They rumbled in the main event which unfolded at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA on Saturday night. It wasn't a fight, it was a rugged rumble, and after twelve rounds, it was determined that Robert Guerrero got the better of it, over Andre Berto. But both men deserved ample praise, for their grit and stamina, if not the "W." It was Guerrero, though, who repeatedly backed Berto to the ropes, and fired shots, and thus who got the judges' love, by scores of 116-110 times three.
Guerrero scored knockdowns in round one and two, but Berto in round four found some answers. His right hand found a home, but the Ghost's volume won out, as Berto looked to hold a bit too often to match the Cali boxers' output. Ghost had the stat edge, 258-731 to 182-411.
Guerrero after told Max Kellerman that he wanted to do what he promised, win a street fight. He said he didn't want to let Berto use his fast hands. What about the uppercuts he ate? "He didn't hurt me at all," said the winner. "Strong guy, punched hard, so I was able to take the shots," he said. Rematch? "Oh yeah, definitely. I'm looking for Floyd Mayweather next, Pretty Boy let's do it." Berto put on sunglasses for the chat with Kellerman, and we saw his closed eyes, a gruesome site, which testified to his cajones on this night. He said the ref was against him. We saw video of Guerrero holding and hitting on the first knockdown, and Ghost protested that it was within the rules. Berto blamed the ref again and then said, "It is what it is." Guerrero said he was warned too, and wanted Berto to cut the ref talk.
Berto (28-1 with 22 KOs; living in Florida; two time welter champ) was 146 3/4, 158 on fight night, while Guerrero (30-1-1, 2 NDs, with 18 KOs; living in Gilroy, CA; four division champ) was 146 1/2 pounds, 152 on fight night.
In the first, the WBC interim welter champ Guerrero pumped a jab, as did Berto. The Floridian's lead shoulder was popped higher than we'd seen before, a la Adrien Broner. Berto went down after eating a hard left in the first. Ghost held and hit while whacking him, and the ref didn't see it. Berto went down again, to a knee, in the second. His right eye looked bad. Berto was stuck on the ropes, and didn't spin out, or really fire back with authority. It was an in-close rumble, with Ghost up in Berto's grill. He whacked and then smothered Berto. Berto did score with a couple hard rights in the round. That right eye was almost a slit by this point. "Drop that left hand, baby," said Robert's trainer-dad after the round. In the fourth, Berto got some confidence, and Ghost didn't smother as much. Berto landed a hard left in the fifth, and he had to like the fact that Ghost wasn't in his face so much. The fight was getting tighter. In the sixth, the ref warned Guerrero for going low, after Berto was warned in rounds before for various infractions. Berto was now landing some uppercuts in tight. Ghost, his chin planted on his chest, open for the uppercut, got wobbled by a right late. Lederman had it 4-2 after six.
Berto landed showy shots and Ghost banged him hard on the ropes. Berto wobbled to his corner, in a darned solid round in seven. A featherweight just four years ago, a thick and rugged Guerrero kept backing Berto up in eight and nine. He ate right uppers and spit them out. He did blink twice at 1:25. The right eye was almost closed on Guerrero to start the tenth. Didn't stop him from fighting like he did the previous nine. Morgan asked for a KO after the round. In the 11th, it was the same; Guerrero backed up Berto, bullied him on the ropes. Berto, both eyes nearly closed, flurried a few times off there. In the 12th, Berto was again on the ropes. They rumbled, same as they did in every prior round. We went to the cards, after Guerrero hit Berto a few times after the bell. "In a year we had Rios-Alvarado, this was as good as it gets," said Kellerman. The men hugged as they awaited the call of the cards.
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Come back for David Avila's ringside report.