Saturday, September 27, 2008

Haitian-American WBC Boxing Champion Andre Berto Defeats Steve Forbes, Luis Collazo Next

By Mark Vester

At the Staples Center in Carson, California, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (23-0, 19 KOS) won a twelve-round unanimous decision over veteran Steve Forbes (33-7, 9 KOS). The scores were 118-109, 118-109, and 116-111.

The first round was an exhibition of boxing skills. Both men let their hands go at the end of the first and did land some decent shots. Forbes began to use his own speed and was landing some hard crisp shots in the second, Berto began to fight back in the final minute and Forbes would then battle back near the bell. Berto would re-establish himself in the fight when he began to back Forbes up in the third with some hard punches. They stood close and traded combinations in the fourth, Berto getting the better of the exchanges.

Berto put on a display of speed and power in the sixth, Forbes began to put in more work to the body. Berto continued to press the action hard in the seventh, pushing Forbes back, but the veteran still kept exchanging. Berto’s uppercut and hard combinations would hit the target often during the seventh-round action. A Berto uppercut in the eight sent Forbes’ mouthpiece flying in the sky. A lot of body damage exchanged with both getting in their licks. Forbes began to slow down in the ninth and being damaged to the head often, and the pattern continued in the tenth.

Berto would miss very few shots in the eleventh, making it look like target practice at times. Forbes continued to try and landed two big left hooks in the final seconds. During the final round, Berto tried what he could to do more damage. Forbes was very defensive and made it to the final bell.

Berto is now believed to be fighting Luis Collazo (29-3, 14KOs), ranked number-one by the WBC, in his next fight. Collazo should be another good test.

Round By Round Review

Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward are the hosts.

A feature airs on the rise of the Berto family to fighting prominence.

Steve Forbes Vs. Andre Berto - WBC Welterweight Championship (12X3)
Referee: James Jen Kin

R1: Berto drives Forbes against the ropes early and lands a combination. Berto’s speed advantage is apparent early. Right over the top by Forbes, Body shot by Berto. Forbes is doing a good job of not being caught lush with Berto’s shots. Berto catches him with an uppercut near the end of the round.

Berto was 12 of 55 and Forbes 13 of 54 in round 1.

R2: Now Forbes is the one showing good hand speed, maybe surprising Berto a bit. Forbes lands a left hook and then takes a shot back. Forbes lands a nice combination as they fight in the center of the ring. Forbes’ round 10-9.

8 of 46 for Berto, 14 of 64 for Forbes.

R3: Forbes comes out strong in the third with another combination. Berto with a right uppercut. Forbes with some shots to the body, he’s getting off quicker in the exchanges. They tie up, are separated and tie up and are separated again. Wash rince repeat toward the end of the round. A better round for Berto as he did sneak in some shots but Forbes is making Berto react to him.

Ledderman has Berto up 29-28 winning Rounds 1 and 3.

R4: Berto with a couple of body shots and a right uppercut, and takes a left hook. Forbes bleeding on the left side of his face. Berto doing a better job of slipping Forbes’ punches. A ruling was made before the start of the round that Forbes’ cut was caused by an accidental headbutt. Berto finishes the round with a nice combination with a left hook and right over the top.

Replay showed it was a left that caught Forbes in the eye.

Compubox numbers were about even in the round.

R5: The round was slower in terms of pace than some of the earlier rounds but there were a couple of nice exchanges, still Berto getting the better of it. Berto landed all power shots in the round, no jabs. 19 of 52 for Berto in the round, 13 of 60 for Forbes.

R6: Another round with Berto getting off quicker and featuring a nice exchange of punches. No real bombs have landed in the fight up to now because both men are doing a good job of avoiding taking clean shots. Still Berto is up handly. 16 to 8 connect advantage for Berto in the round.

Ledderman’s card is 59-55 for Berto based on effective punching. Merchant has it 4 rounds to 2.

R7: Berto lands some nice shots including a big right that puts him in a good groove until the ref steps in and interrupts things. Another clear round for Berto.

The connect advantage over the last 2 rounds is 35-15 illustrating how Berto is pulling away.

R8: Berto warned for holding early. Berto lands a nice uppercut which sends Forbes’ mouthpiece flying to the canvas. Berto misses with a left, comes back with a right which Forbes blocks. Round ends and another one for Berto. They show a brief video package on Berto’s uppercuts that he’s landed in the fight.

R9: Berto landing the right with effectiveness and the announcers talk about how Berto would handle taller welterweights like Williams and Margarito. Another round for Berto.

Ledderman has it 89-82, 8 rounds to 1 for Berto. He says Forbes needs to stop going shot for shot in the middle of the ring with Berto.

R10: Another round a lot like a majority of them so far. Berto getting to the punches quicker frustrating Forbes with his hand speed and his favorite combination, the right to the side of the head followed by the right uppercut. He’s thrown that a lot tonight. Another Berto round.

R11: Forbes with a couple of nice rights. Berto comes back and lands a couple of good shots to the body. Announcers talk about whether Forbes will retire if he loses the fight. Forbes with a left hook to end the round, his best since the second.

R12: Announcers talk about Berto’s hand speed and Emanuel thinks its the fastest he’s seen in ages, all while Berto lands a nice combination. Forbes has never been stopped and not even knocked down in his career. Berto’s conditioning is good as he’s still moving like he did in the earlier rounds. Just another quiet round and another for Berto.

Ledderman gives rounds 2 and 11 for Forbes, but has Berto winning handly and I’d agree.

Winner: Andre Berto - 3:00 R12 (Unanimous Decision/118-109, 118-109, 116-111)
Berto landed 42 more punches, threw 12 more punches and landed at a higher percentage.

Source: Combat-Hooligans.Com - SaddoBoxing.Com

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