“Enough of that fancy sh** , its time to get to work. Soto Karass is gonna get f***’d up. No more Mr. Nice Guy.”
Andre Berto, at the start of training camp in the Bay area with new trainer Virgil Hunter
If you remove the name “Soto Karass” from the above statement and replace it with “Berto”, you’d come up with what would seem to be Robert Guerrero’s feelings before he mugged Andre Berto last November.
Did you happen to see Berto’s face after that fight? Because if you did- then you were able to do something he couldn’t.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, then the results can be a disaster- or even deadly.
What prompted Andre Berto to decide to get cute and pull a “Mayweather” against Guerrero, is something only he and God must know. With a stocky, compact and dense muscular frame, Andre Berto decided that- along with heavy feet and limited flexibility, was enough to produce a reasonable facsimile of Floyd Mayweather’s defensive brilliance.
Which is the reason why he offered the above statement on the dawn of his first camp with Virgil Hunter, the technical maestro of Andre Ward. After a grueling 7-weeks of training, Berto (28-2, 22KO’s) will challenge Jesus Soto Karass (27-8-3, 17KO’s) this Saturday night on Showtime from the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Berto now feels he is nuanced enough to put a beat down on the rugged journeyman.
“We had a tremendous training camp for this fight, and I am ready to put on a great show for all the fans on July 27. My new team took me out of my comfort zone, which is something that I needed. It was a very technical training camp and helped remind me who I am as a fighter and everyone will see those skills when I step into the ring on Saturday night,” Berto said.
This is a make-or-break fight for Andre Berto, who has thus far proven to be more of a “B” fighter than an “A” lister. His chin has been unreliable and so is his stamina, in part owed to his penchant for loading up on shots with bulky muscles.
Soto Karass is game and tough, as we saw with Mike Jones and Marcos Maidana, but he’s there to be hit and has no business hanging around with Berto beyond 6 or 7 rounds.
If this turns into a life and death affair for Berto, one that sees him stretched to a narrow points win- or even “stretched”, it’ll be time for him to become a club bouncer.
Or at least consider bouncing away from the sport altogether.
Also on this card will be knockout artist Keith “One Time” Thurman (20-0, 18KO’s) going up against Argentinean banger Diego Chaves (22-0, 18KO’s) for the interim WBA 147lb belt. This fight promises to be a war due to the rather offensive nature of these two, and I look for the much avoided Thurman to clean up Chaves in 4.