If there was any doubt about Andre Berto’s injured right shoulder, it was erased Friday night with an impressive performance against hometown hero Josesito Lopez in the debut of Spike TV’s coverage of the Premier Boxing Champions series.
Berto closed the deal with a sixth-round knockout of Lopez at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. Lopez was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards at the time of the KO.
Lopez came out crisp, deftly avoiding Berto’s jab in the early going, and winning those early rounds on the judges’ cards. But soon, Berto would find the distance and begin to press the action.
In the fourth, Berto trapped Lopez in a neutral corner and started to unload, but after a break, Lopez shook his head at Berto in a nonchalant “come on.” By that time, though, a cut had developed under Lopez’s right eye, and he seemed to lose a step on Berto.
Berto got in on Lopez in the sixth and popped him with an overhand right that staggered Lopez before putting him down with another right.
Lopez gamely got back up, but seconds later, Berto connected on another big right and referee Raul Caiz Jr. signaled the stop—despite Lopez popping up immediately and insisting he could continue.
“My shoulder getting tore up, I spent a lot of time working my jab,” Berto said. “It paid off for me. I beat him up with the jab. The first couple of rounds he wasn’t touching me. I knew I was going to break him down and come over with the right hand and finish him.”