Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Andre Berto: I Almost Walked Away After The Ortiz Rematch

image

By Thomas Gerbasi

After nearly 14 years in the pro game, Andre Berto doesn’t get taken in by the pomp and circumstance of a big main event fight anymore. These days, he’s all about getting on a plane and getting to the fight as soon as possible.

“Yeah, I think that’s where we are nowadays,” he laughs. “We’ve done this for so long, it’s like, ‘Okay, all the work’s been done, let’s get to it.’ All the young boy excitement just to see things, that tends to dim out a little bit because we’ve been to that stage plenty of times. So we’re ready to just go to war.”

On Saturday, Berto makes the walk to the ring for the 37th time in a FOX-televised main event against Devon Alexander at NYCB Live: Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York. For the 34-year-old former welterweight champion, it isn’t about titles or the “big” fights anymore. It’s about pulling off the rarest of feats in boxing: leaving the sport on his own terms.

Berto almost did that in April 2016, when he avenged his 2011 loss to Victor Ortiz with a stirring fourth-round knockout.

“I almost walked away after the Ortiz fight, which a lot of people don’t know,” he said. “That Ortiz fight, I said, ‘Okay, that’s the one I wanted.’”

But almost no one leaves on a win like that. When you’re back on top of the world, it’s hard to go back to civilian life. So Berto got an offer to face Shawn Porter in April 2017 and got stopped in nine rounds, only the second knockout loss of his career. And he wasn’t leaving on that note, but he did take time to regroup.

“After the Ortiz fight, I said I’d stay on for a little bit and it’s that competitive nature where I said let’s try to get another world title before we leave,” he recalled. “But the Porter fight was just messy. A lot of headbutts, just a messy fight. It didn’t sit right with me. So I took time off, spent time with my family and prayed about it.”

andre-berto (2)_1
 
Berto always stayed in shape in the ensuing year after the loss to Porter, and he was offered return fights, but his response was always, “I’m cool right now.” Then came the offer to fight Alexander, and it was time to return.

“I felt like they brought the right situation to me and I felt great,” Berto said. “I had a chance to heal up and take that time to rejuvenate my body and I’m still hungry for it. And it’s not hungry thinking that I’m gonna go for a run. It’s the hunger that I want to finish how I want to finish out. It may be one, it may be two, whatever the case may be, but that’s the motivation and the push now. I know I’m gonna close this book and I want to finish it off in a certain kind of fashion.”

Maybe the way his friend and gym mate Andre Ward did it. Both entered the pro game after appearances in the 2004 Olympics, Ward for the United States, Berto for Haiti, and both enjoyed longevity in the pro game that many of their peers from the amateur days couldn’t match.

“We (Berto and Ward) were just talking about that in the gym the other day,” Berto said. “There was a kid who came in the gym from Australia and he was asking questions. He said how does it feel to be in the top ten in the world for 14, 15 years? That’s crazy. It’s a testament to what type of athletes we’ve been for so long. We’ve seen a lot of hot prospects, hot world champions, and two, three years later, you never hear from them again. So just to be able to go through life’s battles, not just in the ring, but outside the ring, and still be relevant and still have that good weight to your name is a blessing.”

Berto has earned his place in the annals of the sport for a career well fought. There were championships, several title defenses, memorable wars and even the spectacle that goes along with a fight against Floyd Mayweather. Berto didn’t always come out on top, but he always showed up to fight. And there’s something to be said for that.

Having covered his career since before the Olympics, I belatedly congratulate him on the tenth anniversary of his first title-winning effort against Miguel Angel Rodriguez in 2008.

“Damn, that’s crazy,” he laughs. “Ten years? Time flies. It feels like it just happened three or four years ago.”

Berto is still a young man at 34 – soon to be 35 in September – but as he enters the final stages of his career, he is entitled to get a little nostalgic. He recalls looking at a recent social media post from his amateur days.

“There’s maybe two of us still out here from that picture,” he laughs. “Where did everybody go? It’s like high school.”

Andre Berto is still here, still fighting, still hungry. But he won’t be here forever. And he’s smart enough to know that.

“I’m fortunate enough to still be able to do it, still be healthy and still be able to speak intelligently and still have all my wit,” he said. “When you’ve been in this boxing game for a long time, you see a lot of people come and go. And at this point, it’s going to be the satisfaction of leaving the way I want to leave and to finish out this career strong.”

