SAN DIEGO – November 24, 2012 – It’s Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll need a break from football and you know your butt’s going to be on the couch anyway. You might as well watch this doubleheader from the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark.” The fight airs at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
It’s been a rough year for Andre Berto (28-1-0, 22 KOs). He lost a hard fight to Victor Ortiz in April 2011, then tested positive for steroids and blew his chance at a rematch. His substitute Josesito Lopez won and got the chance to face Canelo Alvarez in September. Meanwhile Berto has been working to find his way back to the standing he once had in the division. The California State Athletic Commission cleared him of the drug charges, setting the stage for tonight’s bout.
His opponent, Robert Guerrero of California, (30-1-1, 19 KOs) has a WBC welterweight title on the line, but it’s not all that meaningful in a division with the likes of Pacquiao, Mayweather, and Canelo Alvarez.
What’s on the line is the careers of these two boxers. Berto needs the win to rehabilitate himself and get back into the mix as a serious contender. Despite being cleared, he needs to remove the stigma of his suspension.
Guerrero wants to establish his credentials for a big name fight – and he means big as in Mayweather big. Despite 32 fights, Guerrero doesn’t have a commensurate fan base. His major accomplishments were in the featherweight and super featherweight, not all that appealing to American fans. He gave up his super featherweight title in 2010 when his wife Casey was diagnosed with leukemia to be in her corner during her fight.
Guerrero won his welterweight debut in July with a unanimous decision over Selcuk Aydin.
At the weigh in Friday afternoon, Berto came in at 146.8 pounds, Guerrero came in at 146.4 pounds. Both look to be fit and ready for their bout. And yes, there will be testing for performance enhancing drugs.
Berto will go for well-placed, well-timed hard shots to see what Guerrero can take at this weight. Guerrero says he’s the better boxer and will take charge of the ring to beat Berto. Both need to be alert defensively and not get careless while looking for their own opportunities. It’s an evenly matched fight and it should produce worthwhile action. The loser risks being forgotten in the most competitive division in boxing, the most devastating kind of loss for a boxer.
On the HBO undercard, Keith Thurman (18-0, 17 KOs) and former welterweight champion Carlos Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs) of Puerto Rico go at 152 pounds. This is one of those testing the waters fights. Thurman has an impressive record on paper. He’s only had to go the distance once. Thurman would like to add a more well-known name to his resume by beating Quintana. He needs an impressive performance to start being considered by his promoters at Golden Boy for more significant opponents and opportunities. Golden Boy can put Thurman in play if he performs well.
Quintana has the potential for an upset, but when he has faced quality boxers he hasn’t done well. His corner stopped his fight with Miguel Cotto after five rounds; he beat Paul Williams in an unanimous decision but in the rematch four months later lost by a first round TKO. He also lost to Andre Berto in April 2010 by an eighth round TKO. He won his last two fights but the 36-year-old Quintana is mainly a “test pattern” fighter for up and coming athletes like Thurman.
HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” airs at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on HBO and also on HBOGo.com.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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