earlier. This wasn’t a prime Ortiz that Berto was facing.

Porter has the inside game and pressure style to give Berto all kinds of problems in their fight on Saturday night. Unless Porter is going to tinker with his normal style of fighting, he should be able to wear Berto down with his pressure and inside game. There’s talk that Porter is working on his boxing skills in order to take the fight on the outside against Berto. I don’t think that would be a good idea for Porter to try and change his natural way of fighting. Porter has been a pressure fighter his entire 9-year pro career. For him to change that at this point could be a disaster for him. Berto doesn’t do well against pressure fighters that take the action to the inside. Collazo, Jesus Soto Karass and Robert Guerrero were all able to get the better of Berto by pressuring him nonstop with big power shots. They didn’t let Berto breath, and he was forced to fight hard in every round of the fight. The results were Berto wearing down and getting battered.

“We saw during the Floyd fight that footwork can work against Andre Berto,” said Porter. ”Against Josesito Lopez we saw that you can box Berto, but you need to get out of the pocket. Against Victor Ortiz we saw that he got put down by Victor,”

It would be a mistake for Porter to try and mimic the footwork that Mayweather used in beating Berto. Mayweather didn’t just beat Berto with his fancy footwork. He was beating him with his quick reflexes that enabled him to get out of the way of his power shots for 12 one-sided rounds. Mayweather seemed to toy with Berto, making it one of his easiest wins in quite some time. Berto was too slow, and he was loading up on everything he threw instead of focusing on speed. Porter is not going to be able to do what Mayweather did to Berto, because he’s not that type of fighter.

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