Monday, February 11, 2008
Andre Berto: A Boxing Name You Need to Know
A word must be said about Andre Berto in the wake of his victory over European welterweight champion Michael Trabant. It’s true that Trabant was a one-dimensional man without a big power punch, but that’s not what I want to talk about. It’s Andre Berto, his skills, and a style that will be hard to beat.
Andre Berto seems to have it all in a division where you need it. The welterweights are so packed with talent that a fighter like Berto needs corporate management to pick a path through it. That may sound like heresy to some boxing fans, but how else do you deal with a world so packed with talent and deep in fighters? The time is now for Berto to step it up to the big boys in the division but I think it would be stupid to jump him up to the Mayweather-Cotto level. I think Andre will pick off many of the welterweights and I think he’ll do it in a convincing way. He can face the tops in the division later. There are business considerations, after all, and would you want to fight a guy like Berto for the amusement of your friends? For about three seconds if you're really fast on your feet.
What does Andre Berto bring to a fight? A whole hell of a lot, if you ask me. He’s superbly conditioned, and supposed to be something of a gym rat. Good, I like gym rats. He has a good chin and full body armor. Best of all, I like his fighting style. He works off the previous punch, in well-timed combinations. All executed with power and speed. It breaks you down, takes you apart. How many guys have you seen mix a jab with a double left hook, one to the body and one up? Besides Mayweather, who is fast enough to double with the right hand, hitting with the uppercut and following through with a straight right? It’s likely I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know if you’ve watched Berto’s fights. Look for him to fight the top of the division within a year or two at the most.