Andre Berto and Shawn Porter set for WBC welterweight title eliminator fight
Two of the top welterweights in the world will battle for a chance at the title this April
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Andre Berto and Shawn Porter both made names for themselves with aggression and a willingness to fight. Now, the former welterweight titlists will pair their exciting styles against one another.
Berto and Porter will meet April 22 in a Showtime Boxing main event in Brooklyn. They announced the fight on Saturday at the Barclays Center in a news conference before the start of the 147-pound unification bout between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.
The 12-round bout will be a title eliminator for the WBC belt held by Garcia.
Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs), a native of Akron, Ohio, who fights out of Las Vegas, outpointed Devon Alexander to win the IBF title in 2013 before losing it to current titleholder Kell Brook the following year.
“The only thing on my mind right now is the WBC title,” Porter said. “That is the only thing on my mind. I turned pro a long time ago, and not long after, I made it a goal of mine to win that WBC title, and I feel that’s about to happen.”
Porter, 29, looks to rebound from his close title loss to Thurman last June by unanimous decision. That fight, also in Brooklyn, was a 2016 fight of the year candidate.
“I’m not looking past or through you at all, Andre Berto,” Porter said. “I respect you as a man; I respect you as a fighter. We are friends, but like you all saw with me and Keith Thurman, we are friends, too. The night of the fight, it’s all about the business.”
Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) has been largely inactive since his wide September 2015 loss in the final bout of Floyd Mayweather’s career. He returned just once in 2016, when he blew away Victor Ortiz via fourth-round knockout to avenge a loss in their all-action 2011 welterweight title bout.
“Andre Berto is never in a boring fight,” said Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president of Showtime Sports. “He never has been and he never will be.”
Berto, 33, a native of Winter Haven, Florida, is just 4-4 since 2010.
“My team and I have already been putting in a few weeks at the gym,” Berto said. “We are dialed in; we are focused. I’ve already had the WBC [title] before, and I’m itching, itching to get it back. I already took out the man [Ortiz] who took it away from me in my last fight, and I’m looking forward to taking out everybody in front of me.”
The bout will be part of what Espinoza called “an unofficial welterweight tournament,” which includes Thurman-Garcia and Brook’s upcoming title defense against unbeaten phenom Errol Spence Jr. That bout will also air on Showtime at a date to be announced.
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