Andre Berto Looks Rust Free, Gets UD10 Over Steve Upsher

Andre Berto looked darned decent, after being on the injured reserve for more than a year, on the TV opener of Showtime’s Saturday night telecast, which unfolded in Cincinnati. The Floridian, a former titlist who many thought was on a hard downward slide, didn’t look excessively rusty in getting a UD10 win over Steve Upsher.

Now, Upsher is a C plus fighter, so we won’t go overboard with praise. But the judges liked the work, to the tune of 99-91, times three.

Berto went 232-453 to 112-478 for the loser.

Berto told Jim Gray he was slightly surprised that he was so on point. He noted his shoulder held up well and that tons of sparring got him ready. He admitted that he was down during his layoff, and applauded the people who kept up his spirits. Hunter, he said, asked him to work fundamentals, not get KO happy. Next? He’d not mind rematches with some guys he lost to.

Philly’s Upsher, coming in off a two fight losing streak, was 145.5. Berto last fought in July 2013, and was shaking off a torn tendon in his right shoulder, which needed surgery. The Floridian turns 32 on Sunday, and was 148.5 on Friday. He’d lost three of his last four, to Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero and then Jesus Soto Karass.

In the first, the 29-year-old Upsher was backing up, as Berto came out pretty nasty. He then landed a right on Berto. Also, a couple hooks landed on Berto, and he shook his head no (no means yes?) once.

In the second, Berto came out double jabbing. He added a two behind it, and started the round strong, with furious intent. Left hooks for Upsher, low and high, weren’t weak. A straight right knocked Berto back a half step near the end.

In the third, Upsher moved and didn’t throw. He got tagged time and again and decided to press forward some, because he was getting eaten up. Berto threw a bombs away right, and was getting excited, maybe feeling he was into a flow.

In the fourth, Berto started with combos. Upsher decided to work more this round, and his long jab didn’t look cruddy. But he simply waiting too long in between launches for too much of most every round. Virgil Hunter, who took over for long-time corner man Tony Morgan, asked for better angles, and jabs, and constant focus.

In the fifth, we saw swelling on Upsher’s face. Berto worked backing up some, then roughed up Upsher, smacked and shoved him back. A double jab backed up Berto and we saw what could happen when Upsher concentrated on being first and imposing himself on the opponent. The Berto right uppercut landed a wee bit and you knew he was getting more so into a power punch mode. Cornerman Rod Salka told Upsher not to let Berto hurl four punch combos.

In the sixth, Upsher looked to bull Berto to the ropes but his ferocity was lacking. When he double jabbed he scored well. A left hook and right follow landed clean on Upsher late. “He’s not too far away to go,” said Hunter after the round. In the seventh, Berto was in command. He was hopping and popping, and he liked the swelling right eye on Upsher. Salka threatened to pull the plug soon.

In the eighth, Upsher landed a right hand, as it was one of his busy rounds. Salka asked him if he was alright. The trainer asked him to come forward on Berto. In the ninth, Upsher didn’t act like he knew he needed a KO to win as much as maybe you’d like. But he was trying to take it to Berto at times. In the tenth, Berto took it to Upsher, not going into a shell mode. That let Upsher tag him with a right, but Berto took the round. We went to the cards.

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COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

Berto looked like the most improved fighter on the card...crisp mobile and strong for the whole ten rounds.


-oubobcat :

Berto looked like the most improved fighter on the card...crisp mobile and strong for the whole ten rounds.
I actually was not impressed by Berto. He still gets hit way too easily and still squares up constantly to his opponents. And his power just has not been the same in the ring well since he tested positive for PED's prior to that second scheduled Ortiz fight. Upshaw was stopped in his last fight and at best is a club level fighter. He was also coming up in weight. The Berto of a few years ago disposes him easily. This Berto maybe had him buzzed once or twice but never in serious trouble. Berto will lose when he steps up and could lose badly. No defense and the power not the same are not good signs for is career going forward.


