Berto edges, survives Collazo
Ringside by Damien St. Pierre
Photos by Scott Foster
“That was a war!” was the common phrase used by on- lookers describing the Andre Berto (24-0) / Louis Collazo (29-4) WBC welterweight bout that took place last night in Biloxi, Mississippi at the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort presented by Dibella Entertainment and HBO Sports.
WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto remained unbeaten and showed he is a major player in the boxing game as he hammered out a razor thin 12 round decision over former WBA champion and #1 contender Louis Collazo.
The first quarter of the bout can only be described as almost “Gatti-Ward esq”. Both fighters traded blows throughout the duration of the bout that would keep the sellout crowd on their feet for most of the fight.
The first break came in the fourth round, when referee Keith Hughes took a point from the Champion Berto for excessive holding. Seemingly the point was taken without warning, but Hughes later stated that he “warned him four times.”
The two rounds that may have won the fight for Berto are rounds 7 and 8, which Louis Collazo seemed to almost retreat, fighting most of the rounds with his hands down, which Berto took full advantage of by doing just enough to clearly winning the rounds. Rounds 7 and 8 would prove to be critical to Collazo as the bout was even going into the final round.
With the fight seemingly up for grabs in the 12th and final round, with both fighters heavily fatigued Andre Berto showed what champions are made of. Berto came out strong and pressed his will on the fading Collazo to clearly win the round and to keep the welterweight championship around his waist.
Judge Larry Engle scored the bout 114-113 as did judge Gary Ritter and judge Bill Clancy scored the bout a widely unpopular 116-11 all for the undefeated Andre Berto
New York, New York heavyweight prospect Tor Hamer (3-0) kept his undefeated professional record intact as he pounded St. Petersburg, Florida native Darion Moss (0-3) over 2 rounds. Hamer dominated from the opening bell and put a stop to Moss after connecting with a big right hand that sent Moss through the ropes 1:53 into round 2.
Undefeated professional and two time national amateur champion Edwin Rodriguez (9-0) out classed and demolished Johnson City, Tennessee native “Bad Ass” Brad Austin. The opening round saw Austin get put down from a short right hand from Rodriguez. Austin was down again in round two from a nice uppercut. Rodriguez put down Austin once again in the third and final round from a well placed body shot to the exhausted Austin. Austin would rise but would the bout would be stopped shortly thereafter. The official time was 1:09 into round 3. The bout was scheduled for 8.
2008 United States Olympian Sadam Ali (1-0) made his pro debut a successful one as he made quick work of Florida native Ricky Thompson (1-5). Ali came out passively and used his jab for the first minute of the bout, but then cornered Thompson where he unleashed a right hand that put Thompson down to one knee. Referee Gerald Ritter made the count, which Thompson beat but then claimed an ear injury and could not continue the bout. The injury was later deemed a busted ear drum. The time of the stoppage was 1:42 of the first round.
Jonathan Nelson (8-0) of Little Rock, Arkansas won a closely contested 6 round unanimous decision over a very game but winless Richmond Dalphone (0-5-2) of Navarre, Florida. Nelson who is the son of Ozelle Nelson (the trainer of Jermaine Taylor) used a Jermaine Taylor style 1 -2 combination to out punch and out land Dalphone every round in the bout, but Dalphone’s grittiness kept every round close. Scores read 60-54, 59-55, 59-55 all for the undefeated Nelson.
In the opening bout of the night rebounding lightweight Wes Ferguson (20-3-1) of Las Vegas, Nevada beat a very determined but less skilled Derrick Moon (13-26-1) of Dallas, Texas via 6th round TKO. Ferguson caught Moon with a right hand that hurt him, but Moon could not hold on and kept taking punches from the stalking Ferguson. Referee Bill Clancy waived it off before it got too ugly. Time was 2:51 of the 6th (out of a scheduled eight) round.