Boxing


Who Next For Andre Berto? Collazo, Cintron And Winner Of Jones-Soto Karass Rematch Are Possibilities

By James Slater - Andre Berto says he is ready to fight the best names out there. Critics of Berto say he has yet to prove himself. And there’s the dilemma: Berto cannot seem to get himself a fight with a big, recognisable name against whom he can prove he is as good as he says he is.

Recently, the reigning WBC welterweight champion has seen a fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley fall through (due to the tragedy in Haiti, where Berto’s parents are from), and the unbeaten 27-year-old also saw any chance he had of landing the May 7th date with Manny Pacquiao disappear as Mosley bagged the big one..
So, fans are wondering, who next for the WBC ruler?

According to a piece on Ringtv.com, Berto has opened talks to fight either the winner of the upcoming rematch between Mike Jones and Jesus Soto Karass (who gave us an entertaining fight on the Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito card back in November, with Jones winning a very close ten-rounder) or Luis Collazo. Berto and Collazo went to war in a 2009 FOTY candidate, with Berto gutting out a close points victory. A rematch would attract a good audience due to how good the first fight was. Collazo, however, may not be able to make 147-pound today. He has not fought since June of 2009, and this fight was up at light-middleweight.

Even if the former WBA welterweight champ can get back down to 147, will he be able to give Berto such a hard fight for a second time? Berto against the Jones-Karass rematch winner would also be a decent match-up, and if the unbeaten Jones emerges as the man to fight Berto, we would see a clash of unbeaten fighters; which is always good to see.

Another possibility for Berto, according to promoter Lou DiBella, is a fight with Puerto Rican bomber Kermit Cintron. DiBella promotes both men, and “The Killer” is reportedly looking for a big fight to return with. Cintron’s last fight, the awful and bizarre TD loss he suffered at the hands of Paul Williams (when Cintron literally flew through the ropes and hit the floor, being unable to continue), was a huge disappointment, but Kermit is a better fighter than that fight made him look.

I’m not saying for one minute Cintron would beat Berto, but with his power and his experience he would make things interesting for at least a few rounds. Like Collazo, Cintron would have to come down from 154 for a fight with Berto (Kermit last fought at 147 in 2008), but he has been more active as of late than has the New York southpaw.

Whoever Berto, 27-0(21) fights this year, he had better get a move on. Berto fought just twice in 2009 and twice again last year. At age 27 he may feel he has plenty of time on his side, but a boxer’s peak years don’t last too long. Of the above options, I’d most like to see Berto rumble with Collazo for a second time; primarily in the hope that a return would be as good as the first fight.

But again, how much does the 29-year-old with the 30-4(15) record have left?

Article posted on 08.01.2011



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