On a night that saw Amanda Serrano achieve history in Puerto Rico and women’s boxing history, Jermell Charlo retain his title with a sensational knockout, Shawn Porter and Andre Berto had the boxing equivalent of a street fight main event a Showtime-televised card from the Barclays Center.
Porter and Berto had an extremely wild fight full of headbutts and wild punches, but Porter came out on top with a ninth-round TKO victory.
Porter had publicly said he would be attacking Berto’s body throughout the fight, and did so with moderate success. He did manage to knock down Berto at the end of the second round, but the two men did not give an inch throughout the bout.
The story of the fight was the high number of headbutts and accidental clash of heads there had been. Porter got cut near his left eye around the third round with Berto soon following with a cut of his own. Both cuts came as a result of the two men constantly fighting aggressively and bringing the fight up close.
Porter said the plan was never to use his head as a mean to dish out damage to Berto.
“I got to clean up those head butts,” Porter said. “We tried to use the whole ring, but sometimes in the heat of the battle, I’m a fighter and Mr. Berto is a fighter as well, those head butts were just the two of us going in and fighting. My intention is never to use my head as a weapon. This was a just very hard fought battle by both of us and I’m blessed to get the victory.”
Berto had his back to the ropes throughout most of several rounds, with Porter taking full advantage to dish out body blow after body blow. The worst of those instances came in the eighth round, where Berto was being hit dozens of times in the corner for nearly two minutes, almost being knocked down numerous times.
Berto thought the fight was competitive until the headbutts started coming from both boxers.
“I have to give him credit, but he’s a rough fighter," Berto said. "He has great skills but, at the same time, he’s going to be rough and try to handle me anyway he can. I got a lot of head butts, and he did too. Shawn is a tough competitor. We had a good, competitive fight until the head butts got to be a little too much for me. But I thought it was a really good fight before that.”
Porter was the more active fighter by a country mile, landing more than twice as many power punches than Berto (138 to 60) and total punches (175 to 81).
While the fight was not for a title, the winner of this bout would challenge Keith Thurman’s welterweight world title. Porter had already lost to Thurman last year in another Barclays Center card that saw Thurman win the WBA welterweight world title via unanimous decision.
Porter said his sights immediately go to Thurman and his rematch.
“I was just up here wishing he said yes – that’s the fight I want next,” Porter said.
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