Andre Berto Keeps It Real – The year of 2016 is winding down in the boxing world and almost universally across weight classes, the jockeying for position has been furious. In the welterweight division alone, champions Danny Garcia (WBC) and Jessie Vargas (WBO) are both booked to fight before the end of the year with Vargas risking his belt against the great Manny Pacquiao. Hungry contenders such as Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter are awaiting their next fight, while IBF champion Kell Brook recovers from a broken orbital bone received at the hands of Gennady Golovkin. WBA titlist Keith Thurman is said to be waiting for a March of 2017 showdown with Garcia.
At some point, the name Andre Berto (31-4) was in the mix. He was linked to a potential fight with WBC titleholder Danny Garcia, but the match was not finalized and Garcia signed to fight Canada’s Samuel Vargas on November 12th. Berto is coming off a decisive 4th round KO of nemesis Victor Ortiz in his last outing back in April. Prior to that he went twelve rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr for the kind of payday that changes things.
The first week of October saw the island country of Haiti hit by a massive hurricane. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and the island was ill-equipped to handle the aftermath of “Matthew.” Since the storm ravaged the country, Andre Berto has been in the capital of Port-au-Prince leading his own relief efforts. With the hurricane largely forgotten already in the media and the inept bureaucratic processes of so called “charities” coming to light, it is interesting to note that the Haitian born Berto has chosen to work with his own team to deliver much needed food staples and supplies to the Haitian people.
PIC (from Berto’s Snap Chat Account) The caption read “Secured another 500 bags of rice. Its hard to leave when our people need us.”
Andre Berto Keeps It Real
Berto has a likeable, confident personality once you get to know him, but he is quiet in terms of seeking media attention. His father is a pioneer in modern MMA fighting and was later an MMA judge for Japan-based Pride FC. “Diesel” Berto, as his father is known, raised a fighting family and showed his fighting spirit surviving a car accident that left him in a coma. When his recovery and rehab started, he was as helpless as a child. He battled back, establishing Tiger’s World Martial Arts Academy in Orlando, Florida. Andre Berto’s brother James Edson had a long mixed martial arts career, ending 17-12-1. Sister Revelina also fought in MMA and his other siblings all compete in combat sports in some form.
The family has experienced this type of suffering before. Haiti was hit be a major earthquake in 2010 that still affects the island today, and Berto lost eight members of his extended family in that disaster. Just like today, Berto was front and center lending support and relief to his home country. In 2010, when the quake hit, Berto was the WBC world welterweight champion. Since that time, he is just 4-4 overall.
Berto cashed his biggest paydays after losing the WBC title with the major one being the Mayweather fight. He hopes to get back into the world title picture in 2017, but for now all his efforts are being dedicated to helping Haiti. According to the latest messages Andre has been sending from the island, October 15th is a day slated for field work and the delivery of fresh goods.
Berto’s championship character is on full display far, far from the public eye. You can follow his work in Haiti on SnapChat: Andre_Berto and on Facebook.
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