Boxingtalk.com spoke to undefeated 2004 Olympian Andre Berto who moved to 2-0(1KO) this past Friday night when he defeated Miami’s Joseph “Spiderman” Benjamin, a very awkward and slick fighter, who had eight prior fights on his ledger. In this one on one exclusive interview, Berto also talks to us about his upcoming bout this Friday night against Edgar Galvan who has twice as many fights as Berto under his belt as a professional. Read on to see what one of the most promising prospects in the world had to say.
RC: Andre, you were successful this past Friday night give us a rundown of your performance before it is televised?
AB: I didn’t fight the guy I was originally supposed to be fighting that night; he pulled out the day before the fight so they had to get a late last minute replacement in. I didn’t really care about it too much, I just wanted to fight. They told me it was going to be a very difficult fight because the guy is really really awkward, but I still wanted to take the fight. And yes it was awkward, I had to fight Mr. Spiderman (Joseph Benjamin), he showed me a lot of crazy movements. He was jumping around, holding, punching; he basically showed me everything in the book. I caught him with a right hand in the first round, and everybody thought I killed him, but he popped right back up. Then basically in a way he just gave up, he didn’t want to fight. He was just moving trying to stay away, doing a lot of holding, leaning in with his head, holding and doing a lot of pushing. He didn’t want to throw anymore punches at all and he didn’t want to get any closer. I knocked him down again in the last round. He basically just did enough to survive.
RC: Was it frustrating for you as a puncher to have a guy in front of you that gave you all those angles, that can move, was very slick and very crafty?
AB: Yeah in a way, but I tried to make sure I stayed composed and just relaxed in there, it was a good learning experience for me because going into the fight I heard he was really crafty and he moved a lot, and he had a lot of awkward movement and angles. I am glad that I got that early early in my career in the professional game so now I know what to look for in other fights.
RC: How would you rate your performance overall?
AB: To me, I am my biggest critic. I believe I would rate it like an eight. I still have a lot to improve on, so I don’t think I will ever be able to give myself a ten, but you know there is always room for improvement.
RC: You will be fighting this Friday again on DiBella’s latest installment of Broadway Boxing at the Manhattan center in New York; do you know who you will be fighting yet?
AB: I am fighting a guy name Edgar Galvan, I am looking forward to the fight, and this last fight was basically like a warm up for me. I feel like I want to go out there and put on good performance Friday night at the Manhattan Center.
RC: How did it feel going the distance for the first time as a professional last Friday night?
AB: It felt good man; it was not like the amateurs where you have to stay on and throw a whole rack of punches to try and get s a lot of points. I was able to stay composed, relaxed and pick my punches, and that is basically what I did so I felt real good.
RC: Do you know anything about Edgar Galvan?
AB: Yeah I know a little bit about him, I know he is a about the same height as me or a little shorter and they say he likes to walk straight to you and likes to punch, and that right there is right down my alley so it might be a short night.
RC: Is there anything you got a chance to work on going the distance, that you didn’t get to work on in your professional debut?
AB: Yeah, I threw a lot more body punches this time, I worked his body a lot, I threw a lot more jabs, basically I just relaxed and worked on a lot of different things because I knew it was probably going to be a long night because the guy was running and holding, so I tried to work on a lot of things and I didn’t really want to injure myself too much for the next fight.
RC: Can we expect a dog fight Friday night?
AB: I cant even say man, however it comes out , it comes out, but you know I go in there to learn each and every time I step in the ring, so hopefully I will end it quick and I am not really looking too much for the knockout but if it comes it comes.
RC: Is there anything else you would like to add in closing?
AB: I am already 2-0, and hopefully by the end of the week I will be 3- 0 real real soon. They are going to be hearing a lot about me real soon, so keep your eyes open because there is a young superstar coming out.
RC: You just fought this past Friday, and will be fighting this Friday, is that pretty much how active we can expect you to be? If all goes well this Friday is there anything that have been tentatively set?
AB: Actually they just offered me that fight to see if I wanted to do it, so I just took it on because I knew if nothing really hurt, I knew I could have done it so I just did it. When you get to be 3-0 in a month and a half, there isn’t nothing wrong with that, so I am just in there doing like we did in the amateurs when we fought everyday, so it wasn’t nothing new to me.
RC: Do you feel as if it will vary fighting back to back like this as a professional opposed as to when you were in the amateurs?
AB: Well right now I am just starting off, and I don’t think it is going to affect anything all too bad. It is only good things from now on, after this fight where I am going to take like a month off, or a month and a half and what not and then get back into it.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE 2004 OLYMPIAN
Send questions and comments to: email@example.com