LOVE LOU MORET Why Guerrero-Berto Was A Good Fight
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GuerreroBerto Hogan29This past weekend welterweight Roberto Guerrero 31-1- (18) won a hard fought unanimous decision over Andre Berto 28-2 (22) to capture the interim WBC welterweight title. Actually, the fight was much more deserving than a shoemaker title with the word interim attached to it. Well, so be it because that's the boxing world in which we live as of 2012.

Over the years it's been written how so many elite pros of today don't know how to fight on the inside and avoid body punching. It's easy to decipher why body punching is a lost art – and that's simply because it's not taught at the amateur level and by the time fighters turn pro they've adopted the mindset that headhunting is the only path to victory. As for infighting, well, that too is not stressed today in many pro gyms, especially in the United States. However, there's another reason why we don't see much infighting today, and that's because referees are too hands-on and have to break the fighters every time they're against the ropes or are tied up.

Look at the three Ali-Frazier fights. Fights I & III are considered among the top five or six greatest title fights in history. Yet their rematch, which was actually an outstanding fight fought a a brisk pace, is considered the only dud of the three. What was the difference? As we know, both Muhammad and Joe aged together and both should've retired after their third fight in Manila.

Fights I & III were actually wars of attrition and both fighters were damaged physically afterwards. On the other hand the rematch was more of a chess match and Ali was unmarked after and Joe was also less marked up after this fight than he was after fights I & III. And the reason for that is, both referee Arthur Mercante in fight I and Carlos Padilla in fight III let Muhammad and Joe fight it out on the inside instead of breaking them as soon as one of them didn't have a free hand.

During their second fight, referee Tony Perez allowed no infighting and separated them every time Ali tried to pull Frazier in or tie him up. This totally nullified Frazier's strategy and style. Just look at the first and third fights when Ali tried to manhandle Frazier and hold. Joe worked his way out and forced Ali to either fight or move. Mercante and Padilla allowed them to wage the fight on the inside without being so hands on.

As a result of the good referees (Mercante Sr. and Padilla) letting the fighters fight on the inside and in the corners, two of the greatest title fights in boxing history were realized, whereas a quasi-good referee Tony Perez was too hands on and eventually became part of the post fight conversation. And in addition to that, his antics prevented the fight from ever having a chance to become a memorable one.

Carlos Padilla also allowed Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard to wage a lot of their first fight on the inside. And because of that, Leonard was forced to fight Duran off of him instead of having the luxury of having Roberto's momentum interrupted every time he started to smoke. In the interim we found out that Ray Leonard was every bit the body puncher Duran was. And as it turned out Leonard-Duran I was also a great fight fought at warp speed.

Which brings us back to Guerrero-Berto. I salute referee Lou Moret for working the fight like an adult and true professional. There were plenty of times where Moret could've intervened and broke apart Robert and Andre, but he didn't. As a result both fighters flourished. We found out just how tough and gritty Guerrero is, along with being a first rate somewhat dirty/roughhousing fighter. And we also saw that Berto has a quick pair of hands on the inside and was capable of getting off in tight quarters.

Sure, Moret may have let Guerrero hold behind Berto's head and pull him into punches more than he perhaps should've, but it is fighting and both guys were bending the Marquis of Queensberry rules – it's just that Guerrero was a little more sophisticated and Hopkins-esque at it than was Berto. Everybody loves Hopkins' roughhousing tactics, and since I'm not a hypocrite I find no fault with Guerrero's. Last I checked, it was fighting and all fighters will take whatever they can get once inside the ring. If you doubt that than you haven't fought in the ring or been around many elite pros.

The Guerrero-Berto fight was an outstanding borderline great fight in terms of action. Both fighters gave as good as they took. There was no controversy surrounding the decision because referee Lou Moret let the fighters settle it and didn't touch them every time one of them didn't have a free hand. So in turn the fighters were forced to decide it, and they did. And on this night Guerrero proved to be the better man.

When it was all said and done it seems that boxing was the winner. We saw a terrific action packed fight between two top pros. We saw a referee conduct himself like an adult and professional and both fighters will emerge better as a result. Guerrero earned another well deserved big fight and Berto will no doubt be a harder out for his next opponent. Andre probably learned more during the 12 rounds he fought Guerrero than he did in his other fights combined.

Thank you, referee Lou Moret!

Frank Lotierzo can be reached at

Comment on this article



steve smoger is the best ref in the game. as long as you dont hit your opponant over the head with a chair he lets it go. the ref wasnt the reason this fight was so good. the fight was good because of the style matchup(or bertos lack of style) and the fact that guerrero came to beat him down and whoop him and he did. berto is used goods and will be dumped by haymon soon. guerrero had broner shook already

Radam G

Ditto Deepwater! Holla!


