Berto Beats Collazo: Maturation or Work in Progress?

By Ted Sares: It takes two to make a great fight and that’s just what Andre Berto and Luis Collazo did tonight in Biloxi. In a fight that had everything except knockdowns, Berto pulled out a UD by sucking it up in the eleventh and twelfth rounds and almost took out the tough but gassed Brooklynite. He needed that last round and responded like a champion. He did what he had to do to keep his crown and move to 24-0. But it was no cake walk as the momentum constantly shifted with each fighter taking turns throwing monster body shots. Berto’s were more effective, but Collazo’s came in bunches and took their toll as well. The thing was, when Berto hurt Luis with the body work, the New Yorker simply dropped his arms and became immobilized, and that catches a judge’s eye. Collazo, on the other hand, did his work in a straight away, seven and eight punch flurry that hurt the Floridian as well, but it almost resembled a shoe shine technique (though it clearly was not) and that might have impacted how the judges saw things.

Andre BertoEach fighter was rocked by head shots as well, but each showed a granite chin and an iron heart muscle. It did appear Collazo made a strategic mistake by intentionally taking the eleventh off in order to go all out in the last stanza, but Berto thwarted that move by having more in the tank.

Andre Berto still has a lot to learn and this was most obvious as he was lured into fighting Collazo’s kind of fight. Still, as he duked it out in the trenches rather than jab from the outside and use his super fast combinations, he did manage to use his strength to get inside, albeit in a somewhat ugly manner.

However, Berto passed an important test tonight; he beat a guy who is a stylistic nightmare for anyone. He is now ready for the next big step up. Bring on Zab Judah or Carlos Quintana and if he gets by them, let’s really see what he has, because the next step up from there is a high one.

This was ring action at its very best and a great way to start off the year. I had it 114-113 for Berto but a draw or even an MD for Collazo would have been reasonable as there were a number or rounds that could have gone either way. But the 116-111 scorecard was bizarre, particularly since Berto had been deducted a point for holding.

Article posted on 18.01.2009

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