Berto vs Guerrero Time: 10PM EST/ 7PM EST/ 3AM London
Andre Berto, who was touted by many as boxing's next megastar two years ago, has had somewhat of a roller coaster ride ever since.
In an exciting knockdown-filled affair in April 2011, Victor Ortiz(then 29-2-2, 22 KOs) dethroned previously unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (then 27-1, 21 KOs) winning a unanimous decision at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Both men fought valiantly in a title fight that featured four knockdowns as the back n' forth bout, a Fight of the Year candidate for 2011, kept observers on the edge of their seats throughout.
Following the loss of his WBC title, Berto won the IBF's welterweight strap defeating the tough Jan Zaveck on September 3, 2011. In the aftermath of the Zaveck bout, the IBF ordered Berto to take on his mandatory challenger, however he declined in order to take a high-money, high-profile rematch with Victor Ortiz. As a result of his decision to not face his mandatory, the IBF stripped him of its version of the welterweight title leaving Berto title-less.
But relinquishing his IBF title wasnt the only disappointment for Andre. Ortiz vs Berto II, initially scheduled in February, was postponed as a result of a shoulder injury sustained by Berto.
It was rescheduled for July but in the weeks leading up to the bout Berto tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone (19-nortestosterone), a well-known performance enhancing drug (PED) many athletes have been busted for. As a result, Berto vs Ortiz II would be cancelled and Andre's reputation would take a major hit even though it was questionable he attempted to cheat.
Now after more then one year without a fight, Berto will take on a tough customer in Robert Guerrero.
Robert Guerrero, not unlike his foe Saturday night, has also been plagued with personal troubles and injury. After Guerrero's fight with Michael Katsidis in April 2011 he sustained a torn tendon in his rotator cuff. He underwent surgery to repair the injury but was out of action for over a year before his points win over Selcuk Aydin this past July. With the victory, Guerrero became the WBC interim welterweight champion.
And of course, Guerrero's biggest battle was helping his wife defeat Leukemia for the better part of the last several years.
The outcome of Berto vs Guerrero will shake the welterweight division to its core as the winner will undoubtedly be in-line to take on top names in the division such as Tim Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and perhaps even Floyd Mayweather.
In order to unseat the WBC Welterweight interim champ, Ander Berto must utilize his speeed and explosiveness. However, his punching power will most likely make all the difference in this bout. Both fighters have great boxing ability and will should nullify each other in this category. Guerrero doesn't seem to have tremendous power at this weight and Berto is the naturally bigger man.
Will Berto's size and proven punching power at 147 lbs be the deciding factor?
Robert Guerrero must utilize a busy, effective jab coupled with and followed by combinations. If he can do that and quickly change angles to avoid trouble, he stands a fine chance of winning.
Prediction: The bout will most likely end in a decision victory in favor of Berto.
Both fighters are world class with great chins, tenacity, and polished skills so baring any cuts a stoppage or knockout is not likely. Don't expect Berto vs Guerrero to be a chess-match - It'll be action packed bout with both fighters landing huge shots on one another.
Tune in to HBO to see which fighter will prevail in their quest to greatness.
The bout will follow Keith Thurman vs Carlos Quintana. Start time for the Berto vs Guerrero card is 10PM EST.