Former World Welterweight Champion Andre Berto was looking to position himself for a potential final title shot on the undercard of the PBC show this Saturday night in New York. Unfortunately, Berto’s hopes were dashed by injury before that fight ever takes place.
PBC announced on Monday night that the former WBC and IBF 147 lbs. title holder in the late 2000s has had to withdraw from the scheduled co-main event against Miguel Cruz. That fight was to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the undercard of the Adam Kownacki-Chris Arreola 12-round heavyweight contender showdown, as the main event:
— PBC (@premierboxing) July 30, 2019
Berto had injured his left bicep during training and tried to press through. but according to the released statement tore it during sparring on Saturday. Berto recapped the injury and expressed his remorse at not being able to fight,
“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.”
“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.’’
It was being viewed, as a final chance for Berto to get in the Welterweight Championship picture, as the soon-to-be 36 year old with a 32 – 5 record was looking for an impressive showing on a big stage.
Berto last fought for the title when Floyd Mayweather defeated him in September of 2015 by unanimous decision. He is 2-1 since then with victories over Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander but also a 9th round stoppage loss to Shawn Porter in April of 2017.
The scheduled fight Saturday night would have come after nearly a one-year layoff for Berto taking on young contender Cruz, who is 18-1.
Berto originally won the WBC Welterweight Championship in June of 2008 with a 7th round TKO over Miguel Angel Rodriguez. He later captured the IBF welterweight championship with a 5th round TKO over Jan Zaveck in September of 2011.
It is unclear whether PBC will find an opponent for Cruz, or simply cancel the fight altogether for Saturday night.