Shawn Porter to Meet Andre Berto April 22 on Showtime

By Mike Sloan Mar 7, 2017
Showtime announced Tuesday afternoon that a pivotal WBC welterweight championship eliminator will take place on April 22 from within Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The combatants are no strangers to holding world titles themselves: Shawn Porter and Andre Berto.

Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs), who won the IBF 147-pound title by edging Devon Alexander in 2013, made one successful defense before losing it to Kell Brook the following year. “Showtime” rebounded with a pair of wins over Erick Bone and Adrien Broner, but came up short last June in a rousing battle with Keith Thurman for the latter’s WBA strap. Porter, who currently lives and trains in Las Vegas, is ready to take aim at another world title and is ready get through Berto in order to do so.

“The only thing on my mind right now is the WBC title,” said Porter. “I made it a goal of mine when I turned pro to get that green belt, and now I feel like it's about to happen. I'm not looking past Andre Berto, I respect him as a man and a fighter. We're friends. But just like when I fought Keith Thurman, it's all about the business and getting that title.”

Berto (31-4, 24 KOs) lost the WBC welterweight strap to Victor Ortiz after winning it by stopping Miguel Angel Rodriguez in 2008 and defending it five times. The Floridian bounced back with a win over Jan Zaveck later that year to hoist the IBF crown, but lost it in his first defense to Robert Guerrero. After struggling with wins and losses, Berto came up short against Floyd Mayweather in 2015 for a pair of titles owned by “Money.” Berto then avenged the loss to Ortiz last April and is poised to become a three-time world champ against Porter.

“It feels great to be getting back in the ring,” said Berto. “I love being back in New York. My team has been putting in work in the gym. I'm already dialed-in and focused. I've had the WBC belt before and I'm itching to get it back. I beat the man who had taken it away from me in my last fight and I'm going to take down anyone who gets in my way. I know Shawn is going to work hard for this one, but so will I. I'm looking forward to this one, you don't want to miss it.”

The winner of the bout will become the WBC’s mandatory challenger and is expected to face current champ Thurman later in the year. Thurman added the WBC belt to his WBC prize last Saturday after toppling rival Danny Garcia via split decision on CBS.

More details on the event, which is presented by Premier Boxing Champions, will be announced in the coming days.

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