Berto Believed Shoulder Injury Would End His Career

By Keith Idec

Andre Berto is much more appreciative of his boxing career now that it was nearly taken away from him.

Berto (29-3, 22 KOs) admitted during a conference call Monday he believed at times that the debilitating shoulder injury that kept him out of the ring for 13½ months in 2013 and 2014 would prevent him from boxing again. That’s how taxing surgery to repair a tendon in his right shoulder following a July 2013 technical knockout loss to Jesus Soto Karass and Berto’s subsequent rehabilitation was on the former welterweight champion mentally and physically.

Berto’s battle through that adversity sharpened his focus during training camp for a 10-round fight Friday night against Josesito Lopez (33-6, 19 KOs, 1 NC) in Ontario, Calif. (9 p.m. ET; Spike TV). The 31-year-old Berto, of Winter Haven, Fla., soundly defeated Philadelphia’s Steve Upsher Chambers (24-4-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC) in his first fight following the aforementioned shoulder surgery, but Lopez represents a step up in competition from that mostly easy Sept. 6 bout in Cincinnati.

“If you have watched me and watched all the shit that I’ve been through the last year, year-and-a-half,” Berto said, “you ain’t going to have no choice but to be a different fighter, different person, different man. This whole experience I went through, being in the situation of just injuries here and there, especially after my last situation, tearing my shoulder and going through that rehab, you know, I didn’t think I would be in a position to fight anymore. To be honest, I thought my career was probably going to be over because the injury. I’ve never gone through anything like that in my life. It was just so taxing on me that I really had to learn how to use my right arm all over again. It took me a year, year-and-half.”

The surgery to repair Berto’s shoulder tendon, which he tore during the second round of a fight he lost to Mexico’s Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KOs, 1 NC) by 12th-round technical knockout, required his second lengthy layoff in less than two years. Berto also underwent a procedure in February 2012 to fix a ruptured left biceps, which was primarily responsible for a 14-month gap between bouts.

“When a man goes through those types of obstacles,” Berto said, “he doesn’t have any choice but to stay focused and stay prayed up and see God on a lot of different angles and areas. You don’t have no choice but to be a different man, a different animal. Before I got that opportunity to get back in the gym and get [mediacal] clearance, it was just a whole different life for me, a whole different motivation. Right after my last fight, I was in the gym three or four days after the fight. There was no vacation for me. I just wanted to be back.

"When you’re in a position where you get your gift taken away from you like that, and you get to a point where you’re going to get it back, you really are grateful. You really cherish it. You pull out all the stops to make sure that you’re as efficient as possible. I came into this camp about six pounds overweight. I came into camp in shape. My mindset, my motivation, my determination – everything is just different.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ironmike2012 on 03-10-2015

Berto is done, he took a bad beating from Robert Guerrero (although he was game and won most of the late rounds). He lost to Victor Ortiz and Jesus Soto Karass. If he is not 100% on fight night, he…

Comment by -MAKAVELLI- on 03-10-2015

his shoulder roll was so bad, it injured his shoulder

Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 03-10-2015

I actually think that Berto - Lopez is gonna be much more interesting fight than Floyd - pacquiao..

Comment by bigdunny1 on 03-10-2015

If Berto loses it's because he has nothing left. Berto had a ton of easy spoon fed opponents early his career that inflated his record and over hyped him. But he simply never progressed as a fighter. Then when he…

Comment by Eastcoast on 03-10-2015

Kim & Montoya were talking about Berto on their podcast last night, guess Berto hasn't been looking good in training camp and they were going with Lopez.

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