Berto ain't going anywhere. He realizes his mistake and before you know it Al Haymon will have him lined up in another high profile fight. Many options, including rematc with Guerrero after MAyweather wins a lopsided bout against the Ghost. It'll be Guerrero and Berto battling it out again on the rebound card. Or, you always got the Ortiz vs Berto rematch. The options are plentiful for the Haitian.


Berto ain't going anywhere. He realizes his mistake and before you know it Al Haymon will have him lined up in another high profile fight. Many options, including rematc with Guerrero after MAyweather wins a lopsided bout against the Ghost. It'll be Guerrero and Berto battling it out again on the rebound card. Or, you always got the Ortiz vs Berto rematch. The options are plentiful for the Haitian.
guerrero wont fight berto again because he whooped him that bad and no one will pay $ to watch berto again. ortiz is used goods also. see any pics of him recently? he is done being atop guy. hayman will only use berto to feed to one of his up and comers.


Ditto Deepwater! Holla!
yeah buddy




He won't rematch Berto as long as he continues winning and options became more readily available but when he takes a loss, and IMO that'll be real soon assuming he fights PBF, so sometime in 2013 I believe we'll likely see the two paired up again. Ortiz will be back also, which is another option for Berto. I ain't advocating for Berto's all time ranking status in the sport just pretty sure he'll be back in thick of it all. He won't be doing breaking PPV numbers but if you put him on Hbo or Showtime or some other (non ppv) network... Folks will tune in. If Berto's proved anything, it's that he makes for fun and exciting bouts. That's enough reason to watch if you're a true boxing fan. And yes, I've seen pics of him. Homey lookin' like a Shar Pai.


Berto still doesn't know the subtleties of the sweet science, and his lack of quality training instruction is evident. He still doesn't know how to fight on the inside, and quite frankly, is just as incomplete a fighter as he was when he turned pro eight years ago. What was the deal with his attempt at the shoulder roll defensive style? His arms are too short for that style, and he appeared completely lost. He's a tough, game kid with fast hands and a decent punch, but he never appeared to hurt a guy that was fighting as a featherweight not that long ago. He still looks very amateurish to me. Good win by Guerrero.


the fight was fantastic because the ghost pushed the fight and beat berto up, made berto fight his game... the ref was horrible, in fighting is good, but when both guys seem to be holding for 5 seconds and throwing rabbit punches then its time to step in and break it up, this ref got a paycheck for doing nothing... he was horrid... berto and ortiz rematch would be eventful, although ortiz beats him worse than the first time... berto is the only fighter i have seen regress since winning a belt and going into bigger fights... he is the complete opposite of the sweet science..... the ghost has a lot of up side... fundamental boxer, highly skilled, can fight rough, great chin (berto landed some bombs he walked thro them) and ring IQ. ring IQ is so important, look at floyd, bernard and ward, their ring iq is fantastic, as is the ghosts... ghost easily handles broner, rios and anyone not danny garcia...although he beats garcia as well, so no need to be at 140 ghost would also embarrass bradley or alexander at 147... ghost vs floyd will be a nice technical matchup.... i dont think floyd fights cotto again, that was a rough scrap for him and wont fight sm either even at 154......


@Amayseng the ghost ain't that good to beat Broner, Rios, Bradley easily. The ghost is not an elite fighter beating Berto was a good win but I'm still not impressed.


Frank can make a turd look like polished platinum and smell like glade air freshner. I think Guerrero would have one no matter what the ref did... but Moret was looking a little feeble in there sometimes... Im just saying Moret could have cleaned it up... just a little bit. I think Berto took everybodies mind off Moret.... as he was either too arrogant or too lazy to take a side step.... no..not Berto...... he just let the Ghost slow walk him 10ft,.. in a straight line to his couch on the ropes where Berto faithfully took his beating... unbelievable.


Fix........ I'm calling for an investigation... nobody is that d......


@ali. Don't forget ponce gave browner problems. In fact many had him beating broner. Broner is a physical stud but hasn't developed ring iq to deal with ghost. Rios is a walking kamakazi waiting to be destroyed by a puncher. He has no fundamentals.


Reffing is inconsistent between refs, between countries, between continents. I loved Guerrero-Berto, but it would never have happened like that in Germany in a million years, where every clinch is broken by the ref in the style of amateur boxing. It resembled Khan-Peterson in the sense that the referee decided to allow a certain type of 'anything goes' fight and it led to a great spectacle. If refs demanded fighters punched out of clinches it would certainly give impetus to pressure fighters, it would make all fighters develop an inside game and it stop so many of the annoying punch and grab merchants we have to endure today. But the inconsistency is the point, if any figher treated Wlad like Guerrero treated Berto he'd be disqualified by round three because once Wlad grabs you it's considered a foul if you hit or even try to hit him. It's the same sport all round the world but the interpretation of the rules are wildly different.