By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
The fall of Andre Berto
Andre Berto was once a highly touted undefeated WBC welterweight champion. However, losses to Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero, and a shaky performance against Jan Zavek led many to believe that the once-celebrated Berto isn’t the same aggressive and brutal force he was since he turned professional in 2004.
Berto had a chance to erase all doubts and silence all critics by defeating Jesus Soto-Karass last Saturday in the main event of Golden Boy Promotions’ KNOCKOUT KINGS 2 event at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. Berto had an opportunity to prove to the world that he was indeed back and ready to eventually fight for another world title. Instead, Berto sustained a serious shoulder injury and was was beat to a living pulp, as Karass finally earned the signature win of his career by knocking Berto out in the twelfth round.
“I think I tore it out of the socket early, maybe the fourth round,” Berto said. “That’s why I kept using my left. I really couldn’t use [my right] at all. At the end of the day, I show that warrior spirit every time. I don’t care if I mess up my shoulder. I’m going tout it all on the line.”
In the early rounds, Berto injured his right shoulder and was limited to the use of his left. Karass pressured Berto with power-punches from the inside since Berto was one-handed. Berto did not quit. He continued to press forward by rallying for an exciting eleventh round knockdown of Karass.
Karass survived the eleventh and managed to drop Berto with a single left hook in the remaining 45 seconds of the fight to clinch the victory.
“My corner just told me to keep on working and I didn’t think at any moment about his shoulder,” Karass said. “I’m dedicated 100 percent to boxing. I stopped clowning around. My corner told me to come out and start boxing, but I said, ‘no I’m going to knock him down.’”
The victory couldn’t have come at a better time for Karass. Karass has had a long career filled with disappointments and tough losses to the likes of Yuri Foreman, Freddy Hernandez, Alfonso Gomez, Mike Jones, and Marcos Rene Maidana to name a few. In 2013, Karass followed up a groundbreaking win over Selcuk Aydin with a dramatic knockout of former world champion Andre Berto.
At age 30, Karass, a hard-nosed Mexican, proved once again that he has a lot of fight left in his career and is not your typical ‘opponent.’
In other bouts: Undefeated welterweight prospect Keith Thurman () won an interim WBA title by knocking out Diego Chavez in the tenth round. Thurman is a heavily-pushed Al Haymon fighter and is making the most of his opportunities. Thurman is solidifying his reputation as a dangerous puncher, as he knocked out a previously undefeated puncher in Chavez. Thurman floored Chavez in the ninth round before icing him for good following a barrage of punches has included a huge right hand. The time of the stoppage was 28 seconds into the tenth.
“I came into his fight to have multiple game plans.” Thurman said. “I knew he would be my toughest opponent. I wanted to punch him, I wanted to box him later on. I was able to hit him with that beautiful body shot.”
Thurman was ahead on the judges’ scorecards: 86-84, 87-83 (twice).
Golden Boy prospect Omar Figueroa won a widespread unanimous decision against Nihito Arakawa to claim the vacant interim WBC lightweight title. The judges score the bout 118-110 (twice) and 119-107. Many people are considering this to be the 2013 ‘Fight of the Year’ because both fighters threw for a combined 2,112 punches. Arakawa threw 1,170 punches, but landed only 280 to Figueroa’s 480.
“My respect to this guy,” said Figueroa, who injured both hands in the fight. “He can take a beating. We both took a beating. The only thing that didn’t hold up were my hands.”
Olympian Demetrius Andrade earns first world title shot
Undefeated 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade will challenge Vanes Martirosyan for the WBO junior middleweight title on Saturday, September 7, at the STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA. The bout will be televised live on HBO ‘World Championship Boxing.’
Andrade-Martirosyan will be the co-feature to the exciting super middleweight clash between Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and Brian Vera.
Andrade is ranked No. 2 by the WBO and Martirosyan is ranked No. 1.
“I am looking forward to this fight and have been waiting for this fight ever since I walked into the gym at age 7,” Andrade said. “I always wanted to be a world champion and on September 7, I will be crowned champion. I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal and since they took that from me, I am going to take this world title.”
Martirosyan too is a former Olympian, but from the ’04 class. Martirosyan too is an undefeated title contender and like Andrade, has waited a lifetime for a chance to fight for a world title. It’s going to be a very, very intense boxing match between two talented boxers, but this may very well be Andrade’s moment to shine the brightest.
According to Andrede’s promoter Joe DeGuardia,”My partner Artie Pellulo and I are extremely pleased Demetrius will have a chance to show his incredible talent on HBO on September 7. Artie and I would like to thank HBO, Top Rank, and the WBO for making this great fight. We are very confident Demetrius Andrade will become the next WBO junior middleweight champion and the next star in boxing.”