By Carlos Boogs
Shawn Porter has promised to make a big statement on Saturday night, when he faces Andre Berto in a battle of former welterweight champions from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) vs. Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) has been approved as a final eliminator for the WBC welterweight title. The fight will be televised by Showtime.
The winner will get a mandatory crack at WBC, WBA unified world champion Keith Thurman.
Last June, at the same Brooklyn venue, Porter lost a twelve round decision to Thurman in a very exciting contest. Porter has not fought since that defeat.
Thurman returned to the ring last month to win a decision over undefeated Danny Garcia to unify the WBC, WBA world titles.
Berto, like Porter, is also hungry for a world title shot. After losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2015, Berto bounced back with a revenge knockout of Victor Ortiz last April in California.
Porter not only wants to win - he wants to make a statement that sends a loud message to Thurman.
"We prepared for everything. We're prepared for 12 rounds. We're prepared to throw the right punches to slow him down and knock him down. We're prepared to outbox him or to be aggressive and take the fight to him. This is a very important fight for me. I've watched Berto since the amateurs and on into the pros. I've seen him do it all. I've seen the best of his career and the worst. I'm going to do what it takes to end up on the right side of this," Porter said.
"I was at the Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia and I thought that it could have been me that night. But I've reminded myself that my time is coming and this is the first step towards that. I'm going to let Keith Thurman know that I'm coming for him. I'm going to make sure that he knows that I want him. I'm going to do everything I can to get that fight after I get past this one."