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bana2166
12-06-06, 11:48 PM
Haitian American Boxer Andre Berto on HBO this Saturday night against Miguel Figueroas
ANDRE BERTO LOOKS TO TEST MIGUEL FIGUEROA'S HEART THIS SATURDAY NIGHT ON HBO
For those who have been following Welterweight hopeful Andre Berto, this Saturday night is a very big occasion. Another new beginning will occur as the 2004 American-born Haitian Olympian makes his HBO debut against Miguel Figueroa at the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas, underneath the Jermain Taylor-Kassim Ouma Middleweight Championship bout. For some this moment is a long time coming; for others it will be a glimpse of one of boxing?s finest prospects in action for the first time.
Berto has gone 6-0 this year, all by stoppage, and a win would be a great way to close things out before gearing up for 2007. In assessing Berto you get the sense of a fighter who is blossoming into something special and for his fight with Figueroa he was sure to prepare accordingly.
?I?m just excited for this and I?ve put in a lot of hard work,? Berto says. ?I had a little training camp out in Las Vegas with Winky Wright and everything is just going good. All the work has been done and I?m ready.?
Berto has known Wright for years and treats him as though he is his own brother. While in camp together they seem to feed off and push one another.
?We definitely keep each other going,? Berto elaborates. ?It?s real good work for both of us. I helped him get ready for both of his fights with Shane [Mosley] and working together always benefits the both of us. He?s one of the best fighters in the game and it?s always a plus being around him.?
With a promising record of 15-0 with 13 knockouts, Berto has chopped through opponents at a steady rate and raised several eyebrows along the way. His progression has been steady and at times eye-catching, culminating with an appearance on the sport?s premiere network. For that, he couldn?t be happier.
?That?s where everybody wants to be, on HBO,? he concedes. ?I?m just happy that they recognize me and my skills this early in my career and I feel like it?s going to be a long relationship with them.?
Berto has several characteristics that stand out when he is in the ring. His power is pure and his punches are crisp, but he feels that it is something else deep within that makes him stand out.
?Every time I step into the ring I want to test my opponent?s heart,? he states. 'I want to see if they can the handle the intensity and relentlessness. I like to press my opponent early to see what he has and what he?s gonna bring. I would say that?s what separates me from a lot of fighters.?
On paper this fight certainly doesn?t look to be a complete mismatch, as Figueroa sports a 24-5-2 (14 KOs) record and is coming off of a draw with once-beaten Larry Mosley. Things could get pretty rough for both competitors and Berto isn?t shying away from the challenge.
?I?ve seen a few tapes of him,? the Winter Haven native states. ?He?s tough and rugged, your classic Mexican fighter. He looks like he can take a shot and keep coming. He throws a lot of punches and looks durable so I expect it to be an exciting fight. I?m looking forward to it.?
It?s almost as if Berto can envision what his future may hold while also keeping an eye on the task at hand. Boxing is what he knows best and his confident nature is polished off with a seemingly perfect touch of modesty. That outlook, coupled with his gifts in the ring, are the reasons why we could be hearing his name for a long time to come.
?There is no other sport like boxing,? he closes. ?You have to stay focused, otherwise you could end up getting knocked out in front of thousands of people. It?s the type of sport where nobody else can push you because you have to want it for yourself. I feel the people who stay grounded and focused are the ones who go far in the sport.?