Coming into this IBF Welterweight Championship bout Andre Berto (27-1 21 KOs), fighting out of Florida, sought redemption. Having suffered his first ever professional defeat and the loss of his WBC Welterweight Championship to Victor Ortiz, soon to fight Floyd Mayweather challenger, in a Fight of The Year candidate four months ago. The 27 year old Berto was a former Olympian from Haiti and had defended his WBC Welterweight title five times before losing to Ortiz, despite being a 4-1 favorite. The man whom Berto looked to redeem himself against is the rugged IBF Welterweight Champion from Slovenia, Jan Zaveck (31-1 18 KOs). Zaveck, age 35, is coming into this fight having defended his IBF Welterweight title three times, after claiming it in December of 2009 against Isaac Hiasthwayo. Each man has something very significant to gain; for Berto, a victory immediately throws him right back into the elite Welterweights. For Jan Zaveck, an opportunity to put his first notary stamp on American grounds.
- Round 1: Andre Berto begins round one with his hands held in a high guard. He gets Zaveck to the ropes and does some good work, Zaveck fights off the ropes in retaliation well. Zaveck lands a clean over hand right,and Berto responds with lefts and rights in combination in the center of the ring. The two now close the distance, and Berto lands two hard hooks to the body, a left and a right. Berto follows up again with two hard body shots, in the center of the ring. Berto pumps his left jab a few times, and closes the range with two body shots again. Zaveck comes forward and gets Andre’s back to the ropes, and throws in bunches but is ineffective, hitting Berto’s gloves for the most part. Coming off of the ropes, Berto gets whacked by Zaveck with a clubbing right hand, and Zaveck follows up the right hand with a few jabs. Berto and Zaveck then exchange their left jabs, and Berto connects afterwards with a right hand to the body and then to the head. Berto set up both shots with his jab, and follows up the rights with two left jabs. Zaveck responds with his own stiff jab, and follows up with a good overhand right, and once more with the right hand. Berto fires back in the final ten seconds of the stanza with great body work, and takes the round.
Berto 10 Zaveck 9
- Round 2: Round number two begins with both boxers jabbing, and Berto opens up with a five punch combination to the stomach of Zaveck and finishes up to the head with his shots being partially blocked. Berto then lands a stiff left jab, and digs in hard with a left hook to the body. Zaveck unleashes some shots effectively to Berto’s head, and Andre comes back with multiple left hooks to the body. Berto stays in front of Jan and is making him miss momentarily, and pumping out his jab well. Berto lands a flush right hand, and Zaveck comes back with an even harder, clean right hand that momentarily wobbles Berto. Berto refuses to hold or backpedal, and doesn’t show he’s been hurt by the right hand. Zaveck lands another right hand over Berto’s jab, and Andre misses some punches in response. Berto hits Zaveck with a jab, but gets caught coming in as he’s letting his hands go by a right hand. Zaveck again catches Berto coming forward, however Berto gets in some very good body work in combination. A very good right uppercut to the body by Berto and he follows it up with more body work. Jan Zaveck comes back with a few jabs, and the round closes with both men missing in exchanges, swinging for the fences. Close round to score.
Berto 10 Zaveck 9
- Round 3: Andre Berto begins round three working his left jab, Zaveck has been defending against it pretty well thus far, although Andre continues to use it to set up his other punches. Berto pressures Zaveck into the ropes, and makes him body to the body in combination, Andre evades retaliation. Zaveck closes the distance, and does some good work on the inside landing short range punches. Berto comes back firing his own punches on the inside with decent steam on the shots. The two continue an exchange on the inside and Zaveck gets the better of it, landing the cleaner more effective blows. Berto responds in a big bursts, but is getting nailed cleaner in this round. Jan Zaveck then begins pumping the left jab effectively, and Berto comes back ferociously to the body and finishing upstairs. Zaveck replies to the body back, and lands a left jab as he marched forward. Berto stops Zaveck in his tracks with a right hand, and Zaveck returns with a clubbing right. Berto closes the final ten seconds strong, firing off combinations to the body of Zaveck and outworks him in an exchange.
Berto 10 Zaveck 9
- Round 4: Berto begins round four pressing forward, pumping the left jab. Andre sets up a nice combination off the jab, with uppercuts and hooks in the center of the ring. Berto now sits back, and Zaveck is more hesitant to rush in. Zaveck lands a right hand on Berto, and Berto replies with punches in bunches, Zaveck fights back very well. Zaveck now gets in some good work on the inside, landing clean. Once again Zaveck throws and lands uppercuts and hooks in close range effectively, with both hands. Zaveck lands twice with the right uppercut, and Berto cannot respond with as many punches. Andre separates the two with some range and lands three left hooks consecutively to close the round.
Berto 9 Zaveck 10
- Round 5: Berto begins round five fresh and works behind the left jab to set up a combination that backs Zaveck into the ropes for the first thirty seconds of the round. Andre punishes Zaveck for the entirety of the first thirty seconds. Zaveck closes the distance and responds with good, short, cleanly landed punches. Throughout the night Zaveck has been showing an advantage on the inside. Andre shows he can hold his own in close quarters and bangs away with hard left hooks to the body of Zaveck. When the two combatants have had distance, it’s been Andre Berto’s fight. Andre comes forward and Zaveck counters him well, with hard right uppercuts landing flush. Berto takes the punches and continues forward through more clean shots. Zaveck is catching Andre with sweeping left and right hands in the center of the ring. The punches have no affect on Berto coming forward however, and Andre continues on throwing bombs. Berto finishes the round working behind his left jab and connecting with a hard left hook to close the round.
Berto 10 Zaveck 9
- Round 6: IBF Champion Jan Zaveck is unable to continue and return for round number six. Andre Berto claims his second World Championship, and Zaveck fails in his fourth title defense. The bout is stopped due to Jan Zaveck being unable to see out of his right eye.
POST FIGHT SUMMARY:
Despite Bleachereportboxing having Andre Berto (now 28-1 22 KOs) ahead four rounds to one, or rather 49-46 at the time of the stoppage, this was indeed a very competitive bout. The rugged Slovenian, Zaveck (now 31-2 18 KOs) came into the bout not looking to lie down for the more well known Hatian star, Berto. Jan Zaveck had his moments, and at times was able to land very clean and well on the inside. However the man of the night was Andre Berto, removing doubt that he may not be the same fighter he was after now suffering his first loss. Andre returned in this bout and has immediately redeemed himself, once again becoming a World Champion. With this victory, Berto is once again a viable opponent for any Welterweight in the world, or even the top Junior Welterweights looking to come up in weight. This list would include a rematch with Ortiz, a fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana, or any of the other top 140, or 147 pound fighters. Jan Zaveck showed himself to be a more than worthy gate keeper type of fighter at the Welterweight division, good enough to match up with any top notch, blue chip prospect or top fighter coming off of a loss. Andre Berto is now a two time Welterweight World Champion, having relinquished Zaveck of his IBF Championship.