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August 07, 2018

By G. Leon

Berto talks Alexander win, fighting Garcia or Thurman next

Congrats on your win versus Devon Alexander. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? 

Andre Berto: "Thank you, it feels good. I felt a little rusty in there at the beginning. After a long training camp it was just the fight I needed. He got off to a nice start because I needed some time to adjust to his speed. I had to get comfortable in there and by the fourth or fifth round, I knew I was going to be able to deal with everything he brought to the table. It's a great win for me and I'm happy the judges got it right."

GL: Whenever a southpaw is fighting an orthodox boxer there's a greater chance of accidental head butts occuring and you seemed to be frustrated early by it..

Andre Berto: (cutting in) "Yeah, the referee wasn't really doing a lot about it. There was a lot of head butting on the inside and then that knockdown was bullshit because he punched me in the back of my head twice and they called it a knockdown. My corner told me to stay focused and forget about the referee, you're not fighting the ref, you're fighting him. That's what I did, I dialed in and focused in on my man and began to punish him."

GL: Did you have any doubt that the victory was yours when they went to the cards?

AB: "Oh no, I had no doubt at all. I knew I took over the second half of the fight, I closed stronger and I was the stronger man when the final bell rang. He started to slow down and I started to let off more combinations and start pushing the action."

GL: Did you expect him to tire at the end of the fight?

AB: "We watched a few tapes and saw the same thing happening over and over. He starts very fast, but then he slows down in the second half of the fight. I didn't expect it was going to happen that fast and dramatic, but it did and I pressed on the gas on my end because I knew the shape I was in. My speed just got to the target a lot of faster. He was fast, but I was faster and more explosive."

GL: What does this win mean to you?

AB: "It means a lot, you know how this business is and you're only as good as your last performance. I wanted to get that sour taste out of my mouth with Porter. I believe this fight showed everybody that I could come back after being off for sixteen months and beat a former two division champion."

GL: Will this year be the first time in a long time that you actually fight more than once a year?

AB: "Maybe, that's what they're talking about now so we'll see."

GL: The Alexander camp made it clear that had he won the fight they wanted Keith Thurman. Is Thurman somebody you're looking for? Who do you want to fight next?

AB: "Right now I believe everything is up for grabs. Keith and I are really good friends and we grew up together so I'm not really sure what comes to the table on that aspect, but I'm going to back to the drawing board and go with whatever makes the most sense and you know me so whatever is going to make the most sense is going to be the most money. The question is, who is the name going to be?"

GL: You're an OG now, so who do you want to fight?

AB: "It's like you said I'm an OG and the only thing that looks good to me is that money. As long as those commas add up it doesn't matter who it is. Anybody could get it."

GL: Is it important to you that you fight again this year?

AB: "That's the plan, I've been off for so long and that would be a great way for me to really get back into the mix."

GL: Is your next fight going to be a step up from Alexander?

AB: "It might be a step up and the kind of fight that excites a lot of people. I've been in this game for minute and my name holds a certain amount of weight so we're going to see what makes the most sense and go with that."

GL: Mikey Garcia is talking about fighting Errol Spence Jr at weltweight. If Mikey wanted to test the welterweight waters before fighting Spence would you welcome him to the division with open arms?

AB: "I love it! There's different beasts in this division."

GL: Is that a name you like?

AB: "I do and as long as it comes with a big check I'll be interested."

GL: Shawn Porter came with a big check but in hindsight it wasn't the right fight for you, so it has to be about more than just a big check no?

AB: "Exactly. That's the reason Shawn Porter hasn't fought in so long, because even though there's a big check that comes with it you've got to be ready to deal with, you know....

GL: A real assault.

AB: "Yes, a real assault and that was my first time in a fight that I suffered a concussion and it wasn't from those punches. It's a different type of situation when you're getting ready to fight him."

GL: Do you favor him against Garcia because of his physicality?

AB: "He could have an advantage on that side, but Danny is dangerous in exchanges and he likes to fight with some distance. Shawn is very aggressive and very physical, so if he can close that distance he's going to be taking advantage of that the whole fight."

GL: Closing thoughts?

AB: "Keep locked in on the kid. 14 plus years in the game and I'm still going strong. The best is yet to come."

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