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Don't Expect Berto To Have Too Much Trouble With Zaveck...WOODS

BY Michael Woods ON August 30, 2011
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BertoOrtiz_Hogan45Ortiz was a raging, snorting specimen on this night, who would not be denied. Zaveck is no bum, but on his best night, he is no match for Berto. (Hogan)

Andre Berto looks to get back on the bucking bronco, when he takes on Jan Zaveck this Saturday in Biloxi, Mississippi.

This test is Berto's first since he had his undefeated record, and WBC 147-pound belt wrested from him by a raging bull, Victor Ortiz, on April 16, in Connecticut.

The Boxing Channel's Al Bernstein offered his analysis of the Berto-Zaveck tangle. Watch it here: http://boxingchannel.tv/analysis-of-andre-bertos-return-to-the-ring-after-loss-al-bernstein-gives-keys-to-victory


Bernstein said the 35-year-old Zaveck is a "solid fighter," with a style "eerily similar to Berto."  Al says Zaveck will need to jab a bunch, land the right hand, and not square up. The 27-year-old Berto, Al said, needs to land his right hand, and like, Zaveck, not square up.

Al mentioned that it could have been Berto (27-1 with 21 KOs) fighting a lottery bonanza bout against Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 17.

Instead, he will take part in something of a moderate risk/low reward bout.
How risky? The Slovenian hasn't fought outside of Europe, and hasn't really met foes who would help us assess his chances to beat Berto.

"Zaveck is so unknown in the US, many fans might be expecting a Berto blowout win," Al said. "While that is possible, it's not at all inevitable. If ever there was a trap fight for a fighter, this is it for Berto."

I will go out on a limb, based on the fact that Zaveck has been fed semi softies Rodolfo Martinez, Raf Jackiewicz and journeyman Paul Delgado since he won the IBF welter bout from Isaac Hlatshwayo on Dec. 11, 2009, that Berto won't have too much trouble on Saturday. One figures the sting from the Ortiz loss will have made him work that much harder in camp, and I see him taking out lingering disappointment on the Slov. I see Berto handing the 31-1 Zaveck his first loss by KO, in round seven or eight. Zaveck tends to look like a pole, straight up and immobile, at times, and Berto should have not too much trouble having good luck with accurate power shots. You could well see left hooks to the body making him wince, as he puts up the earmuffs and leaves his lower torso open for business. Berto will have no problem finding him, as he likes to mix it up, work in tight, and isn't afraid to trade a bit.

TSS Universe, please get yourselves into the Forum, and offer your take on the bout.

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

Zaveck is a bum. Berto is a bum. Bum + bum = bumfight. Di the math. Hehehehehehe! The optical illusions of the game never fails to amaze me. Holla!

brownsugar says:

I've watched some film of Zaveck, ..While EM gives Berto an easy pass,.. I see it as a much closer fight. Zaveck, used distance and an Arthur Abraham style peek-a-boo at times while he waits on personally specified moments during the bout to lung in for the attack(Zaveck likes to be on the attack).. He's rugged, durable, and won't fade too early. Berto's going to have to put in some good work to beat him,..since Zaveck is already 35,.... he probably will, but it ain't gonna be that easy. Berto by MD, or UD, if he gets a knockout, I'll have to marvel at EM's prediction and Berto's ability.

the Roast says:

Who the Hell is Zavack????

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

Is it just me, or is Berto one of the biggest underachievers in boxing right now? Beside technical flaws (foot work), Berto lost to Ortiz because of poor conditioning. Watch that fight over and you will see that he was fatigued from round 3 through 12. Berto has potential and will probably defeat Zaveck easily. However, he needs a better trainer and strength/conditioning coach in order to take his skills to the next level.

brownsugar says:

Berto is very lucky the fight was stopped. Berto showed heart, and was obviously amped to put on a good show,.. but outside of his flashy combo's (which weren't landing cleanly or often enough), Zaveck was peppering Berto while they were forehead to forehead in the clinches... Berto was trying to hold, but Zaveck tucked his elbows so tightly all Berto could do was a clumsy grab at Zavecks neck and shoulders which allowed Zaveck to tee off time and time again up the middle... I thought Berto fought an entertaining but dumb fight... took way more punishment than he needed to... and I'm not sure he would have outlasted Zaveck going down the stretch which is Zavecks bread and butter rounds. Jones gave Berto an A+,.... I give him an "S" for survival... if he fights Ortiz like that in a possible rematch,...he's going down for sure.

I always like watching Russel work... he just needs to build up his stamina and get those hands healed,...I think he's got a good future... and he's fighting a lot smarter now than he did when he first turned pro... he's a teachable fighter and that's always good for a future prospect.

mortcola says:

To flaws, add horrible defense. He eats shots like he's starving, and it is only his hand speed and combative spirit that gets him out of trouble. His best defense is his good offense. Last night, Zaveck tagged him from every angle, and if he had more power, would have made the fight go the other way.

mortcola says:

Right. Apart from Berto's usual flashy but stop-and-go attack, he was getting schooled in infighting, clubbed from every angle, and could have been in a lot of trouble. One of the announcers made a comparison I made a while ago - Berto is very similar to Meldrick Taylor, except without quite the mental focus or focused attack. Technically and stylistically similar. With the similar flaw of going all offense, and eating way too many shots.

brownsugar says:

Spot-on. mort, I think Berto took a step backwards in the sense that he won the war but lost the battle..he was starting to fade and Zaveck was starting to percolate. A prime example of good physical gifts but average boxing IQ. A fun fight to watch. Berto needs new cornermen. I don't think they were terrible but for some reason Berto never listens.

