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Porter Opens Door to Thurman Rematch; Stops Berto in Nine

Berto vs Porter
Berto vs Porter

By Derek Bonnett


The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, fast becoming one of boxing’s hottest venues, played host to a world class double-header featuring Shawn Porter in the main event against Andre Berto in a twelve round welterweight bout. The two former world champions at welterweight vied for a crack at unified champion Keith Thurman in this title eliminator. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo put his light middleweight title on the line against, first time world title challenger, Charles Hatley. The live action was aired on Showtime.


Porter, out of the ring for ten months following his narrow points loss to Thurman last June, had much to prove given he has not yet surrendered hopes of becoming the elite talent in the welterweight division. The former champion jumped out to a quick start against the U.S.-born Haitian, landing a quick jab with heavy steam behind it. Porter, 29, used his brawn to muscle Berto around any time the former two-time titlist tried to clinch. Berto, good with the jab as well, doubled up to clip Porter on occasion in a tight first frame. Porter started attacking the body in round two and hardly let up until the finish. The bout remained physical and warranted much interaction from the referee. A clash of heads cut Porter over the left eye. When the action resumed, Porter continued to lay on the pressure and dropped Berto with a clipping right hook in the final seconds of the round. Unwisely and against the wishes of his corner, Berto spent a lot of time on the ropes in rounds three through five. Any time Berto tried to hold, Porter wrestled himself free and tagged the former Haitian Olympian in the torso. In the fourth Berto was also cut by a clash of heads. Berto’s best round came in the fifth as he managed to keep his jab busier and found a home for his uppercut.


Berto’s counter right scored well in round six, but even his best offensive moments were overshadowed by Porter’s busier hands in terms of scoring. Porter’s pace increased as he hunted a stoppage. Berto would slip to the canvas in the sixth and appeared wobbly at times in round seven. Porter’s jab stung Berto, 33, in the final seconds of the seventh. Porter put in a marvelous display of body work as he bombed Berto’s basement for nearly the full three minutes of the round. Berto hit the canvas again in the ninth after a left hook separated him from his equilibrium further. Legs either too tight or too wobbly, Porter battered Berto and had him stumbling along the ropes in need of saving. The referee intervened at the 1:31 mark.


Porter improved his dossier to 27-2-1 (17). Cut over both eyes from clashes of heads, Porter now eyes a rematch with Thurman later this year possibly. Berto, disappointed in defeat, eyes retirement from the sport which treated him well and to which he gave every ounce of courage. Berto fell to 31-5-0 (24).

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