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BERTO BACK IN BUSINESS

March 13, 2015, Queens, NY  “This is the emphatic victory that he needed.  He’s back in business, baby,” yelled former-boxing champion, turned commentator, Antonio Tarver.  Who is “He”?  Andre Berto who raised his record to 30-3, 23 KOs, as he won by TKO over Josesito Lopez who fell to 33-7, 19 KOs, in the main event of the Spike TV broadcast of Premier Boxing Champions.

Lopez was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the 6th round stoppage.  PureSportsNY also had Lopez ahead three rounds to two, going into round six. Berto seemed rusty in the opening round and could not really establish his jab.  Lopez was content to go to Berto’s body.  Berto continued to press forward in round two, and his activity seemed to pay off in round three.

The fourth round had moments of messiness as both fighters began to clinch and hold excessively.  Berto landed a hard punch that caused swelling under Lopez’s right eye.  The fifth round was close as both fighters banged one another, and the momentum shifting from Berto, back to Lopez, back to Berto.

Between rounds five and six, former boxing trainer-of-the-year, Virgil Hunter, admonished Berto.  This appeared to energize Berto as he came out with bad intentions to begin round six.  Berto threw a vicious right cross that put Lopez down.  Lopez beat the count but seemed more shocked than hurt.  Berto raced across the ring and landed a right hand high on Lopez’s head, putting Lopez down for the second time in the round, and the referee immediately stopped the contest at 1:02 in the 6th round.

“I feel I’m right back into contention,” said Berto.  While he doesn’t appear to be the Berto of old, he becomes an attractive opponent because of his name.  Don’t be surprised if we see an Andre Berto-Shawn Porter fight with the winner getting a shot at Keith Thurman in the latter part of this year. Berto is back—Back in Business.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffb@puresportsny.com

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