By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Shawn Porter suspects Andre Berto is simply trying to rationalize his technical knockout loss to Porter last year.
That’s the only explanation that made sense to Porter once he was told Berto blamed his loss on Porter’s repeated head-butts during a conference call last week (https://www.boxingscene.com/berto-porter-fight-bullsht-it-all-head-butts--130269). Porter dropped Berto once in the second round and twice in the ninth round on his way to stopping him in the ninth round of their April 2017 fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“At the end of the day, there were hands being thrown, and that’s what ended the fight,” Porter told BoxingScene.com. “So he can talk about all that he wants to, but the first time he went down it was a punch. It wasn’t a head-butt that knocked him down. So we all go through the fire and we all go through it differently. Him and I went through the fire with some head-butts, I came out of it strong and he did not.”
The 34-year-old Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) is scheduled to fight for the first time Saturday night since Porter beat him 15 months ago. The former WBC welterweight champion will meet former IBF welterweight champ Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round, 147-pound bout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York (FOX; 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).
“He’s fighting [Saturday night], so he’s gotta make everyone believe that he can win this fight,” Porter said. “Any blemish on his record and anything that he’s been through, he has to come up with a reason why he’s been through it and why he can be successful again. I think that we all know that he was knocked out in our fight. He wasn’t head-butted into a loss. He was knocked out into a loss.”
Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) has his own fight on which to focus – a showdown with Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) for the vacant WBC welterweight title September 8 at Barclays Center. He’ll pay attention to Alexander-Berto, though, and expects the skillful southpaw from St. Louis to beat Berto.
“It’s not personal for me at all, but I think that Devon Alexander is gonna be successful that night,” said Porter, who defeated Alexander by unanimous decision to win the IBF welterweight title in December 2013 at Barclays Center. “I think that Devon Alexander has more in the tank and more to bring to the ring than Berto at this point.”
When asked if he believes Berto is finished at the championship level, Porter responded, “Just about. In this fight game, you can go through some wars. But after a few, your body’s taxed. And I think he’s made it to that point now where he’ll look fresh coming to the ring, but it won’t be long until he doesn’t have that fighting spirit, the quickness, the reflexes, the speed – everything that it takes to be a winner in the ring.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.