Five keys for Andre Berto
Plotting a path to victory against Robert Guerrero
A former WBC welterweight champion, Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) has a chance for redemption Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) when he faces WBC interim 147-pound champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero in Ontario, Calif.
Berto was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance before his scheduled June rematch against Victor Ortiz. That fight was later canceled.
Here are five keys to a possible Berto victory Saturday against Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs):
Pressure times four
|Berto's style has been invariable until today. He stalks his prey and presses the action from the very start, with a frenetic rhythm that lasts only between four and five rounds. Berto's bigger physical frame will allow him to execute his offensive strategy successfully against Guerrero, maybe forcing an early stoppage.|
Bigger is better
|Never before have the weights of the fighters been so defined in their personal history. Berto has never fought below 145 pounds in his career and made his debut at 162. Guerrero, however, has had 29 of 30 professional fights under 136 pounds, climbing up to 147 for the first time in his last fight. Using his weight as an advantage will be the key to Berto's victory.|
Trust your instincts
|Just as he defined it himself, Berto is recovering from a personal hell due to the accusations against him of drug use. On top of that, he's been inactive for 14 months -- the longest layoff of his career. In order to overcome this trauma in the ring and achieve victory he will have to acquire mental strength, character and lots of self-confidence. If he hesitates in his strategy at some point in the fight, he may end up paying the price.|
Look to the right, avoid the left
|Berto had problems with another southpaw (Ortiz), and for this he shouldn't neglect Guerrero's left-handed attack. And if the fight goes on for more than five rounds, Berto will have to change his strategy: fight in spurts, wait, counterpunch and save energy. Berto threw a lot of punches against Ortiz, sending him to the canvas twice, but Berto also had to get off the floor on two occasions, himself.|
Use your throwing hand
|If his opponent's style suits him, Berto shouldn't hesitate to use his power punches to the body and look for the knockout with his right hand, a proven dangerous weapon. Guerrero won't be able to assimilate the amount of punches Berto will throw. In any case, the secret is to throw more and more punches. |
Bernardo Pilatti is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.
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