With only one week left until Shawn Porter and Andre Berto meet in a WBC world welterweight eliminator, the pair hosted a conference call to discuss preparations, potential ring-rust, fight night and beyond. Both men are desperate to get themselves back into the mix to become a belt holder once more, and this bout provides a sizable test of their world-level credentials.
Though each fighter is coming into the bout following almost a year out of the ring, neither seemed concerned about the possibility of being rusty on the night. Berto in-particular was certain of coming into the ring in great condition. He said:
“Anybody that follows me, they know I’ve been staying busy anyways. within this year I’ve been working out and I’ve been staying in shape. I’d say we’ve had a nice lengthy camp to make sure to knock off all the rust. We’re sharp, and all ready to go.
“Training camp has been tremendous. We’ve stepped everything up this camp with tremendous sparring. I just can’t say enough about how this camp went. I’m in great shape. I’m focused. We have been pushing ourselves to the limit each and every day. I’m more than excited coming into this fight. I’m ready to get it.”
Porter comes into the bout as the 1/6 favourite, and though he suffered defeat at the hands of Keith Thurman last time out, he feels the pace he’ll set on the night may prove to be the big difference. Speaking with assurance, Porter told media:
“My team says every time we get in the ring is that our opponent won’t be able to keep up with the pace that I perform at. I do everything that I can, leading up to the fight, to be ready for a fight like that. I never go into the ring with the thought that I’m going to throw 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 punches a round. It’s just kind of how the fight flows and how it goes.
“So, yes, I’m always prepared to fight at the faster pace – I think at a faster rate than most of the guys that I box. I think that there is going to be an advantage for myself getting in the ring with Andre Berto, I think that I’ll be able to dictate the pace, push his heart, and make him work harder. The skills – as well as the power – should make this a very good fight.
“This is why this fight is very anticipated, because you know what I can do and what Andre can do. But I think I’ve shown out there that there’s nothing that you can doubt when I’m getting into the ring. It’s down to how I’m going to perform the way I’ve always performed and the fight will take care of itself.
“He’s fought some very good boxers. Some punchers and guys that were aggressive. Some counter-punchers. He’s fought them all. I think the thing that separates me from those guys is that I can do all of it. Very rarely do you have that in another fighter than can do it all in the ring.”
The winner of next weekend’s highly-anticipated eliminator will find themselves in a mandatory position for a shot at unified champion Keith Thurman – a rematch Porter admitted he’s desperate for after their enjoyable first bout just under a year ago. Televised coverage of the night’s action next Saturday will begin at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME, with undefeated super-welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo battling Charles Hatley in a co-main event too.