SAN DIEGO, April 22, 2017 – “Showtime” Shawn Porter had a strong outing in his return to the ring, stopping a game but outclassed Andre Berto midway through the ninth round in front of 9,118 fans Saturday in the main event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Porter worked behind his jab to set up proficient body work, but it also made for a messy fight with headbutts and even a clash of elbow to head as Porter moved in. Berto was cut twice, once in the second round and again in the fourth over the left eye. Porter also showed the effects of the head clashes though not to the extent of Berto. The ringside physician kept a close eye on things through the fight but let the action continue.
Porter isn’t a knockout artist, but he never stops coming at his opponent and simply piles up the damage. His body punching was as on point against Berto as it’s been in many years. To Berto’s credit, he gives 100 percent effort and no one will ever use the word quitter describing him.
Berto was first down in the second round. In the ninth round, Berto went down once, then twice, but he got to his feet and did what he could. Finally referee Mark Nelson had seen enough, and called it a night at 1:31 of the ninth round.
Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) is now in position for a rematch with division champion Keith “One Time” Thurman as his WBC mandatory challenger. Thurman greeted Porter in the ring after his win, and congratulated him, saying “I’ll see you soon. Brooklyn, it’s what y’all want!” to cheers. “And you know people at home are cheering at the TV too!” added Thurman.
It’s a good fight for both, for the fans and boxing as a whole.
Berto’s (31-5, 24 KOs) fortunes are less certain. He’s fun to watch, extremely likeable and hard working. Except for his dreadful performance against Floyd Mayweather, none of his losses have been blowouts. He might be destined for gatekeeper status, and at 33 years old and heading quick for 34, he may be fine with reality. Fans will still watch Berto and he can give any young, ambitious challenger a test.
Scoring a win both for herself and women’s professional boxing as a whole, Puerto Rico’s Amando Serrano (31-1-1, 23 KOs) made history with her dominating eighth round stoppage over Dahiana Santana (35-9, 14 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. Winning the vacant bantamweight title makes the 28-year-old the first Puerto Rican professional boxer to win world titles in five weight classes, breaking the record she previously held with Miguel Cotto.
Santana came in four pounds overweight, but she was still no match for Serrano’s strong body attack. Santana was docked a point for holding by referee Benjy Esteves in the fourth round, but there was so little Santana could do to keep Serrano off her the holding was her last resort.
Serrano didn’t show Santana any mercy, and the ringside doctors kept examining Santana who had badly swollen eyes. Finally referee Esteves took matters into his own hands and stopped the fight at 1:14 of the eighth round.
“I’m so proud to be a Puerto Rican. I’m so proud to be a Showtime fighter. I’m just so happy for this moment,” Serrano said. “Just to be a five-division world champion, I could retire today and be the happiest woman alive.”
Junior middleweight Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) returned to the ring and picked up right where he left off with an impressive performance, stopping an overwhelmed Charles Hatley (26-2-1, 18 KOs) in the sixth round.
Charlo appeared the bigger man in the ring and he was in control from the opening bell. He stunned Hatley at the end of the second round, dropped him for the first time midway through the third round, and continued to pile up the damage.
In the sixth round, Hatley must have decided he might as well try trading with Charlo, which was a big mistake. Charlo placed a perfect right to Hatley’s head and he was dropped cold, scoring a knockout at 32 seconds into the sixth round. It was one of those frightening moments in boxing, but as the stretcher was brought out for Hatley, he got up and left the ring under his own power.
Charlo retains his WBO title belt. Hatley hadn’t fought in 17 months, and the ring rust showed. He will have a lot of work to do once he’s recovered from this bout.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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