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Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto Pick

Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime at 10PM EST
Weight Class: Welterweight
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Shawn Porter, 26-2-1 (16 KOs), Las Vegas, Nevada
Vs.
Andre Berto, 31-4 (24 KOs), Winter Haven, Florida

Betting Odds: Shawn Porter -530, Andre Berto +350

Shawn Porter takes on Andre Berto in a battle of former welterweight belt-holders on April 22 on Showtime in Brooklyn's Barclays Center. It's a high-stakes 147-pound battle where the winner can get back in line for a title shot. The waters at welterweight are rich indeed and the winner of this fight can get back into the big-money mix. Porter, 29, is the prohibitive favorite, having thrived at the highest levels of the sport. Berto, 33, is seen more as "yesterday's news," but he has hung in there admirably in the past several years and looks to re-enter the ranks of the elite in this matchup. Who can leave Brooklyn with the big win?

My thoughts on Berto are pretty negative overall, but perhaps his slide has been exaggerated. I thought he was getting by on superior athleticism rather than by mastering his craft. Berto always struck me as a fighter who relied on physicality and eschewed anything resembling a cerebral approach. In 2011, he was 27-0, before losing to Victor Ortiz. A loss to Robert Guerrero followed, before his low-water mark when he was TKO'd by Jesus Soto Karass. A few wins led to a big-money shot against Floyd Mayweather, where Berto was barely competitive en route to a wide decision loss in Money May's last fight.

Since that September 2015 loss to Mayweather, Berto's only outing was a rematch win over Ortiz, a fighter who is even more shot than Berto is. And speaking of Berto being shot, there seemed to be an accelerated course of erosion for the former welterweight titleholder. When you go from one of the top guys in the division to getting TKO'd by the likes of Soto Karass, it's not a ringing endorsement. You'd think that nearly four years later, he'd be completely dilapidated. And while his only recent wins of note are against the past-their prime duo of Josesito Lopez and Victor Ortiz, Berto has managed to level out the downward trajectory to some extent. While not all that competitive against Mayweather, he was competent. And he showed he still has ample firepower in his KO over former conqueror Ortiz.

Porter is favored and rightfully so. Whether he deserves to be this big of a favorite, well, we can get into that later. But he has been awfully close to proving himself the best that the thought is that he is actually elite. His only two losses were narrow decision defeats to Kell Brook and Keith Thurman. Throw in wins over Devon Alexander and Adrien Broner and the strength of his credentials become clear. If he's not elite, he's a small sliver beneath that level.

These men have a lot in common. They are both well-schooled boxers who come from a deep amateur background. Porter actually participated as a middleweight in the amateur ranks, beating such luminaries as Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Berto was also a decorated amateur, beating guys like Andre Dirrell and Tim Bradley. They're both stocky for this weight. They both fight aggressively. Beyond who might win this fight is the fact that fans should anticipate a highly entertaining bout.

It's just that Porter is at this point a far more-robust force in terms of raw physicality. Only real sharpshooters have managed to circumvent the Porter full-throttle attack and even then, they were barely able to do so. He's an immense package of overall physicality at this weight. An amateur who competed at 165 pounds and a former star high school running back, Porter brings with him a lot of physical mayhem for a 147-pound package.

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Berto started working with Virgil Hunter before his last fight and the positive results were evident, albeit against a spent force in Ortiz. For Berto, the change has come too late—after he already engrained a certain style in his head. He might be a bit more thoughtful and diverse in his offensive approach, but the damage is done. With a 4-4 record in his last 8 fights following a 27-0 start, Berto is yesterday's news. Granted, not many people thought he'd still even be this good four years after being TKO'd by Soto Karass. Be that as it may, his placement among the top of the 147-pound class is a thing of the past and it's doubtful if he can ever reclaim that.

Berto's only loss since 2013 was the defeat to Mayweather. I think this style match-up is even worse for him. Porter will push Berto physically and I don't see him being able to cope, especially the further the fight goes. Porter has been vocal about going for a KO in this fight and those type of pre-fight remarks are usually just words in the air. In this case, I think it holds some truth, with Porter taking Berto out of there inside 9 rounds. I like Porter, but the bet we're really going to zero in on is the total, which will be posted closer to fight-night. We're going "under" in Porter-Berto.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting "under" in the Porter-Berto fight, with the odds being posted closer to the night of the fight. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Porter vs. Berto fight from the comfort of home by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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