by Robert Jackson: Andre Berto 2004 Olympian and current WBC 147lb Champion made his case this past Saturday nite for a fight against P4P king Manny Pacquiao. Arum’s current mantra has been to reject Berto as a viable NEXT opponent for Pacquiao naming Shane Mosley the frontrunner, but Berto’s left hook and sneaky straight right hand past Freddy Hernandez’ guard to his jaw did much to contradict that view. The referee could’ve completed the 8-count and then decided if Hernandez could continue but the rubbery legs and confusion shown by Hernandez required that the ref wave off the fight..
Berto’s competition thus far will be criticized as C and B class with a return bout against Luis Collazo remaining on his things-to-do list. A Collazo rematch would be a good tuneup bout for an eventual matchup against the P4P King!! But that would be a step backwards, Collazo outside of his fighting ability has a knack for wallowing in obscurity and snatching defeat from the hands of victory, plus it seems grander things await the Floridian of Haitian descent including all of the TOP names in the 147lb division.
Saturday night was a coming out party for Berto perse, moreso than his previous bout against journeyman Carlos Quintana where Berto’s fighting spirit and toughness were in full display. The Las Vegas crowd on hand to witness the Marquez/Katsidis bout went silent when Berto dropped Hernandez midway thru the 1st round with the referee halting the fight.
Bernard Hopkins never a mincer of words recently proclaimed that “Pacquiao avoids slick African American fighters” and there’s little doubt that Pacquiao’s next fight may be against black fighter whether it be Mosley, Mayweather, Berto or the Bradley/Alexander winner. In any case Hopkins may get his wish but will he like the outcome??
Berto should be considered to fight Pacquiao next and if promoted right this fight can produce dividends, and the competition could be fierce with Berto giving as much as he gets. Most boxing pundits will concede that Pacquiao needs an easier fight considering his previous fights, and Berto experience-wise is easy as it can get and by beating Berto, Pacquiao can add the WBC 147lb trinket to his collection.