The two-time world welterweight champion is forced to pull out from his bout versus Miguel Cruz Saturday night on FOX after tearing a bicep muscle during sparring.
Andre Berto’s return is officially on hold.
Berto had to pull out of this Saturday’s 147-pound bout versus Miguel Cruz after tearing his bicep muscle during sparring.
Berto-Cruz was originally part of a tripleheader at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, headlined by a heavyweight showdown between undefeated Adam Kownacki and veteran Chris Arreola, live on PBC on FOX (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
In its stead, the broadcast will now feature Curtis Stevens making his 154-pound debut against Wale Omotoso in a 10-round bout.
Berto’s injury occurred just as he was winding down camp for what would have been his first since his split decision win over former two-division champion Devon Alexander in August 2018.
“Saturday was the last day of sparring and I was trying to finish strong, going strong,’’ Berto said. “I threw a left hook and I felt a squeeze and a pop. I started yelling and cursing, because I knew what happened. I’ve had injuries before. Even though it was bad I thought it was something that I could get a cortisone shot and fight with. But the MRI showed that the tendon was torn from the bone and I need surgery as soon as possible.”
This is the second time Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) has suffered a torn tendon. In July 2013, he tore one in his right shoulder during the second round of his battle versus Jesus Soto Karass. Berto fought much of the rest of the way essentially using only his left hand, ultimately losing to Soto Karass but earning plaudits for his bravery.
Following that bout, Berto had surgery to repair the main supporting tendon of the rotator cuff in that right shoulder. This time it was his left biceps muscle. Berto initially felt pain during sparring earlier last week but fought on. The tendon completely tore off during the final sparring session before he shut down camp.
“It’s devastating because I worked hard for eight weeks and I’m in dog shape,’’ Berto said. “I was just ready to go. This just kills me. It’s so freaky that it happened on the last day of sparring. When I hurt it on Tuesday, I just taped it up and went back to work. The doctors say there was a slight tear on Tuesday because there was still some inflammation when I came back to spar on Thursday and Saturday. They say it would have torn during the fight.’’
After an MRI showed the complete tear, doctors advised the 147-pound mainstay to withdraw from Saturday’s fight and have surgery to repair the bicep.
“This injury and the surgery won’t be as bad as the shoulder,’’ Berto said, comparing his latest tear to the one versus Soto Karass. “The shoulder was a lot of different muscles and tendons that were torn. I had a sling on for six weeks, and I was immobilized for so long that I had frozen shoulder syndrome and I had to go through three or four weeks with therapy to just get it to moving. It took eight or nine months with the shoulder. If I do it right with this injury, I’ll be good in two or three months.”
From Robert Guerrero to Floyd Mayweather, Berto, 35, has fought a who’s who of welterweights in a career that’s spanned nearly 15 years. He won his first world title in June 2008, stopping Miguel Angel Rodriguez with a beautiful right uppercut in the seventh round. Berto defended that title five times before suffering an April 2011 loss to Victor Ortiz in what many considered to be the Fight of the Year.
Later that year, Berto became a two-time world champion when he captured the IBF 147-pound title by stopping Jan Zaveck in five rounds. Following a 2015 loss to Mayweather, he scored a fourth-round TKO over Victor Ortiz in their 2016 rematch.
For a closer look at Andre Berto, check out his fighter page.