Saturday, September 27, 2008

VIDEO:Haitian-American Berto To Make His First WBC Welterweight Defence On Spt. 27, 2008

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Berto vs Rodriguez 06/21/2008 "][/caption]

LOS ANGELES, USA (AFP): Andre Berto, flying under the radar in the welterweight division despite his World Boxing Council belt, hopes to raise his profile with his first title defence against Steve Forbes on Saturday.

Berto, a Florida-based Haitian-American who captured the title vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr with a seventh-round technical knockout of Miguel Angel Rodriguez in June, brings an undefeated record of 22-0, with 19 knockouts, to the fight at the Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.

Even so, World Boxing Association champ Antonio Margarito of Mexico, International Boxing Federation champ Joshua Clottey and former champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico still draw more attention in the division.

The title fight is co-feature on the Home Depot card with Shane Mosley's non-title super welterweight bout against Nicaragua's Ricardo Mayorga.

"I'm just glad to be in the position I'm in now," Berto said this week. "I watched Mosley and Mayorga on TV growing up. "I saw them win their first titles when I was an amateur. Now I'm up at the podium with them."

Forbes, 31, said the younger champion had plenty of talent, but added that he comes in with plenty of motivation thanks to his desire to add a 147-pound title to a resume that has already included a 130-pound crown.

"Andre Berto is a talented, talented fighter," Forbes said. "This fight is very important for me. It's the first title fight I've had since leaving the 130-pound division. That has historical significance for me because there aren't too many fighters who have won titles at 130 and 147 pounds.

"Someone schooled me recently on this, and although a few have won titles in both weight classes, nobody's gone straight from junior lightweight to welterweight - they won titles in-between."

While the majority of Berto's victories have come inside the distance, Forbes has never been knocked out.

Berto says he'll look for the knockout, but is ready to go the distance if he has to.

In contrast to the respectful pre-fight exchanges between Berto and Forbes, Mosley and, characteristically, Mayorga, were flinging verbal barbs at each other this week.

"I already retired Fernando Vargas, an LA boxing icon," Mayorga, 35, said Wednesday as the fighters met the press at a Los Angeles hotel. "I plan to retire another on Saturday night.

"Mosley needs to be at home doing the dishes for his wife."

Mayorga's last fight was a unanimous decision over Vargas, but that was back in November of last year, which took his record to 28-6-1, with 22 wins inside the distance.

"Mayorga tells a lot of jokes and stories, but he always comes up short in his fights," Mosley, 37, shot back.

"Yes, he won against Fernando Vargas in November, but I knocked Vargas out. That's going to be the difference Saturday night."

Mosley's last fight was also in November of last year, when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Cotto. He brings a record of 44-5 with 37 knockouts to the bout.

Andre Berto Talks Upcoming Steve Forbes Fight September 25, 2008

Andre Berto Interview September 24, 2008

WBC Welterweight Title Match

Andre Berto Vs. Steve Forbes, 12 Rounds

Match Date: September 27, 2008

Location: Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. [HBO - 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT]

Source: CNN

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