Shawn Porter will get another chance to earn a win at what's become a premier venue for boxing slugfests, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, when he takes on Andre Berto on Saturday night on a Premier Boxing Champions card.
The American last fought at Barclays in June 2016, losing a thriller to Keith Thurman by a close unanimous decision. As Ring Magazine's No. 4 fighter in the crowded, talent-laden welterweight division, Porter will be hoping a win over Berto can springboard him back into title contention.
Berto was a winner in his last fight, a fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz, which came after his wholly predictable, tedious loss to Floyd Mayweather in the latter's final fight of his career.
At 33 years old, Berto isn't likely to get many more high-profile bouts, especially in the hotly contested welterweight ranks. He will need a win on Saturday to stay relevant.
Here's the viewing info for the bout.
Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto Fight Info
When: Saturday, April 22, 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime, Sky Sports 1 (UK)
Live Stream: ShowtimeAnytime
|Tale of the Tape|
|Shawn Porter||Andre Berto|
|16 KOs, 55%||KOs (KO %)||24 KOs, 69%|
According to OddsShark, Porter is a 1-6 favorite over Berto. Porter showed in his wild, kinetic fight with Thurman last year that he is not afraid to go toe-to-toe and trade punches.
Berto is a slugger as well and has a much higher knockout rate than Porter, but he hasn't had a high-profile win in quite some time.
His victory over Ortiz did see him get an early knockout win, but Berto was knocked down himself in the second round. It was hardly an auspicious showing against a declining fighter, but that doesn't mean the heavy underdog won't provide some fireworks on Saturday.
Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole noted Berto's fights are almost always worth checking out:
Time and again, Berto has drawn fans out of their seats. Sometimes, it's for what he lands. Other times, it's for what he absorbs. Berto's fights, though, are always compelling.
Say this for him: He always keeps your interest. There was the time he fought Robert Guerrero, and inexplicably came out trying to use the shoulder roll, a defensive tactic in which the fighter tucks his chin and protects it with his shoulder.
It's a move Floyd Mayweather has perfected and used to great effect.
But when Berto tried it, he simply was open to getting battered by Guerrero, who repeatedly nailed him with hard, clean, thudding shots.
Berto will have to be careful against Porter, who might not be the best thumper in the welterweight division but is an attack-minded pugilist with the speed to string together punches in bunches.
In facing Thurman and Adrien Broner before him, Porter showed that he has a strong chin (though the latter did knock him down in the 12th round before taking the loss on the cards).
Perhaps knowing he can't leave himself open to big, swinging counterpunches from a Berto who is likely to go for broke in this contest, Porter has said he will take a page out of the Mayweather playbook.
"Well, watching the fight, I definitely admired, as any fight that Floyd Mayweather's in, his boxing ability, but that was something that was very effective against Andre Berto," Porter said, per Sky Sports' Nick Lustig.
"So, we'll definitely pick our spots where we want to box; where we want to use the ring. But at any rate, through the entire fight, we will control the action as well as the ring."
Porter's tactical acumen and speed are two of the main reasons he will be favored in this contest. If he can throw cool water on Berto's attack and control the tempo of the fight, he should be able to get a win.
Per Lustig, Porter said he wants a rematch with Thurman, which is ample motivation that goes beyond simply avenging a loss in front of another rabid Barclays Center crowd. He might have to wait, though, considering Danny Garcia might also be in line for a rematch with Thurman after his decision loss to him earlier this year.
Berto's motivation to get back in title contention might be more immediate, considering he's four years older than Porter and has two more losses on his ledger. He can hardly suffer another defeat now.
According to Bad Left Hook's Scott Christ, Berto said "becoming a three-time world champion is great motivation," and that any fight now is a "potentially career-defining fight."
Make no mistake, Berto will bring his best on Saturday night. "Showtime" Porter is still more likely to get the win, but he will have to work hard to do so.