Just hours away before Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman unify their respective welterweight world titles, another major fight was made official.
At the same venue Thurman and Garcia’s highly anticipated bout is to be contested, Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter was announced for an April 22 battle at the Barclays Center. He two men did a face-off just before the opening contest of the Thurman vs. Garcia card even began.
The fight will be a WBC welterweight title eliminator. Garcia currently holds the WBC belt, but that could change after his fight against Thurman is finished. Porter said he is focused on winning another world title after being the IBF welterweight champion from 2013-14.
“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.I’m not looking past or through you at all, Andre Berto. 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 had arguably the quote of the night when he said he was “sitting on the toilet” when he had a Facetime conversation with Porter to discuss making the fight a reality.
Porter lost out on his opportunity to win the WBA welterweight title when he lost to Thurman via unanimous decision in the summer of 2016.
Berto is probably now best remembered to be Floyd Mayweather’s final opponent before he retired in 2015. Berto lost that fight via unanimous decision as well and had only fought once since then, an April 2016 win over former world welterweight champion Victor Ortiz.