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Berto: No More Cakewalks in PBC; Everybody Is Fighting Everybody

By Keith Idec

If there was any question as to whether 2017 will be a make-or-break year for Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, Andre Berto affirmatively answered it.

When asked by fighthype.com during a recent training session about what to expect next year, the former WBC welterweight champion was honest about the message Haymon has delivered to fighters he advises and manages that are part of the PBC organization.

“We’ve got a big 2017 coming up,” Berto told fighthype.com in a video posted Wednesday. “You know, everybody on a PBC card got that phone call, and let us know that everybody’s fighting everybody. It ain’t no cakewalks next year. And I think this last card [on Saturday night in Los Angeles] was the first installment of it.

andre-berto

“As you can see, [Jermall Charlo] fought and [Abner] Mares fought [Jesus Cuellar]. These are fights people wanted to see for a while, and they’re making them happen. If we wanna keep getting paid how we gettin’ paid, now they puttin’ us in the fire. So either you’re gonna get burnt, or you’re gonna rise to the occasion.”

Haymon had, according to published reports, more than $500 million with which to work when PBC launched two years ago, thanks to the Waddell & Reed hedge fund used to bankroll his boxing project. It is not known exactly how much of those funds remain, but PBC will televise fewer cards next year and its broadcasts mostly will feature competitive fights as Haymon attempts to make his product more consistently compelling and entice executives for major networks such as CBS, FOX and NBC to pay license fees for boxing content.

Thus far, Haymon has bought time to air PBC cards on free TV networks.

The early portion of PBC’s 2017 schedule reflects Berto’s disclosure.

Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) will defend his WBA world featherweight title in a rematch against Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs), of Rosemead, California, in the main event of a January 28 card in Las Vegas (Showtime). On March 4, WBC world welterweight champion Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, and WBA world welterweight champ Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs), of Clearwater, Florida, are set to meet in a 147-pound championship unification fight at a site to be determined.

Berto, meanwhile, didn’t specify who he’d like to fight next, or if he was asked to fight a specific opponent.

The 33-year-old Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) fought just once in 2016. He knocked out another former WBC welterweight champ, Victor Oritz (31-6-2, 24 KOs), in the fourth round of their April 30 rematch in Carson, California.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by JoeMan on 01-01-2017

[QUOTE=bigdramashow;17317511]wilder and lara didnt get the memos[/QUOTE] Let's hope Yuri Foreman is the last cakewalk for Lara. Don't care about Wilder or any of the fighters in the heavier divisions.

Comment by JoeMan on 01-01-2017

It's 2017. No more cakewalks in PBC, according to Berto. We'll see.

Comment by JoeMan on 12-31-2016

We'll soon see if 2017 is a better year for boxing.

Comment by soul_survivor on 12-31-2016

[QUOTE=kej718;17317500]Like I said what fights are there then? Badou Jack - James DeGale Keith Thurman - Danny Garcia Anthony Joshua - Wladimir Klitschko All of those will be on Showtime. What am I missing in terms of significant fights that…

Comment by The Mack. on 12-30-2016

wilder and lara didnt get the memos

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