By Jake Donovan
For someone who hasn’t posted a single fight in 2012, Andre Berto has seen his name in the headlines quite a bit this year.
The former welterweight titlist has been forced to battle through injury, and also clear his own name when random drug testing produced a positive result prior to his rescheduled rematch with Victor Ortiz.
Along the way, he caused controversy with the manner in which he announced a newfound allegiance with Golden Boy Promotions, who serves as the lone promoter for his November 24 ring return. Berto (28-1, 22KO) squares off against Robert Guerrero in a welterweight battle which headlines on HBO live from Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
The bout will be his first since last September, and also his first ever without DiBella by his side.
The issue with the way the news initially came out was that Lou DiBella was forced to read about it rather than hear it firsthand.
The charismatic New Yorker was the promoter of record for every Berto bout since he turned pro in Dec. ’04 after a run with the 2004 Haiti Olympic boxing squad. He remained confident in his fighter’s future following last year’s loss to Ortiz and stood tall with him while Berto was forced to sweat out a suspension before being reinstated by the California State Athletic Commission.
Yet when it came time to make the move, Berto decided to take the news to social media platforms rather than sit down with the man who has watched his back every step of the way. It wasn’t the first time Berto took the back door with DiBella, once infamously going on a Tweeting rampage of his days spent meeting with HBO about his future.
Still, all parties knew to treat it as just business rather than take it personal. Eventually, a deal was reached where DiBella agreed (willingly or otherwise) to step aside and - on the advice of Berto’s adviser Al Haymon – allow Golden Boy Promotions to handle all affairs for next weekend’s show.
Time will tell how things play out, though Berto made sure not to torch what’s left of whatever bridge still exists between the two sides.
“Lou DiBella is a wonderful promoter,” Berto acknowledged. “We just wanted to make a little shift. My manager Al Haymon thought it would be a good move with Golden Boy Promotions. I’m not sure (if it’s long-term), but they’ve treated me wonderful. It looks like it might be a lasting relationship.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox