Tonight Andre Berto 28-1 with 22 KO's and Robert Guerrero 30-1-1 with 18 KO's, both 29 years old, will fight in the main event at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California for the interim WBC welterweight title.
This scheduled 12 round bout will be televised live in the U.S. on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Berto vs Guerrero time:
10 PM ET/ 7PM PT (The main event, Berto vs Guerrero, will follow Keith Thurman vs Carlos Quintana which has a start time of 10PM EST)
This fight will end a 14 and a half month absence from the ring for two-time welterweight title holder Andre Berto. Since his June rematch with Victor Ortiz was cancelled because he tested positive for steroids, this will be the first time Berto has been in the ring since September 2011.
Berto was cleared of "Illegal steroid" charges
The California State Athletic Commission has since granted Andre Berto a boxing license to fight in the state following all the pre-licensing requirements, including a drug test.
In a news release last summer after he was cleared of the charges, Berto and his lawyer, Howard Jacobs, revealed that the drug test Andre Berto took last May came up positive for extremely small amounts of a banned substance that was inconsistent with any performance enhancing effect and was much more consistent with contamination of an otherwise acceptable food or supplement.
Berto further said in the statement, "As someone who truly believes in a clean sport, I have never used any type of performance enhancing drugs. Everything I've achieved was the result of hard work and determination. I am excited that this whole situation is behind me, and I look forward to returning to the ring."
Berto wasn't Guerrero's first choice
When Robert Guerrero was originally offered the fight with Berto he declined because of the positive drug test. After reconsidering the offer, Guerrero changed his mind when both Berto and Guerrero contractually agreed to mandatory drug testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
In an interview with USA Today Guerrero said, "I did want to fight (Timothy) Bradley knowing that he came off that fight with Manny Pacquiao, and he's on top of his game, and he's undefeated and you're looking for the best fights. But unfortunately he pulled out of the fight. He wants to sit and wait for, I guess, the Pacquiao rematch."
"I looked for the best possible fight that was available, and that's the fight with Berto."
Odds makers have Berto the slight favorite
Robert Guerrero, who has won titles in four different weight classes, will be fighting in his backyard in Ontario, California. Even though fighting in front of a hometown crowd is considered an advantage, Andre Berto will be the betting favorite Saturday night.
Berto vs Guerero odds: Berto is at -120 and Guerrero +150.
Berto has won two world titles during his six years as a welterweight. Having fought at 147 pounds for six years, Andre is more of a natural welterweight and is the bigger man.
Just three years ago Guerrero was campaigning at super featherweight (130 lbs).
For those playing the odds, Guerrero looks to be overpowered and outgunned by Berto.
Guerrero's first fight in the welterweight division was July 28th and he handled himself well against the then-undefeated Selcuk Aydin, winning a unanimous decision; 116-112 on two of the judge's scorecards and 117-111 on the third.
And Guerrero has built momentum in his career; he hasn't lost a fight in seven years. The only loss being a split decision when he fought as a featherweight in 2005. He's also more refined and the more intelligent of the two.
But it's not likely Guerrero will be able hurt Berto. If the fight ends early, Andre Berto is the favorite to win by KO.
The bottom line
Even though Andre Berto hasn't fought in over 14 months, I think he's the bigger, stronger natural welterweight and, if need be, will shed any ring rust quickly.
Berto is looking to pick up where he left off, last seen winning the IBF title in September 2011. Look for Berto to end this fight with a middle to late round stoppage.