-brownsugar :

I actually was not impressed by Berto. He still gets hit way too easily and still squares up constantly to his opponents. And his power just has not been the same in the ring well since he tested positive for PED's prior to that second scheduled Ortiz fight. Upshaw was stopped in his last fight and at best is a club level fighter. He was also coming up in weight. The Berto of a few years ago disposes him easily. This Berto maybe had him buzzed once or twice but never in serious trouble. Berto will lose when he steps up and could lose badly. No defense and the power not the same are not good signs for is career going forward.
I can see how you would see it that way Oubobcat. However I have to disagree. Berto looked like a reformed fighter to me ...I know the opposition wasnt world class but it was enough of a test for a guy who had been out of the ring for well over a year. Gone were the slapping arm punches,.... the standing in one spot immobilised by fatigue and paralyzed due to the lack of offensive options. In addition to this he didn't try using the shoulder roll and he didn't linger on the ropes. Two things he was never good at. He's reverted to boxing more conventionally rather than relying on his reflexes alone. Berto threw straight jabs and snappy 1, 2's and took a half step to change position to avoid the incoming. I don't know how far he goes as Berto has shown in the past that he struggles against world class talent. I also noticed he didn't call out any of the top 5-10 welters which is good. But I think he maybe able to avenge his past two losses ...in my humble opinion. I value you opinion as always. Keep it up.


-The Shadow :

What's up with Upsher's gym? Don't they have any trainers? Are they just a bunch of active fighters in the same weight class that train each other? Paul Spadafora trains Rod Salka who trains Steve Upsher who probably trains Paul. LOL. Seriously, what is up with that?


-The Shadow :

I actually was not impressed by Berto. He still gets hit way too easily and still squares up constantly to his opponents. And his power just has not been the same in the ring well since he tested positive for PED's prior to that second scheduled Ortiz fight. Upshaw was stopped in his last fight and at best is a club level fighter. He was also coming up in weight. The Berto of a few years ago disposes him easily. This Berto maybe had him buzzed once or twice but never in serious trouble. Berto will lose when he steps up and could lose badly. No defense and the power not the same are not good signs for is career going forward.
I agree. Since he got off the drugs, he hasn't been the same. It is what it is.


-The Shadow :

I actually was not impressed by Berto. He still gets hit way too easily and still squares up constantly to his opponents. And his power just has not been the same in the ring well since he tested positive for PED's prior to that second scheduled Ortiz fight. Upshaw was stopped in his last fight and at best is a club level fighter. He was also coming up in weight. The Berto of a few years ago disposes him easily. This Berto maybe had him buzzed once or twice but never in serious trouble. Berto will lose when he steps up and could lose badly. No defense and the power not the same are not good signs for is career going forward.
I agree. Since he got off the drugs, he hasn't been the same. It is what it is. Probably won't be long until we start seeing him working the corners instead of cutting them.


-amayseng :

Fast and quick, although too muscular and stiff... NO power since he has kicked steroids. Berto gets hit too easily and was stunned numerous times. A hitter gets him out of there quick, a good boxer gets him out of there late.


-brownsugar :

I doubt Berto will ever be a world beater but getting back to fundamentals is the best thing he ever did. Chambers face showed that Berto hits hard enough to do damage.


-oubobcat :

I can see how you would see it that way Oubobcat. However I have to disagree. Berto looked like a reformed fighter to me ...I know the opposition wasnt world class but it was enough of a test for a guy who had been out of the ring for well over a year. Gone were the slapping arm punches,.... the standing in one spot immobilised by fatigue and paralyzed due to the lack of offensive options. In addition to this he didn't try using the shoulder roll and he didn't linger on the ropes. Two things he was never good at. He's reverted to boxing more conventionally rather than relying on his reflexes alone. Berto threw straight jabs and snappy 1, 2's and took a half step to change position to avoid the incoming. I don't know how far he goes as Berto has shown in the past that he struggles against world class talent. I also noticed he didn't call out any of the top 5-10 welters which is good. But I think he maybe able to avenge his past two losses ...in my humble opinion. I value you opinion as always. Keep it up.
I would actually love to see him fight any of the three opponents he has losses (Ortiz, Guerrero and Soto Karass). Those would all be wars. Personally, I always thought Berto-Ortiz II was inevitable at some point. I think right now he loses all those fights but they would all be high contact and very entertaining. As a matter of fact, would not be surprised to see him matched with one of those at some point next year.