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Andre Berto Rings in the New Year with Anticipated Changes on the Horizon

January 7th, 2013 at 12:45 PM
By Sharon Scrima

'Andre Berto - Boxer' photo (c) 2011, sportiqe - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Former two-time welterweight champion Andre Berto has resolved to be more active on Twitter in 2013. Thus far, he has kept to this resolution with some intriguing tweets over the weekend that indicates other changes are coming this year.

In response to a fan inquiry regarding the timing of his return to the ring, Berto tweeted on Friday that he targets a comeback in March or April with changes to be announced shortly.

There was some criticism of Berto's new found defensive stance and attempted shoulder roll in his last fight against Robert Guerrero in November. The relative ease in which the naturally smaller Guerrero was able to overpower Berto on the inside while against the ropes was also somewhat troubling. Berto was dropped twice in the contest and although showed tremendous heart to fight back, he was convincingly beaten over the course of twelve rounds with both eyes swollen shut en route to a unanimous decision loss.

Berto only had one fight in 2012 after testing positive for the banned substance norandrosterone. This forced the cancelation of his highly anticipated rematch with Victor Ortiz last June and suspension of his license, keeping him out of the ring for almost 15 months before facing Guerrero after the California State Athletic Commission reinstated him in August.

An apparent change has since been made to Berto's team based on a tweet the fighter sent out on Sunday, reflecting a painful conversation that was held on Saturday evening.

 

At this point, it is unclear with whom this conversation was had. There is speculation that Berto may have opted to replace trainer Tony Morgan after having lost two of his last three fights in ill-advised slugfests and failing to show the progression expected of him at this stage of his career.

A change in promoter has also been suspected. As is the case with Al Haymon-managed fighters, Berto is not signed with a particular promoter although he has had a long-standing promotional relationship with Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment.

Some confusion was created last Fall when Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer announced  they would be promoting Berto's November fight, prompting a reaction by DiBella. An agreement was subsequently reached between DiBella, Berto and Haymon to permit Golden Boy to promote the fight, which at that time was expected to be a world title bout against IBF light middleweight champion Cornelius "K9" Bundrage. Berto instead challenged Guerrero for the interim WBC welterweight belt on November 24 at the Citizen's Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

Given this previous situation and the near-exclusive working relationship that exists between Haymon and Golden Boy, there is speculation that Berto may intend to shift promoters of choice from DiBella to Golden Boy.

As Berto himself has tweeted, "new year, new things". We shall see what new things lie ahead for him and whether it will be enough to turn things around for a fighter who had his fair share of troubles in 2012.

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Tags: Andre Berto, Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, Lou DiBella, Robert Guerrero, Tony Morgan

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