It hasn’t been the easiest last couple of years for Andre Berto. Bad fortune seems to have followed him around since a 2011 loss to Victor Ortiz.
First there was the Robert Guerrero fight, a loss Berto blames on catching Guerrero’s thumbs with his eyes. Then there was the Jesus Soto Karass fight in 2013, where he tore a muscle in his shoulder in the second round.
“I tore my shoulder in the second round, and I stood there battling,” Berto said. “I believe I showed everyone how much heart I had in those two fights, that I could go through some tough obstacles and keep swinging.”
That one left Berto on the shelf for more than a year. He came back late last year with a 10-round decision over Steve Chambers, and Berto thinks he’s poised to make the comeback complete when he faces Josesito Lopez on March 13 on Premier Boxing Champions’ Spike TV debut.
“I went through a lot with it. I’ve been going through a lot of injuries here and there the last couple of years, but camp has been going great. That’s always the main thing with me is just trying to stay healthy. My body, I hold a lot of muscle mass, so sometimes it tends to tear,” Berto said.
Getting off the shelf hasn’t been easy. When the surgeons took his arm out of the sling, Berto couldn’t even move his shoulder.
They had to pull and yank on the arm during rehab just so he’d be able to regain his full range of motion. He didn’t know if he’d ever be able to use his right hand the way he used to.
“It was a depressing time for me. But once I got going and stayed prayed up, and kept being persistent, I know now I’m here for more of a reason. I believe I just had to go through that,” Berto said. "I believe with any fighter once they go through situations like that, it’s not so much of a physical thing anymore, it’s mental.
“Me going through that, it showed me there’s nothing I can’t come back from. I made it through it and I believe it made me a strong individual. Made me analyze so much more around me, just an appreciation for everything else: family, friends, the gift that I have. Because it can be taken away at any time.”