the Roast says:

You guys are both right on. I think Zaveck would have won if the fight went into the 10th-11th rounds. Berto was getting hit way too much. Berto wont be "Champ" for long. I'm looking forward to Ponce-Gamboa and Vitali-Adamek next week and Floyd-Ortiz the week after that.

brownsugar says:

Gamboa is going to stir fry Ponce de Leon without a Wok.... Adamek will take a heroic loss unless VK hurts himself again. Adamek has me believing that he'll at least make his presence felt...so much confidence

michaelabii says:

Watched the Berto fight. Great action fight and a pick em fight at least in my opinion. Berto takes too many clean punches for my liking and I do think conditioning is still a factor. He looked tired in the fifth and lays on the ropes for too long. I think Ortiz beats him again if and when they do fight.

the Roast says:

I dont know B-Sug. It seems to me like Gamboa is looking too far ahead. He's talking about winning titles three divisions up before he takes care of this fight. I am picking Ponce de Leon by KO.

brownsugar says:

I watched the fight several times now... even though Berto abandoned his already porus defense. He came to bang... and seemed like he was trying to imitate Vic Ortiz's recent seek and destroy method of winning fights.. Berto went for broke... in a sure gamble that could have backfired in his face if he gassed out after failing to retire Zaveck in the middle rounds.. for a 35 year old fighter... Zaveck didn't just show up for a paycheck so I reject his being called a "soft touch" or "tomato can". I'm sure Zaveck has a few good fights left in him... how about challenging Mike Jones?... or the Hot new Pueurto Rican sensation Thomas Dulerme?..... (whom I'm picking to shoot straight to the top of the 147lb division after a few more quality wins...the name may be spelled wrong, but google him if you can) He's like a cross between Sugar Ray and Hearns if you can possibly believe it.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

I dont know B-Sug. It seems to me like Gamboa is looking too far ahead. He's talking about winning titles three divisions up before he takes care of this fight. I am picking Ponce de Leon by KO.


I usually agree with most of your boxing analysis, but Ponce de Leon by KO; are you serious? Is this the same Ponce de Leon that lost a close decision to Adrien Broner? Gamboa has too much athleticism and skill to lose to Ponce de Leon. I'm taking Gamboa by UD.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

Berto is very lucky the fight was stopped. Berto showed heart, and was obviously amped to put on a good show,.. but outside of his flashy combo's (which weren't landing cleanly or often enough), Zaveck was peppering Berto while they were forehead to forehead in the clinches... Berto was trying to hold, but Zaveck tucked his elbows so tightly all Berto could do was a clumsy grab at Zavecks neck and shoulders which allowed Zaveck to tee off time and time again up the middle... I thought Berto fought an entertaining but dumb fight... took way more punishment than he needed to... and I'm not sure he would have outlasted Zaveck going down the stretch which is Zavecks bread and butter rounds. Jones gave Berto an A+,.... I give him an "S" for survival... if he fights Ortiz like that in a possible rematch,...he's going down for sure.

I always like watching Russel work... he just needs to build up his stamina and get those hands healed,...I think he's got a good future... and he's fighting a lot smarter now than he did when he first turned pro... he's a teachable fighter and that's always good for a future prospect.



Whats up Brown Sugar? I agree, there is something missing with Berto. He isn't a kid any more at 27 and I don't think he can get much better with his current corner. He would greatly benefit from a trainer such as Floyd Mayweather Sr. or possibly Pernell Whitaker, someone that could help him improve his defensive and footwork flaws. His poor conditioning kind of reminds me Jean Pascal, who also has a habit of fading during the middle of fights. On another note, Gary Russell Jr. is the best American prospect in boxing right now. I just hope he doesn't have any chronic hand problems that will hamper him. This should be his last 8 round fight and his handlers should be focusing on getting him 10 round/12 round fights from this point on. The kid has great defense in the pocket and his hand speed is no joke!

the Roast says:

@Shoulder Roll, I am serious. I think Gamboa is getting too big of a head. Most people thought that Ponce won that fight with Broner. I have a feeling we are gonna see a stunning upset.

brownsugar says:

Roast, I feel you... but I think Gamoa is going to run circles around Ponc and get a KO by the middle rounds. If I didn't interpret you post correctly let me know. but Broner is capable of getting lucky.

FighterforJC says:

I highly commend Berto for not wearing monkey basketball shorts.

michaelabii says:

To flaws, add horrible defense. He eats shots like he's starving, and it is only his hand speed and combative spirit that gets him out of trouble. His best defense is his good offense. Last night, Zaveck tagged him from every angle, and if he had more power, would have made the fight go the other way.


I agree Mort. I will go out on a limb and say that Berto would have been stopped by the 12th in part due to his conditioning. He needs to learn how to cut the power on his punches and not throw with full power all the time. I thought his corner was okay - they told him what to do "in and out" and "dip your head to the left and right" but he just was not listening. A guy with his speed and agility should know how to step to the side and roll punches. He has no authotitative jab even on the offense and has no real infighting skills save for a pretty well educated upper cut. He is a TV friendly fighter though and is very explosive which will assure more paydays from HBO so long as he keeps winning. Conditioning remains an obstacle though - he looks like he lifts weights which I know is part of Victor Contes strentgh training regimen. Mackie Shilstone is in my opinion the best strength/training conditioner living today. Berto should give him a call.

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