By: Albert Alvarez
Photo: Premier Boxing Champions
On Saturday night April 22 Live from the Barclays Center on Showtime, Shawn Porter(26-2-1) and Andre Berto(31-4) will do battle in a WBC welterweight eliminator bout.
This bout brings much intrigue due to the fact that not only are both fighters speedy and hard hitting, but both fighters also have a lot riding on the line.
For Porter, a big win over Berto gets him into position for a possible Thurman rematch, and as for Berto, a win over Porter gets him better footing towards the top of this very loaded with talent welterweight division.
So let’s dig into this clash and take a closer look at both fighters as we breakdown their strengths and weaknesses to determine which fighter I see as the victor come this Saturday night.
Starting with Berto, Berto employs a stiff jab but doesn’t always use it to set up his power shots. Berto prefers to clinch his foes off of a jab so that he can begin working on the inside.
To me, Berto is at his very best when he doubles up on his jab and then mixes it up with a right cross to then force his way towards his opponents center to pepper them with body blows. Against Porter, Berto must look to find a home for a right cross-left hook combination that will be there for him, Berto must also launch his fight changing killer right uppercut when operating at close toe to toe exchanges.
As for Porter, Porter is a very physical immoveable power punching fighter that loves to punish his opponents mid-section. Porter however a lot of the times falls in love with his power punches so much that by the time of the release of his shots, his feet are often left in a bad position to get countered.
Porter must find a comfortable rhythm to counter Berto with lead left check hooks and must push Berto towards the ropes to land his vicious overhand right. When fighting on the inside, Porter must outwork Berto as much as possible to help him steal those close rounds.
So who shall be victorious in what should be a very explosive telephone booth affair?
In watching fight tape on both fighters, I see Berto overshooting Porter on several occasions. Porter will take advantage of Berto’s inaccurate punches by getting the better of the close range exchanges by punching with Berto, thus landing the harder shots.
Late in the fight, I see Berto tiring himself out and will then lean on the ropes taking unnecessary shots as he steals breaths in hopes for his second wind to kick in. I feel Porter will be the better-conditioned fighter and his busier work rate will be apparent as he’ll out work Berto on the inside for longer periods.
Give me Shawn Porter over Andre Berto in a fight that will have some exciting back and forth action, but will also have some dull moments due to both fighters bad feet placement, causing shots to fly over the target.
My pick: Porter over Berto in a 8 rounds to 4 unanimous decision.