Soto Karass Stops Andre Berto

By Robert Ecksel on July 27, 2013
Soto Karass Stops Andre Berto
Soto Karass TKO'd Berto to win the NABF welterweight title Saturday night. (Naoki Fukuda)

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and Berto’s propensity to rumble, to throw caution to the wind, was his undoing in San Antonio…

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) stopped former WBC/IBF welterweight champion Andre Berto (28-3, 22 KOs) 48 seconds into the 12th and final round to win the vacant NABF welterweight title.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Haitian-born Berto. He had recently hooked up with trainer Virgil Hunter, who was supposed to work his magic. But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and Berto’s propensity to rumble, to throw caution to the wind, was his undoing, helped in no small part by the relentless aggression of Soto Karass.

Fighting out of the blue corner in silver trunks trimmed with grey and black, Berto started strong. His hallmark speed and heavy hands saw the Winter Haven, Florida native in the proverbial zone.

But it all began to unravel in round four.

“In the fourth round I tore [something] in my shoulder. But I’m a warrior,” Berto said. “I don’t quit. I’m always going to put it all on the line.”

We won’t know exactly what happened to Berto until he returns from the hospital, but it was a huge round for Soto Karass who, looking sporty in pink trunks with black trim, parlayed that advantage into the rounds to follow.

The injured shoulder might have caused Berto trouble, but even more troubling was the fact that whenever Soto Karass connected, Berto’s knees appeared to buckle. Soto Karass isn’t known as a knockout artist. He wins his fights by attrition. But one wouldn’t know it watching Berto eat punches while stumbling around the ring.

Berto had his moments in the championship rounds. He won round 10, and actually dropped Soto Karass with a body shot in the 11th. But because he was gassed, or because he was injured, or because he was a beaten man, Berto was unable to follow up and the bell rang with Soto Karass bouncing punches off his opponent.

It all came to a crashing halt in the 12th round. Soto Karass and Berto threw left hooks at the exact same time—and Berto’s was not the first to land. He crashed to the canvas as if shot. He somehow beat the count and got to his feet, but referee Jon Schorle had seen enough and waved off the fight.

At the time of the stoppage, the scorecards were dead even. Judge Cathy Leonard had it 105-103, Michael Mitchell had it 103-105, and Hubert Min had it tied at 104-104.

“I thought I was winning the fight,” said Soto Karass. “But I had to go with the knockout to avoid any problems with the judges.”

Soto Karass did what he needed to do. He won the fight and did so decisively. His future looks bright.

Andre Berto’s future, already compromised coming in, by contrast looks dark indeed.

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  1. The Traveling Man 12:09pm, 07/29/2013

    FD and Prov. Totally agree. Berto is not ring savvy but is tough as nails. Soto IS savvy and also is as tough as nails.

    FD, We are being treated marvelously in Quebec as usual. North Hatley and Ayers Cliff and The Ripplecove Resort are just wonderful as are the gold courses , especially at Dufferns outside of Ayers Cliff.

    As for Tim Horton’s, I apologize.

  2. Don from Prov 09:31am, 07/29/2013

    Agree with Traveling Man (in spite of the fact that he is admitting that he eats at Tim Horton’s) that Soto was punishing Berto from the opening: Andre did begin to counter with the right, but whether that was curtailed by the injury or Soto not leaning in as much, it was curtailed.  And Soto was smart

    in wanting to keep the fight out of the hands of the moronic judges.
    P.S. Boxers should be tested in same way that baseball in imposing.

  3. The Traveling Man 08:05pm, 07/28/2013

    His body looked mighty suspicious to me as well. He looked like he was ready for the MR America contest. Might suspicious…...

  4. bk don 03:04pm, 07/28/2013

    Yeah, I tend to agree with you Traveling man. I don’t think Berto’s career ended last night but it certainly did as a main event world class fighter. He’s best days are clearly behind him in the sport. He’s getting hit too much in his recent fights and there’s no way he can continue at this pace much longer. The first rd was a tough 1 and a bad sign of things to come however berto did look better in the ensuing rounds as he made some minor adjustments.

    FranklinDallas I thought the corner did a decent job. Their fighter obviously wasn’t hindered enough to prevent him from dropping and hurting SK in the 11th rd and being even on the cards through 11 rds. I wouldn’t have been mad if they stopped it but I can’t be upset they let it go.

  5. The Traveling Man 12:09pm, 07/28/2013

    Why do i feel the same fate is awaiting Cotto…?

    As for Thurman, I am now a believer. His chin surprised me. He has the goods. I’d love to see him fight Maidana, but I’d rather see him put an end to the moronic Broner imbecilic behavior. HMM Is that redundant?

  6. The Travelling man 12:01pm, 07/28/2013

    Rick has the beat

  7. Rick 10:38am, 07/28/2013

    @Travelling Man- Berto never really was.

  8. Rick 10:35am, 07/28/2013

    And I’ll say it yet again, why the hell is that loudmouth fool Mauro whatever still working for Showtime. I mean they have one of the more compotent announcers working for them already in Steve Farhood and yet he is relegated to Shobox while that idiot screams his head off about nothing. Its funny that when they give their unofficial scorecards Farhoods is usually the only one that reflects reality. I just don’t get it.

  9. Rick 10:25am, 07/28/2013

    I don’t see how the judges had it even in the 12th (maybe Al Haymons magic) but that was irrelevant once Berto got dropped.

  10. FrankinDallas 09:41am, 07/28/2013

    Berto’s team should be ashamed of themselves. Their guy was being beaten to a pulp and had an injury. OK I get the “warrior” thing but this isn’t Sparta, it’s boxing.

  11. The Travelling Man via laptop from Tim Horton's 09:24am, 07/28/2013

    With all due respect, I’d say it all began to unravel in round one when Soto unloaded on Berto and set the blueprint for the rest of the fight.

    By the way, the stoppage by the referee was a heroic one because it prevented the distinct possibility of a horrific decision and terrible robbery.

  12. The Travelling Man 09:11am, 07/28/2013

    Berto’s prison physique muscles are totally useless bulk, further restricting his ability to roll with anything.  He has badly regressed since the Collazo fight.

    This all said, it was tough to see Virgil Hunter comforting him after the fight. That was a poignant moment—all too rare in boxing. That was tough to watch and you just had to have pity for Andre.

  13. The Travelling Man 07:44am, 07/28/2013

    Berto is done.

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