Devon Alexander vs. Andre Berto on June 16 on the Spence-Ocampo card
By Dan Ambrose: Former welterweight world champion Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) will be facing former I40 and 147 world champion Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) will be fighting on June 16 on the undercard of IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence’s title defense against mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) on Showtime in Dallas, Texas.
According to ESPN, the winner of the Alexander vs. Berto fight could face Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) in what would be a voluntary defense. Spence will need to win his fight with Ocampo for that scenario to play out. It’s not much to look forward to for the fans. Berto and Alexander were good fighters years and years ago, but not anymore.
Alexander is coming off of a 12 round majority draw against Victor Ortiz on February 17 at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas. Both guys looked past it in that fight. The 31-year-old Alexander came into the fight with 2 defeats in his last 3 fights. Alexander looked decent in the early going, but then faded and struggled down the stretch. Alexander looked no better than he had in his losses to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez in the last four years.
The Spence-Ocampo and Alexander-Berto fights will be televised on Showtime Boxing. At this time point, the newer fans might not be familiar with Berto and Alexander, because those fighters are from the past era of the 147 lb. division and they’re non-factors in this day and age. It might be better off for the promoters of the Spence vs. Ocampo card to invest on letting the boxing public get a chance to see younger fighters that have a chance of going somewhere in the future.
It might be a waste of time to have Berto and Alexander built up as opponents for Spence, because neither of them is going anywhere. They both had their time in sport, and now they’re playing out their string. Berto and Alexander are only remembered by the hardcore boxing fans from many years ago. The newer fans have no idea who either of them is. It’s a waste of time for Spence to be fighting shot guys that have zero to deserve a title shot. Berto lost his last fight, and Alexander was held to a draw in his. Neither of these guys deserve to be fighting for world titles.
The 31-year-old Alexander is ranked No.6 by the International Boxing Federation, and he’s lost 3 out of his last 6 fights. Alexander hardly deserves a world title shot, even if he beats the 34-year-old Berto, who is coming off of a 9th round knockout loss to Shawn Porter last year in April 2017. Berto isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the IBF or any of the sanctioning bodies.
If Berto gets past Alexander, he would be getting a title shot based on what he did in the distant past. It’s been seven years since Berto held the IBF/WBA welterweight titles in 2011. Since then, Berto’s career has gone downhill with defeats to Robert Guerrero, Jesus Soto Karass, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shawn Porter. Berto’s only wins in the last 7 years have come against Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Jan Zaveck and Steve Upsher Chambers.
Despite having done very little in his career since 2012, Berto has had great opportunities in fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015 and Shawn Porter in 2017. Berto lost both fights, but he got a good payday in his defeat to Mayweather. Berto’s fight against Porter was a WBC welterweight title eliminator. If he’d won that fight, he would have been in the position to fight for a world title. With WBC champion Keith Thurman vacating his title, Berto would now be in the position to fight Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC belt if he’d beaten Porter. It’s probably just as well that Berto’s not in the position, because Garcia would likely beat him.