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March 06, 2017

By G. Leon

GL:  Congrats on getting the Shawn Porter fight. What can boxing fans look forward to on April 22? An exciting fight man, like I said, everybody that follows me on social media sees that I've been dialed in for a while. It's an exciting time for boxing right now, they're going to see me come into the ring in tremendous shape and they're going to see another great performance by Andre Berto."

GL: The fight has been talked about for some time, there was a little bit of back and forth on social media. What are your thoughts of Shawn Porter as a fighter?

Andre Berto: "I don't have too many thoughts. Of course everybody at this level are great fighters, everybody has paid their dues to a point, everybody knows all the stakes. Everybody at this point is a world champion or former champion, I give him his respect on that end, but that's as far as it goes."

GL: What would a victory over Shawn Porter mean to you?

AB: "Of course it would be tremendous. It would mean I'm just going to continue to climb up that ladder. I'm kind of like the vet in this top echelon group. All of these other guys are little bit younger, but I'm just going to show that I'm still here and I'm still one of the best in the world at what I do. Like every one of them, I'm looking to get that reign as the new king of the welterweight division and I'm here to take my claim."

GL: Shawn Porter is a comer. You've never shied away from contact yourself, what kind of fight can the fans look forward to on April 22?

AB: "They know I love the contact, they know that. Now I'm definitely a lot smarter, but I'm definitely a very physical guy. I'm fast, I'm strong and I love putting my hands on whoever is in front of me. The fans can look forward to a damn exciting show and I'm going to be ready for whatever he's got to bring, so there's going to be fireworks and it's going to be another tremendous show. This welterweight division is hot right now man, it's on fire and I'm going to keep the blaze going."

GL: What did you think about the Thurman-Porter fight?

AB: "I gave Keith the advantage. Shawn is a great fighter, he comes in shape and he tries to outwork his opponent, I just feel like Keith landed the most significant shots. He stayed on Keith and he had his moments, but I think Keith landed the more significant punches."

GL: Other than Mayweather do you think Porter is going to be the stiffest test of your career?

AB: "We're going to have to see fight night. I've fought a lot of great fighters and a lot of tough fighters, so we'll have to see."

GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage coming into this fight?

AB: "There's a lot of different things. Of course, my experience, the speed the power and explosiveness. A few years back I went through a little bit of down time because I was going through some health issues that I didn't really speak out about publicly. But from the Mayweather fight on, I've been working with some great people to get me as healthy as possible like I need to be. My endurance is through the roof right now and I think people will just continue to see the improvement so I'm just looking forward to it."

GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?

AB: "Victory! Glory!"

GL: You and Virgil have been working together for a while now, do you feel like it's all come together to where we're going to see your full arsenal on display?

AB: "Yeah for sure. A lot of things that me and Virgil have worked on for the last couple of years, sometimes it's hard for fighters to get out of old habits, but now everything is locking in together like it needs to. A lot of stuff has been corrected like it needs to and we're able to work together well and it all comes together in the game plan. This is going to be one exciting fight for the welterweight division and I just can't wait for my time."

GL: Welterweight is hotter than a firecracker right now, what do you want a victory on April 22 to lead to?

AB: "At this point, everybody is in the race to the number one spot in the welterweight division. Everybody wants the throne Mayweather gave up, everybody wants to show they're the best to be able to sit on that throne comfortably. Everybody wants to leave no doubt to who the king is of the welterweight division. Right now we're on the full court press and I'm right there with it too. A win on the 22nd is going to lead to me fighting whoever else is in front of me for that spot."

GL: On May 21 you're going to have some people who think the winner of Brook-Spence is the welterweight champion, and others who consider Keith Thurman the guy. Do you think the winner of Brook-Spence needs to fight Thurman to give everybody else chasing the throne a clear target as to who the man is?

AB: "That's what's going to end up happening. I think it's going to be a tournament, we're going to tournament this thing off. Lamont just won a title, Keith just went at it with Danny, Brook and Spence are going to go at it and so are me and Shawn. We're going to bring that Duran, Hagler, Hearns, Leonard back where all of the top guys battle each other, so it's just going to be very exciting for the boxing fans."

GL: Closing thoughts?

AB: "I'm looking forward to April 22, I think the stage is set beautifully for the welterweight division. It feels good to still be part of the cream of the crop after all of these years, it's going to be a good one!"

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