Former WBC World Welterweight champion Andre Berto looks to resurrect his career at the very top level on March 13th when he goes toe to toe with Californian fighter Josesito Lopez over ten rounds at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. Florida’s Andre Berto will have to defeat Californian Lopez in his home state, but ‘The Riverside Rocky’ is coming off of a three-fight winning streak, and is also fighting for his career.
The pressure is really on both fighters for this showdown. Both men are at a pivotal crossroad in their careers where another defeat for either man could effectively bring an end to their careers as players at the top table of the Welterweight division. With so much at stake, this match-up has the potential to be an entertaining, firecracker of a fight. Both fighters have their strengths as boxers but seem to have an intrinsic desire to go to war.
Berto recorded an impressive win in his last fight against Steve Upsher Chambers in September of last year beating him by a 10 round unanimous decision, but Berto won’t be getting much credit for beating a fighter of that calibre who is largely considered an easy, cherry picked opponent.
The last time Berto faced a decent, high level opponent, he was beaten by Jesus Soto Karass by a 12th round knockout in July of 2013. Many would consider Josesito Lopez as similar in class to someone like Soto Karass so Berto really has it all to prove. However, in his defence, Berto suffered a muscle tear injury to his shoulder early in that fight against Soto Karass, and was practically forced to fight with one arm until he was stopped in the 12th. Now that he is fully fit and raring to go it will be purely down to how much he has left in the tank.
Josesito Lopez’s biggest win of his career came against Victor Ortiz in 2012 and the win announced him as a major player in the division. He stopped Ortiz in the 9th round after Ortiz quit on his stool having suffered a broken jaw. However 30-year old Josesito Lopez is now widely considered to be a fringe world level fighter at Welterweight. He has since been stopped by the likes of Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana and Mexican star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Of late Lopez has been on something of a rebuilding process since those losses, racking up wins against relatively unknown figthers Rafael Cobos, Aaron Martinez and Mike Arnatoutis. If Lopez can now beat Berto then he could end his opponents aspirations of a world title and leave Berto with nowhere to go. As for Berto, he needs to be beating the likes of Lopez if he is to have a chance at beating the better fighters in a division which is stacked full of top quality names. Lopez could get another shot at a top fighter should he claim victory but he will have to improve significantly in order to beat the best. It seems that he lacks the physical strength to back up his aggressive fighting style against the very best contenders at this weight.
Berto: W29 KO22 L3 KO1 KO%68.75
Lopez: W33 KO19 L6 KO2 KO%47.5