Thursday, 20th June 2019

Berto is a Dirty Word

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by stavkav in Boxing

Berto is a Dirty Word

I have been trying really hard in the past few years to get on the Andre Berto bandwagon. I have had no success. I think the closest I ever came was during his 2007 fight with David Estrada. That was an extremely entertaining, drama filled bout that lasted 11 rounds. The kind of fight that you were not really expecting, and when it was over, one that you were glad you did not miss. That was the last time an Andre Berto fight ever got its hooks in me.

I think it was during Andre Berto’s 2008 match against Steve Forbes (of The Contender fame) that I started turning on him. I was not impressed that Berto failed to knock out a small guy like Forbes. I did not expect a legendary knockout but I thought Berto could use his speed to land a TKO late in the fight. To Forbes’ credit though, he hung in there for twelve rounds and took his beating like a man. Hanging in there does not necessarily make for a good fight however.

Despite being less than mildly entertaining, Berto’s fight with Forbes also left a bad taste in my mouth because the bout was full of holding, something that seems to be becoming an Andre Berto trademark. I felt like I was in an Edgar Allen Poe Story. All I could fixate on was Berto’s holding during the match. I became obsessed with it and my dislike for Berto’s style grew. Racing thoughts started whizzing around in my noggin. The more skilled boxer should go out there and take care of business. Why is he holding? This fight is terrible. Why isn’t the ref taking a point? Let your hands go! Stop holding. Not another decision. Berto’s dirty.

I must admit I am a bit bipolar when it comes to excessive holding. When a highly regarded young prospect relies on holding as part of his arsenal, I consider it dirty. When an aging fighter on his way out is using every weapon he can think of (including holding) to hang on one last time, I think it is perfectly acceptable.

Andre Berto’s tiny comeback against Luis Collazo in January 2009 should have impressed me but all I could think about was the holding. Berto’s recent domination of Juan Urango left me feeling the same way. I want to be a fan of Andre Berto but he holds just to darn much.
Perhaps commentator Max Kellerman said it best during the telecast of the Berto-Urango fight on HBO when he mentioned the referee was actually doing Berto a disservice by not penalizing him for holding. As long as Berto is allowed to hold, he does not have to fight. He can dance around the ring throwing a few power shots before moving in for the bear hug.

My critics no doubt will be quick to point out Andre Berto’s boxing record and some of the better opponents he has dominated. My response to them is what happens when Andre Berto tries to hold a guy like Paul Williams or Shane Mosley and how many people would care enough to watch it?

Shame on Lou DiBella

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by stavkav in Boxing

Shame on Lou DiBella

Lou DiBella is known to boxing fans as a promoter with a stable of fighters that currently includes names such as Andre Berto, Glenn Johnson, and Paul Malignaggi just to name a few. One name that is no longer affiliated with DiBella entertainment however is Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor. That is because DiBella recently resigned as Taylor’s promoter amid growing concerns about Taylor’s health, and more specifically, the severe concussions and brutal knockouts he has been subject to in four of his last five bouts.

Jermain Taylor’s most recent setback occurred in October 2009 during the first stage of the Super Six tournament in Berlin, Germany. Taylor was fighting a talented Arthur Abraham and was knocked out with six seconds remaining in the final round. He took a clean right to the chin and fell to the mat, banging his head on the canvas in the process. Taylor was diagnosed with a severe concussion and had to spend a few days in a German hospital. The brutal knockout was delivered in similar fashion as the ones Taylor experienced in late round losses to Kelly Pavlik and Carl Froch in previous fights. The difference is that this time there was a problem. This time, concussions and memory loss were involved.

The first stage of the Super Six tournament is set up in a round robin format. This means that a fighter can lose his first fight without being eliminated from the tournament. Jermain Taylor is guaranteed another fight and he intends on taking it this April. It is no surprise that Taylor’s inner circle, DiBella included, was urging him not to continue. Jermain Taylor is not listening and DiBella is done talking. Taylor’s insistence has prompted DiBella to wash his hands of the entire situation and resign as his promoter after nearly a decade of service.

Many in the boxing community are praising DiBella’s hard stance and his decision to step down as Taylor’s promoter. Few are talking about a confused Jermain Taylor who will be walking in to the lion’s den against a hungry an eager Andre Ward this coming April. Andre Ward is shining as Jermain Taylor is sliding and there is potential for some real danger here. Taylor could definitely use a guy like Lou DiBella in his corner watching his back (or at least trying to). DiBella had every right to leave Taylor to his own devices, but that does not make it right. Jermain Taylor will be at his most vulnerable when he trades blows with Andre Ward and it is looking like he will have a minimal amount of support.

In DiBella’s defense, he has experienced a boxing related death with one of his fighters in the past. One could easily see why he wants no part of a sequel. But one could also ask the question, shouldn’t that make his commitment to Jermain Taylor even stronger?


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