Robert Guerrero (right) knocks down Andre Berto during the second round of their WBC interim welterweight title fight in Ontario, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
That was a great fight Coming in, this was truly a pick ‘em fight; Berto was the more experienced, more accomplished welterweight who was fighting for the first time in 14 months while Guerrero was the hotter, more active fighter who was moving up to fight for just the second time at 147-pounds. It was a toe-to-toe battle throughout, with both fighters landing bombs on the inside that created considerable swelling under the eyes of Guerrero and Berto. The difference in the fight was in the first two rounds, when Guerrero dropped a clearly rusty Berto twice, changing the dynamic of the fight.
Credit Guerrero No fighter in boxing has actively hunted for big fights more than Guerrero, who has issued press release after press release calling out all the top names in the sport. What Guerrero has lacked is a high profile win on his resume; now he has it. Guerrero showed good power in dropping Berto twice and his willingness to stand in and trade on the inside was television friendly, which should only increase his appeal. After the fight Guerrero (31-1-1) did what he has been doing for more than a year: He called out Floyd Mayweather. Given Guerrero’s recent success–and given Mayweather’s history of seeking out marketable but beatable opponents–it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him get a shot.
Where now, Andre? This was a disappointing loss for Berto (28-2), who hoped to erase the memory of his recent positive drug test and springboard himself into a major fight next year. But Berto was a mess in the ring. For the first two rounds he went with the Floyd Mayweather, shoulder roll defense. That got him knocked down, twice. From then on he was pawing at Guerrero, looking for an opening for one big shot. Berto is young enough (29) and has the right people behind him (Al Haymon) to bounce back. But he needs to make some changes in his corner, because against a smart, savvy opponent like Guerrero, Berto looked lost.