Andre Berto fires trainer
February, 27, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Jae C. HongAndre Berto is leaving his career-long trainer Tony Morgan after two loses in his last three fights.
The alarming thing about seeing former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto losing two of his last three fights – to Robert Guerrero and Victor Ortiz -- was his inability to adjust to his opponents in those defeats, not to mention the disarray in his corner when thing got rough.
Berto, perhaps realizing these were issues, announced Wednesday that has fired career-long trainer Tony Morgan.
They had been together for nearly 20 years, including Berto’s amateur career that culminated with a berth on the 2004 Haitian Olympic team.
Berto, 29, said it was a difficult decision to part ways with Morgan.
"Tony and I had a great ride together from the amateurs to two professional world championships, and he will always be a very important person in my life," Berto said in a statement. “He taught me a lot and I am grateful to him for that, but this is a decision I had to make at this point in my career.”
Berto lost his welterweight belt to Ortiz in 2011 in a brutal distance fight in which both guys were knocked down twice. He rebounded in his next fight to stop Jan Zaveck in the fifth round in September 2011 to win another belt but vacated it in order to make a rematch with Ortiz instead of fighting a mandatory fight that nobody was interested in. However, Berto tested positive for a steroid in a random drug test before the June fight and it was canceled.
Berto eventually was licensed in California and returned in November, but got dropped twice and took a beating in a decision loss to Guerrero.
Berto (28-2, 22 KOs), who does not have a fight scheduled, said he is in the process of selecting a new trainer.
"I'm still in the gym on a regular basis and getting my body in great shape,” said Berto, who is from Winter Haven, Fla., but now living in Los Angeles. “Boxing is the sport that I love and I can't wait to get back in the ring and perform again soon. I want to remind everyone why they love to see me fight. You will see a new and improved Andre Berto here soon.”