On Saturday, September 3rd, Andre Berto turned in an impressive performance against fellow welterweight top ten contender, Jan Zaveck, TKOing the Slovenian after five rounds and capturing the IBF welterweight strap in the process.
Zaveck was a game challenger. He stayed in the pocket under daunting pressure and landed successfully whenever an opening presented itself to him.
However, Berto's hand and foot speed and all-around explosiveness were too much. By the end of five rounds, both of Zaveck's eyes were swollen; his right was nearly shut, badly cut at the brow, and he could no longer see out of it.
Now 28-1 with 21 knockouts, the Haitian native is clearly among the top 147 pound fighters in the world. His only career loss came via unanimous decision last April against Victor Ortiz, in a thrilling war that will likely garner "Fight of the Year" honors, and which already propelled Ortiz into his September showdown with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Berto knocked Ortiz down twice during the fight.
At 27 years of age, Berto is just entering what should be his prime at the top of his game. He looks like a guy who can be counted upon to deliver exciting, main event caliber fights for years to come. What follows are five fights I'd love to see him take in the next year or two.