Andre Berto’s Last Chance At Stardom?
This Saturday, Showtime will be returning to San Antonio, Texas to present a good solid Welterweight matchup as the former WBC Welterweight title holder, Andre Berto will square off against a tough Mexican fighter in Jesus Soto Karass. This fight will be for the vacant NABF welterweight title, but this fight will mean much more to these fighters than just a title. This will be a fight for respect, pride, and the right to be mentioned with the other top welterweights in the world.
Andre Berto (28-2 with 22 KOs) has been through a lot to be just 29 years old. He was hyped very early in his career and when he made it to 27-0. He was supposed to be the new breakout star, and a future opponent for Floyd Mayweather. Then it happened. In what was, in my opinion, the fight of the year in 2011. Victor Ortiz opened up the crack in Andre Berto’s undefeated armor. In a great fight that went the distance and had 5 knockdowns, Ortiz had won a unanimous decision and went on to fight Floyd Mayweather next.
After a win against Jan Zaveck, Berto was setting up a rematch with Ortiz when Berto was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance. The suspension was later overturned due to a technicality, but the damage had already been done. So after a 14 month layoff, he went into the ring against Robert Guerrero, sporting a new Philly shell defense. It looks awkward and Guerrero knocked Berto down in rounds 1 and 2, and then continued to pound him till both of his eyes swelled up as big as ET. Guerrero also went on to fight Floyd Mayweather next. Berto was then starting to get the title as the Floyd warm up fighter. He now hopes to once against climb the ladder of the welterweight division and earn his respect back.
Jesus Soto Karass (27-8-3 with 17 KOs) is an enigma to some boxing fans. He is a solid puncher with a long reach that should be better than he has shown. He has a long reach and when he boxes and uses his jab, he can be very effective, as shown in his last fight against Selcuk Aydin 6 months ago. However, when he tries to bang, his lack of defense can come into play and it gets him in trouble like against Marcos Maidana almost a year ago. As bad as 8 losses can look on a resume, 5 of them were to undefeated fighters, 1 was Maidana, who’s a top 10 147, 1 was to Gabe Rosado who is now a top 154 and 160 fighter, and 1 was a lost that was stopped early due to an accidental head butt. He is hoping that he can crack the top 15-20 welterweights of the world and at age 30, make his move up.
I feel that Berto knows this could be his last shot at making a run for a big title. He knows a win could put him in line for a possible shot and he would move into the top 10 welterweights in the world if it’s impressive. While for Soto Karass, this is his shot, he must use his jab and stay discipline if he wants to win this fight because I feel Berto hits harder. My prediction is Berto wins by unanimous decision because he has to be the more desperate fighter and I feel he’s the more talented fighter. If not a title shot, a win here will put Berto in at least a fight for a #1 contender spot, a loss, and who knows, fight night fights maybe calling. Either way, it should be an exciting fight and we’ll be able to tell a lot about both guys by the time it’s done, enjoy the fights.