By John J. Raspanti
Former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) mauled and punched his way to ninth round stoppage over two-time titleholder Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOS) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York Saturday night.
Porter,29, came out boxing in the opening stanza. Berto appeared perplexed and a little surprised. Porter circled and fired his jab. Berto followed—looking to counter.
He connected with a pretty double jab at the bell.
Porter went back to his bread and butter, mauling and brawling, in round two. He worked over Berto’s body and floored the 33-year-old with a glancing blow to the head. Porter continued his impressive body work in rounds three and four. He also scored with a short right hand.
Berto looked for room to punch, but couldn’t find any. Porter was doing a great job of smothering Porter—who did land an uppercut on the inside. Both fighters were bleeding from cuts—caused by accidental headbutts.
In rounds five and six, Porter pushed Berto into the ropes and let his hands go. His intense aggressiveness was making the former champion uncomfortable. Porter is much more than just a brawler, he’s tough and determined. Berto fought back the best he could. He was trying to get off first, but Porter was doing a better job.
Berto rallied in round seven. He caught Porter with a good hook, but Porter absorbed the blow and kept moving forward.
In round eight, Porter bullied Berto into the ropes and worked him over. Most of the blows were to the body. They had to hurt, but if they did, Berto ignored them and fired back.
Porter pummeled Berto with shots from everywhere in the next stanza. He floored Berto for the second time, and seconds later, convinced referee Bart Nelson to wave off the canvas.
The time was 1:31 seconds into round nine.
Berto didn’t complain.
“I’m a fighter and Mr. Berto is a fighter,” said the always classy Porter. “This was a hard-fought battle by both of us.”
“He’s a rough fighter,” Porter said.
They both are.