Andre Berto Fights Off Ring-Rust To Overpower Carlos Quintana In 8th-Round

bertoby James Slater - Last night in Florida, in returning to the ring after an 11-month absence, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto overpowered a game and tricky Carlos Quintana in the 8th-round. Blasting the southpaw former WBO champ with a series of hard right hands to the head, Berto forced referee Tommy Kimmons to dive in and stop the fight at 2-minutes and 16-seconds of the 8th-round. The 26-year-old WBC king is now 26-0(20). 33-year-old Quintana is now 27-3(21).

"Fighting for Haiti," Berto, who sadly lost family members in the recent tragedy, wanted to put on a show, and maybe he tried to hard to do so. Rusty, as one would expect any fighter to be after having been out of the ring for almost a solid year, Berto was caught in the first couple of rounds. A nice straight left hand by the cute Quintana staggered Berto in the 2nd, and for a little while it seemed an upset could occur..

Berto later said he'd hurt/injured his left bicep in the early going of the fight, and he was given a massage on the troubled muscle between rounds. Looking tired and at times frustrated ( in the 3rd-round, Berto was hit in the back of the head by Quintana, and a point was deducted from the Puerto Rican), the WBC champ was also guilty of loading up on his punches. Still, always the stronger man physically, the defending champ began to break Quintana down after the 4th-round.

Quintana was game all night, but he couldn't hold Berto off. Finally, in the 8th-round of what was a far from impressive display from Berto, he got the dramatic finish. Catching Quintana with a number of hard head shots, Berto made the referee look closely at the challenger. Then, with Quintana trying his best to hold on and survive the hectic round, Berto managed to create space and land a smashing right hand to the head, which snapped Quintana's head back violently. Kimmons had seen enough, and he called a halt to the proceedings.

Berto, obviously emotional, let out a loud scream as he celebrated his TKO win.

Berto later said he'd been through a lot recently, due to what happened in Haiti (his scheduled January fight with "Sugar" Shane Mosley was, of course cancelled, due to the tragic earthquake), and he also praised Quintana's game effort.

Looking ahead, Berto spoke of how Floyd Mayweather, Mosley and Manny Pacquiao are all out there, and he also smiled when Larry Merchant reminded him that he, at age 26, is a whole lot younger than all his fellow welterweight stars.

Berto, as he himself will surely admit, will have to perform better if he's to beat any of those fighters - but that's the thing; he can and he will. The next time Berto fights, he won't be carrying around 11-months of ring-rust with him.

Article posted on 11.04.2010

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