Andre Berto Defeats Luis Collazo in an Electrifying Welterweight Brawl

January 19, 2009

In a clash between two of the welterweight division’s more talented boxers, Andre Berto preserved his undefeated record by defeating Luis Collazo via unanimous decision. Two of the judges scored the fight 114-113, while a third had it 116-111. The victory pushed Berto’s record to 24-0.

The fight had all the elements of a boxing classic – swings of momentum, a controversial point deduction, great hand speed and skill, sensational infighting, and tremendous determination from both men. As such, it certainly will be a candidate for the 2009 Fight of the Year.

Here is how TheDailySportsHerald scored the fight round-by-round:

Round 1

Berto started the fight fairly well, as he connected with several right hand leads. Collazo then landed the best punch of the round, a straight left that forced the off-balance Berto into the ropes. The punch appeared to hurt Berto because he immediately tried to hold Collazo. Berto later recovered with a big rally at the end of round that forced Collazo to the ropes.

However, since Berto seemed to be the only man genuinely hurt during the round, Collazo earned Round 1.
10-9, Collazo

Round 2

Berto opened the round with a quick combination. Collazo responded with a few good 1-2’s, including a strong, scoring left hand. Berto then took over with some good combinations in the middle of the round, as well as during the final seconds.
10-9, Berto

Round 3

Collazo began to walk Berto down and let his hands go. He nailed Berto with several solid shots, and changed the geography of the fight to that of an infighting-based, phone booth-type brawl.

The infighting was action-packed, and somewhat reminiscent of Castillo-Corrales I. Although both fighters landed on the inside, Collazo simply landed more. This was partly due to Berto leaving himself open by using an overly square stance in close quarters.
10-9, Collazo

Round 4

After a tough round of infighting, Berto resumed his more outside-oriented attack. The tactical switch proved effective, as Berto’s hand speed allowed him to score several clean blows. Collazo then caught Berto with a good uppercut.

In a highly questionable decision, the referee took a point away from Berto for excessive holding. However, Berto did not appear to be holding excessively, or even to the degree that a Ricky Hatton or a John Ruiz might hold. Absent that deducted point, this close round could have gone either way.
9-9, Even (10-9 Berto minus the point)

Round 5

Berto once again implemented an effective attack from the outside, as he took advantage of his great hand speed. Collazo tried to rally by walking Berto down, but Berto continued to nail Collazo from distance with stiff jabs and 1-2 combinations.
10-9, Berto

Round 6

Berto hit Collazo repeatedly with blows from outside. Although Collazo seemingly walked through those shots unfazed, Berto nevertheless landed cleanly.

In the final minute, Collazo put his back to the ropes, and the two men resumed the devastating, back-and-forth infighting that they displayed in Round 3. Again, Collazo proved more efficient in this type of fight, as he outlanded Berto on the inside. This close round could have gone to either man.
10-9, Collazo

Round 7

Berto went back to his outside attack, but instead of headhunting, he focused on hitting Collazo’s body. The tactical shift made a huge difference, as Collazo slowed down, started retreating, and stopped throwing punches.

Collazo then put both of his hands down, and appeared to be baiting Berto to come after him. That stance made Berto very cautious, and forced him to back off somewhat. In reality, however, Collazo seemed to be trying to catch his breath more than anything. That subtle change in stance successfully bought Collazo a few moments of recovery time during the round.

Still, the body work made it a clear Berto round.
10-9, Berto

Round 8

This round was similar to Round 7. Again, Berto’s effective body attack from the outside slowed Collazo down significantly. The body shots caused Collazo’s punch volume to drop greatly. Another obvious Berto round.
10-9, Berto

Round 9

Collazo showed excellent determination by staging a huge rally in the Ninth Round. In the opening minute, he caught Berto with 4-5 stiff left hands. He then managed to close the distance and get back to the infighting style that had proved so effective for him earlier.

Once inside, Collazo began to get in his shots. The punch statistics for the round were especially revealing, as Collazo threw 97 punches to Berto’s 33.
10-9, Collazo

Round 10

Collazo continued his solid work from the prior round, as he again walked down Berto. Although both men were tired, they found the extra reserves to battle, and threw some enormous shots inside the “phone booth.”

Despite a few slappy punches, Collazo outworked Berto overall by tallying 112 punches in the round. 10-9, Collazo

Round 11

Collazo began the round looking fresh as a daisy, while Berto went back to jabbing from the outside. Berto nailed Collazo in the head with several shots, but Collazo continued to walk through them.

Midway through the round, Berto resumed his body attack, and the momentum shifted once more. The body blows caused Collazo to back away and stop throwing punches. Because of that body work, Berto won the round.
10-9, Berto

Round 12

With the fight on the line, both men displayed great heart by actively throwing punches in high volume. Berto, however, landed the harder, cleaner shots during the exchanges. In particular, Berto’s body shots again forced Collazo to back away somewhat.
10-9, Berto

TheDailySportsHerald’s final scorecard had Berto winning 114-113 (7 rounds to 5). Depending on how one scored Rounds 4 and 6, the fight could have just as easily gone to Collazo.

After the fight, Berto stated that he “would love to” fight Collazo again.

Berto also was complimentary of his foe, saying that “Collazo is an animal.”

Collazo disputed one of the judges scorecards, protesting that there was “no way in hell” the score was 116-111.

Berto outlanded Collazo in Power Punch statistics, 203 to 194.


#1 Luis Collazo is still a player at the top of the 147-pound division.

After his recent one-sided loss to Shane Mosley, it looked as if Collazo would forever be a cut below the division’s elite fighters.

Now, the boxing world’s perception of him should change for the better. At a minimum, Collazo proved that he can be a crowd-pleasing, blood-and-guts-type infighter. More importantly, he reaffirmed that he indeed possesses the requisite skills – stamina, a tough chin, slickness, and punch volume – worthy of garnering future fights with the big names.

#2 Andre Berto does in fact have the intangibles necessary to defeat the best at 147.

Previously, Berto was viewed as more raw athlete, than polished fighter. Although the “polish” might not yet fully be there, at least the “fighter” aspect is.

When Berto really needed to elevate his performance in the championship rounds, he reached down deep and summoned more effort. He also showed the willingness to trade toe-to-toe with Collazo, even when that meant taking two shots to get in only one of his own.

In addition, Berto showed the ability to adapt and think in the ring, as he shifted his attack, mid-fight, to one that focused more upon his opponent’s body. Because of that ability to adapt, Berto demonstrated that he is indeed transitioning from being a prospect to a solid veteran.

Since his development is accelerating, Berto should now fight fewer and fewer “tune-ups,” and instead, step up to a new caliber of elite competition.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for

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