Andre Berto-Luis Collazo was so nice, I had to watch it twice. Here are some second thoughts on Saturday night’s ultra-swell welterweight (147 lbs.) bout. (The first thoughts are here.)
- On closer examination, I should have scored the 11th for Berto. That would have been enough to give him the fight on my card. Berto landed both more shots and the bigger shots that round, and for some reason I had perceived Collazo as busier. The 1st was closer than I thought, too, but I still went with Collazo on second examination. And that’s exactly why any people who thinks Collazo got “robbed” — and there were a lot of them out there in boxing sites on the Internets, including commenter Kashi here — are going overboard. It was a close fight, hard to score. Interesting to note that Collazo seemed to think he lost, too, while Berto behaved afterward like he’d lost. It was that kind of fight.
- That said, the scorecard of HBO’s Harold Lederman was weird in spots. Most particularly, it’s hard to understand how he gave Collazo the 7th. Berto definitely landed the more telling blows, and he landed a lot more overall. With 20 seconds to go, HBO’s stats had Berto landing 28 punches to Collazo’s 6, and nothing much changed when the graphic left the screen for the rest of the round. I just don’t know what universe Harold is in sometimes.
- Since we’ve already made jokes about Andre Berto’s resemblance to the “What What (In The Butt)” guy — thanks, Eugene — I feel compelled to equal things out by making fun of the way Collazo looks, too. He’s the handsomer of the two, obviously, but you do have to wonder if Collazo’s related to Nosferatu.
- This isn’t all that related to the fight itself, but Berto made an interesting list that HBO’s Max Kellerman ran through at the end of the broadcast that was identified as the “New Guard” in boxing. “Here are the fighters that HBO will be making a concerted effort to bring you in the new year and going forward,” Kellerman said. The list was: Alfredo Angulo; Chris Arreola; Berto; Chad Dawson; Juan Diaz; Yuriorkis Gamboa; David Haye; James Kirkland; Juan Manuel Lopez; Victor Ortiz; Paul Williams. Kellerman said that “promotional obligations” of Jorge Linares may keep him from appearing much, and Edwin Valero’s legal issues may, too, but they made the list of people HBO would like to get ahold of. I’ll say two things about the list: A. It’s a good list; and B. The focus shouldn’t be on just having a list of good fighters, but of having a list of good fighters in good fights. Kellerman said they would “hopefully be in tough,” but HBO should try to ensure it by flexing its muscle a little. Fortunately, almost all of them are ready for tough step-up fights, and a great many of them already have tough fights booked.
- I wanna clarify something from the other post. Excessive holding is most definitely one of the things that will slow down and uglify a fight faster than just about anything else in the ring, and I’ve campaigned against it long and hard. It’s illegal, and refs don’t as often as they should penalize boxers who do it. But holding’s fine in moderation. I don’t think the ref should have docked Berto that point. On the other hand, I’m not mad about it. I just thought it was a little early.
- Berto’s fighting spirit, by the way, can be both an asset and a liability. It’s great to prove how tough you are after getting in a spot of trouble. Judges and fans like it. On the other hand, there’s no need to get yourself into a situation where you’re dragged into the other guy’s fight for prolonged stretches unless you can match or top him at it, and Berto did that too much and didn’t match Collazo on the inside. It makes the fights more interesting, but it’s bad strategy. Just needed to mention that mistake to go with the others I mentioned, plus some the HBO team did: backing straight up, squaring up too much, etc.
- In the comments last night, Steve mentioned Zab Judah as a good opponent for Berto next. Couldn’t agree more, if Judah can be talked into coming back to welterweight. E-ROC didn’t like it, but he and I very much agreed that any talk of Berto in against Joshua Clottey should be wholly avoided by Berto. Another thought: Jesus Soto-Karass. He could end up as Berto’s mandatory challenger anyway (he’s ranked #2 behind Collazo by the WBC), makes interesting fights and would give Berto a chance to practice against taller boxers to boot. And if there’s some way for Berto to make junior welterweight, something he’s flirted with, he should. Either way, he’s not ready for the next step up yet.
- I love watching Lou DiBella in the crowd at fights. He’s always so into it. I also liked Berto’s dad cheering him on and telling him over and over again afterward: “I love you.” Although Berto’s dad should limit himself to cheering his kid on, as opposed to trying to give instructions. That’s his trainer’s job. As for Berto’s sportsmanship in taking a break after he knocked Collazo’s mouthpiece out, I think he should have pounced instead. His job is to hit his man until someone stops him.