Going into his Nov. 24 encounter against Robert Guerrero, Andre Berto wasn't particularly worried about his opponent's punching power.
Can't say I blame him for being a bit over-confident going into their showdown, considering the fact Guerrero was a lightweight (135 pounds) this time last year.
However, when the two eventually met inside the ring at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., Guerrero made it clear that he's capable of hurting any welterweight around in boxing right now. He hurt Berto with a series of right hands while clinched, and the fight was a few punches away from being stopped in the first round. Guerrero caught Berto again in the second round, puffing up the Miami native's right eye.
To his credit, Andre Berto showed a lot of heart, and he took everything Guerrero had to throw at him like a champ. He eventually regained his composure as the fight progressed, and turned what started off as a one-sided beating in the first round, into an entertaining toe-to-toe battle.
Unfortunately for Berto, he didn't do enough to overcome his poor start, and the ringside judges rightfully awarded Guerrero with the unanimous decision.
Definitely not the way Berto wanted to return to the ring, but his heart did earn him a lot of new fans.
If Berto didn't get hurt early during his fight against Guerrero, things could have gone differently for the 29 year-old. Given how entertaining their showdown was, a rematch in 2013 is a viable option for both men.
If Berto isn't able to secure a rematch against Guerrero, he might well go after Victor Ortiz. The two men put on an entertaining classic in 2011, with Ortiz emerging victorious. Victor hasn't been able to win a fight since then, losing to Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez, so it would give both men the opportunity to redeem themselves.
Andre Berto needs to make a few adjustments before his next fight, since he had a hard time dealing with Guerrero's constant pressure. For some odd reason, he committed himself to using the shoulder roll as a major part of his defensive strategy, even though he was making a mockery of the technique. Andre's infighting skills could also use some improvement, if he wants to get back to the championship level.