This is mainly an indictment of Andre Berto (31-4, 24 KO). Before that, however, let us consider the likely reason that Shawn Porter (26-2, 16 KO) actually sought out the fight with Berto. After his loss to Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and his father-trainer, Kenny Porter, tossed out names of preferred next opponents. Curiously, sub-welterweights were on the list; e.g., Ruslan Provodnikov and John Molina, Jr. Molina had been a lightweight who had moved up to junior welterweight. Given how Porter relies on his physical strength to bully his opponents, e.g. Paulie Malignaggi, it is clear that Porter was seeking for himself a tuneup to get back to winning and keep himself relevant.
Berto had previously been physically manhandled in a loss to Robert Guerrero, who started his career at featherweight. In recent articles, I have suggested that Guerrero is not a legitimate welterweight and cannot compete successfully at that weight class against much naturally bigger men. If a featherweight can do that, imagine Shawn Porter.
Berto not long ago was being outboxed by Josesito Lopez, a natural junior welterweight who is not particularly athletic. Being outboxed by Victor Ortiz thereafter was acceptable. But, if Lopez boxed circles around him before Berto caught him with one punch, imagine Shawn Porter. Indeed, Porter, very sloppy and non-technical with his inside fighting, is currently talking about his plans to box Berto from the outside.
Moreover, Kenny and Shawn Porter have seemed to reference their pursuit of Berto as a “situation”, and the money they wanted for the fight as fitting the “situation” that they were in. That is, Berto is seen as a perfect “situational” fight in that Berto has a recognizable name and there is question as to whether he can compete at the top of the welterweight division.
As is stands, can Berto compete at a top level? He certainly appears convenient for Shawn Porter’s “situation.”
Berto-Porter will air at 9:30pm US Eastern on Showtime.