Fight Preview & Prediction: Andre Berto vs. Miguel Rodriguez

Photobucket Headlining this Saturday’s HBO Boxing After card from Memphis, TN is a WBC welterweight title fight between Andre Berto (21-0, 18 KOs) and Miguel Angel Rodriguez (29-2, 23 KOs).¬† Initially billed as a WBC title eliminator once Floyd Mayweather opted for the greener pastures of retirement the bout became a full fledged title fight.¬† For both participants this fight represents their sternest test to date and for that very reason fight fans will be tuning in in droves.¬† The Fighters:¬† At a mere 24 years old Andre Berta has already positioned himself as one of the sports brightest stars.¬† The 2006 prospect of the year and 2004 Haiti Olympian posses what many to be the total package when referencing a fighter.¬† Blessed with incredible hand speed, an all action mentality and some legitimate pop in his mitts and well my friends you have yourself a bonafide fighter.¬† Though Berto has not been without criticism.¬† Skeptics point at his alleged glass chin as the chink in Berto’s armor.¬† The notion of Berto’s weak whiskers was in response to his tasting of the canvas against Cosme Rivera when the young Floridian was knocked down in the sixth by the unheralded Rivera.¬† I don’t put much stock in that fight as Berto was able to compose himself to go on and win a comfortable decision.¬† Look, all fighters get their bell rung once.¬† It’s the nature of the sport.¬† After all a highly trained individual is trying to separate you from your senses and from time to time you catch a hard shot.¬† Personally I feel that Berto’s real test came against the tough-as-hell David Estrada last September.¬† Estrada is a take-no-prisoners pressure fighter with a heart the size of Texas and Berto was able to stop him in the eleventh.¬† Based on that performance I became a Berto believer.¬† Miguel Rodriguez represents the great unknown in this equation.¬† I admit to having never caught a glimpse of the Mexican banger but judging from his record Rodriguez has feasted on the likes of unqualified pugs in and around Mexico.¬† I have to be honest, this does not fill me with any assurance that Rodriguez can pull of the upset.¬† What I do see from taking an analytical gander at his record is that the kid can punch but the two biggest names on his ledger are Carlo Baldomir (a 12 round loss) and James Webb (a first round KO).¬† Not exactly a Murder’s Row of opposition here.¬† Still as noted earlier if Berto has a weakness it would be his chin and when you add in Rodriguez’s KO percentage the fight begins to look less like a mismatch.¬† My Prediction:¬† Berto by late round stoppage.¬† Rodriguez is too much of an unknown commodity for me to even think he has a shot.¬† Granted it looks like he can punch and we all know that Mexican fighters pride themselves on their toughness but lets be real for a moment, Berto is on¬†another level when compared to Rodriguez.¬† Berto controls this fight in a one-sided manner, mark my words.¬† My Confidence:95%.¬† The only question mark on Berto is his chin and even I am not so sure that it is as fragile as some would like to believe.¬† Berto has fought the stiffer competition and is the better athlete.¬† Rodriguez just will not be able to mount any kind of attack under Berto’s blistering assault.¬†

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.