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by JimmyD729 on 08-02-2018

[QUOTE=rudy;18987754]Please show me proof he was on PED You must be a red neck who hate that black people or more powerful than a red neck pig[/QUOTE] Berto did fail a drug test. Berto and Ortiz were supposed to do…

Comment by nacho daddy on 08-02-2018

[QUOTE=daggum;18987497]ohhh it was contamination he wasn't cheating after all. i have never heard that one before. its almost like ped's leave your system after using them. also the "he would be stupid to use that therefore he didn't!" is a…

Comment by nacho daddy on 08-02-2018

[QUOTE=rudy;18987754]Please show me proof he was on PED You must be a red neck who hate that black people or more powerful than a red neck pig[/QUOTE] hey black panther show me where lance Armstrong failed a drug test the…

Comment by rudy on 08-02-2018

[QUOTE=nacho daddy;18986718]berto had a good team around him for going all that time on PEDs and not getting caught. maybe some of holyfields people worked for berto[/QUOTE] Please show me proof he was on PED You must be a red…

Comment by daggum on 08-02-2018

[QUOTE=TrillScottHeron;18987091]Your right he did fail. With “ultra-trace amounts of Nandrolone in the low parts per [b]trillion[/b] range and consistent with contamination not intent." Only a fool would take nandrolone as their steroid of choice and not think they would get…

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (20)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Andy Ruiz is Going To Conquer Again - Don't Sleep on Him, Says Johnson Eleider Alvarez-Joe Smith Jr. Agree To Terms For Title Eliminator Rey Vargas Not Bothered By Luis Nery's Talk, Willing To Fight Him Adrien Broner Embraces Idea of Vergil Ortiz Showdown Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin in Play For August 15 Arum Would Love To Take Pacquiao vs. Crawford To Bahrain Fury: Wilder Will Take Trilogy For One Reason - It's Called Money! John Hedges Inks Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Kambosos-Selby, Ritson-Vazquez Receive New Dates in October Spence: A Lot Of Boxers On Edge, Can't Wait For Boxing To Pick Back Up Nonito Donaire Excited By Thought Of Rigondeaux Rematch At 118 Pounds Tyson Fury: I Don't Think I Could Get Motivated To Fight Without A Crowd Joshua: If I Was Pulev, I Wouldn't Step Aside To Allow Fury Fight, Either Claressa Shields: I'm Going To Whoop Marie-Eve Dicaire's Ass Raeese Aleem Eager For Showdown With Stephen Fulton Warren on Joshua: Fury Has Better Jab, Chin, Punch, Speed, Footwork! Arum: Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua Deal Can Be Done in One Day! Adam Lopez Vows To Put on a Show on Top Rank Card in Vegas Holyfield Explains Why "He's Glad" Mike Tyson Bit Piece of Ear Off Davison: Wilder is Always Dangerous, Fury is The More Versatile Fighter McBride: I Beat Mike Tyson - But I Know That Wasn't Tyson of His Prime Arum On ESPN, Top Rank Return: If We F--k It Up, It’s Gonna Be Bad For Boxing Hearn is "Very, Very Confident" Fury-Joshua Will Happen in 2021 Tyson Fury Deserves Biggest Contract in Boxing, Says Warren Chisora: I'll Be All Over Usyk - I Won't Stop Chucking Leather Andres Campos Hits The United States To Join Moloney Brothers Jeff Horn is Staying in Shape as He Wait For New Date For Tszyu Showdown Terence Crawford: Pacquiao Wants The Fight; I Think It Can Get Made Mayweather: I Want To Help Black Fighters Grow, It's OK I'm Training Davis-Rival Haney Fredrickson: I'm 100% Prepared, I'm 100% Focused on Alex Saucedo Laila Ali Demanded $5 Million For Claressa Shields Fight News: Eduardo Ramirez, Jorge Cota, Carlos Molina, Talgat Shaiken Jack Catterall Warns Jose Ramirez: Our Fight Will Happen - I Won't Be Denied! Hrgovic Would Fight Joshua Tomorrow if Deal Came, Says Promoter Giovani Santillan Has Bright Future Under Top Rank, Says Manager A Long Day's Journey Into 'Nights' – Bingeing Through HBO's Legendary Documentaries Tyson Fury Tried To FaceTime Joshua, Hearn in Recent Days Holyfield Only Wants To Face Fighters His Age - Lewis, Tyson, Bowe Andy Ruiz Celebrates One Year Anniversary of His Shocker Over Joshua George Floyd's Family Accepts Mayweather's Offer To Pay For His Funeral
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement