Is Andre Berto being overlooked?
By Joseph Correa
Pound for Pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) is set to take on Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) September 12 on Showtime pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The feeling since this fight was announced has been that Berto is being overlooked by everyone: boxing fans, the media, the odds-makers, and fellow fighter's give him no chance to compete with, let alone beat "Money".
Mayweather however feels differently and believes the fight will be much closer than people think stating:
"Berto has a lot more talent than what people are giving him credit for, he will make it a lot more competitive than people realize."
Floyd's recent comments would lead one to believe that he thinks Berto may actually be a stiffer challenge than Pacquiao. Manny in my opinion fought like a fighter lost, and confused trying to find his way throughout the entire affair and Freddie Roach was equally baffled and clueless as to how to crack the "Mayweather code." Pacquiao was in my opinion one of Mayweather's easiest fights to date and Berto wouldn't have to do much to top that.
Mayweather recently said “Berto’s a tough competitor. He’s a guy that’s going to push me,”
“A good jab can always get the job done, but with this guy, we’re going to have to throw more combinations. We’re going to have to go to the body. He’s going to bring his A-game and I’m going to bring my A-game. I think everybody is overlooking Berto, and I think the betting odds should be a lot closer. The last fight [against Manny Pacquiao] was more like a chess match. This is more like checkers – real quick and fast. I’ve been boxing a lot in the gym. I have 10 different sparring partners.”
I think Berto is going to be a much larger challenge than people think and when motivated he possesses the skill set to give anyone fits. Berto's most recent performance against Josesito Lopez was a good one which he showed flashes of the old Berto and I think he’ll definitely push Mayweather if that fighter shows up Sept 12.
Mayweather will have to use his exceptional ability to adapt to overcome his Berto and adjust to the work rate and great hand speed of his opponent to win this fight. Andre Berto is in my opinion more dangerous than Manny Pacquiao and Marcos Maidana.
Berto's former trainer and mentor Tony Morgan described him as being "An extremely fast, extremely strong kid." and also believes that he could give Floyd problems much like Mosley did early in their highly anticipated 2010 clash.
Berto has legitimate welterweight power to go along with his fast hands and is very tough. Many forget that at one time Andre was one of the most avoided welterweights in the division and is a 2 time World Champion.
There was plenty of chatter circulating that a fight with Mayweather was inevitable back when Berto was blazing his way through the welterweight division. Unfortunately boxing fans can be very fickle and a few losses can lower a fighter's stock big time, and make him irrelevant. This in my opinion is why people are so critical of this fight, but I think it may in fact be a gem!
Berto is likely to come out blazing and he will look to catch Mayweather early in this fight. He knows he can’t let Floyd get any momentum in this fight because if Mayweather is able to start off fast, he will pick Berto apart with his intelligent ring generalship and laser sharp right hands. Berto knows that he needs to outpace Mayweather every step of the way and not let him dictate the fight or it will be a long night.
It's going to take a very motivated, and in shape Berto to dethrone the pound for pound king but he certainly has the tools to make it an interesting fight. You'd be hard pressed to find a boring fight with Berto involved.
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