Guerrero wins war of attrition over Berto
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 25, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
Ghost punches Berto
In a physically demanding fight, fought mostly on the inside, champions Robert Guerrero (31-1, 18 KOs) and Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) battled over 12 intense rounds with Guerrero winning by a unanimous decision at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California. With the win, Guerrero retained his interim WBC welterweight title.
Both fighters came out jabbing in the opening stanza.  Berto adopted the defensive posture of Adrian Broner. He leaned back and fired his right hand. Guerrero, a southpaw, worked his jab and left hand. Berto clubbed Guerrero with a heavy right hand. The Broner defensive style was working until the final minute of the round. Guerrero landed a straight left down the pipe that hurt Berto badly. Another left hand floored Berto. The former IBF champion got up and tried to hold on. Guerrero landed two lefts and a right. As the round ended, Berto staggered back to his corner.
In round two, Guerrero immediately landed another left hand that hurt Berto. Guerrero clipped Berto with a short uppercut on the inside. Berto slithered down the ropes to the canvas. He was up at six, but very hurt. Guerrero landed a big uppercut against the ropes. Berto countered with a right. He was staggering, but fighting back. Berto’s right eye was swollen. He was having a very difficult time seeing Guerrero’s straight left hand.
Berto tried to change the rhythm of the fight in round three. His chopping right hand clipped Guerrero. He landed a good right to the body.  Berto was fighting back, but so was Guerrero. The Gilroy native connected with a hard left of his own. Guerrero was fighting like a street fighter. He had found a way to work the body and head of Berto consistently.
Guerrero continued with his onslaught of Berto’s body in round four. The 29-year-old Berto landed a vicious uppercut on the inside. Guerrero again connected with a left to the head. Another right by Berto got the attention of Guerrero. Most of the fight was being contested on the inside. Each fighter was landing some heavy shots to the head and body. Berto probably won that round. His ability to survive the early knockdowns was admirable.
In round five, Berto landed a good left hand. Guerrero went right back to the body of Berto. The fighters wrestled in the middle of the ring. Berto landed another slashing uppercut. Guerrero connected with a thudding shot to the body of the former champion.
Berto’s eye continued to close. In round six, Guerrero nailed the before mentioned eye with a left.  Berto landed a sharp right hand off the ropes. Guerrero countered with a right to the body. Berto landed his own body shot. As Guerrero leaned back, Berto  connected with a hard right hand to the chin.
Guerrero landed a big left hand on Berto’s chin a minute into round seven. Berto caught Guerrero with a strong uppercut. The last minute was spent on the ropes. Guerrero continued his street fighting ways. He pummeled Berto’s head and body. Guerrero bulled Berto back to the ropes in round eight. The Miami, Florida resident countered with a check hook. Guerrero shook it off.
The fighters went right back to the ropes at the start of round nine. Guerrero was smothering Berto and continuing to land on the inside.  Bero landed a powerful uppercut that made Guerrero stumble. Guerrero landed his own left that hurt Berto.
It was reported by the HBO ringside team that Guerrero couldn’t see out of his right eye. Berto was struggling to see out of both eyes. Guerrero put his chin on Berto’s chest and punched. Berto was still finding him with uppercuts. Guerrero landed another stiff left at the bell ending round 10.
The street fight continued in round 11. Guerrero went back to the chest of Berto. His bodywork continued. Berto connected with a hard uppercut. Both fighters opened up on each other on the ropes. They traded combinations to the head and body. Guerrero was still working a little more than Berto.
The 12th and final round saw more of the same. Guerrero pushed Berto back into the mythical phone booth and unloaded. A Berto right to the throat of Guerrero hurt. Guerrero landed another left and right to the head. Everyone in the Citizens Business Arena was in their feet in the final minute. Guerrero landed a slashing combination that knocked Berto back.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Guerrero 116-110. (this writer also scored the fight 116-110 for Guerrero)
“I had to work him on the inside. He has really fast hands,” said Guerrero in the ring after the fight. “I’ve got a good chin so I was able to take his punches.”
“The referee kept warning me for things I wasn’t doing,” Berto said. “I lost to a great fighter.”
The bout was part of HBO’S Championship Boxing Series

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