Sharkie's Machine: Andre Berto Bores Past Urango after Cintron and Angulo Deliver the Excitement
By Frank Gonzalez Jr. exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (June 1, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
Saturday night at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida , the Main Event should have been the under card; a clash between 154 pound contenders Kermit Cintron (31-2-1, 27 KO’s) vs. Alfredo Angulo (15-1, 12 KO’s). That was a rock solid, competitive fight that saw Cintron redeem himself after his previous fight; a deserved loss that was called a Draw by those mysterious official Judges that scored the fight. That fight saw Cintron knocked down, not beat the count, yet be allowed to continue to fight after the bell ended the round. It was also clear that Sergio Martinez had won more rounds in that fight. Anyone could see that except the people who are commissioned to do it officially.

To his credit, Cintron proved how valuable a loss can be as he exhibited much improved mobility and overall boxing skills in this fight against a rugged, hard nosed Angulo, who kept things competitive to the end. Angulo was always in the fight but in spite of his respectable boxing skills and determination, didn’t have enough to best Kermit Cintron Saturday night, a night Cintron afterwards described as his “best performance ever.”

Kudos to Kermit Cintron, who used his jab masterfully and most times beat Alfredo Angulo to the punch. Angulo earns high praise too for a very strong showing. Angulo landed many good shots and had some inspiring moments but lost a Unanimous Decision to the technically superior Cintron. That fight went to the wire and was a great promotion for both guys. Cintron was the biggest step up Angulo has taken so far and this loss was a good loss. This experience is critical for Angulo, who will only get better from here. I’d like to see Angulo vs. James Kirkland! Two true tough guys. Let’s hope they don’t win any major titles because once they do their handlers won’t let them fight the other titlists. Instead they fight safety fights that are boring. (See Berto vs. Urango!)

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For what it was, the Main Event, which featured WBC Welterweight “Titlist” Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KO’s) vs. former Jr. Welterweight “Titlist” Juan Urango (21-2, 16 KO’s) turned out to be as exciting as waiting for your number to be called at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In the first round there was a lot of nothing. Urango landed the cleaner shots and Berto complained to the ref about a head butt that kind of wasn’t. In the second round, Urango landed a big left hook that stunned Berto. That was about the biggest punch I saw in this entire fight. What was interesting about this fight was that though Urango did most of the work, Berto got all of the credit, mostly because Urango was often ineffective and from the cheap seats, it looked like Berto was landing when he’d throw those little flurries just before clinching.

If you were watching this fight on Cable and suddenly the picture went out but the sound was still on, it would sound like a Berto was blasting Urango from pillar to post the way Bob Papa and Max Kellerman made it sound. HBO boxing has now surpassed all others in giving new depth to the word ‘biased.’ I get a kick out of the slippery language of Max Kellerman, who at one point, after constantly crediting Berto with ‘domination’ over Urango (who was never even hurt in this fight), Max said, “This performance is less than scintillating.” Translation—this is a boring fight. Why use a powerful word like ‘scintillating’ when you mean boring? The tapes won’t lie; this fight was a Berto Clinch Fest. That’s not what the fans want to see.

Juan Urango did his best to keep bringing the fight to Berto, who was often moving backwards, running or clinching. On occasion, Berto would throw a speedy combination that would mostly miss and then he’d clinch. It was annoying to watch.

Urango is notably slower than Berto and it was obvious why Berto’s handler’s picked him, since he’s tailor-made for Berto’s style. The most notable thing about this fight was how often Berto was holding and yet, I can’t recall the referee ever even warning Berto about it. After 12 rounds of Berto vs. Urango, the drinks and food should’ve been “on the house” to compensate the fans who paid good money to see this fight live.

During the post fight interview, Berto didn’t call anyone out and when asked who he wants to fight, he deferred to his Promoters. Imagine if promoters couldn’t simply “pick” who their charges’ fight? I hope I live to see that day.

The truth is that Andre Berto may look the part…but he’s really a prospect level fighter with a title belt. And we can make all the excuses we want, he’s young, give him time, etc…why should we give him time if he’s already wearing a major title belt? What’s the point of being one of four “champions” who do not fight each other? I don’t blame Berto. It’s not his fault that boxing has no legit structure. The WBC wanted him to be their stand in during Mayweather’s strategic retirement and now they get to keep him so long as they can keep him safe. It’s clear from Berto’s own words during the post fight interview that he is not exactly ready for prime time. And yet, he is the WBC “World Champion.” His style of run, throw a punch or two and then clinch gets real old real quick.

Juan Urango just moved up to 147—and gets a title shot in his first fight at Welterweight? Why the hell don’t these “champions” fight each other? How long do we have to wait for Andre Berto to take on a Miguel Cotto, Josh Clottey, Shane Mosley or at least a Carlos Quintana quality contender? Why didn’t I add Floyd to that list? Floyd “retired” when the obvious choices for his next fights included fighters in their primes, like Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams and Miguel Cotto. What’s the point of being the WBC “champion” and then NOT fighting the best in your division? Better not to ask.

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