Berto stops Quintana in 8th to defend belt

American Andre Berto retained his WBC welterweight title with a

stoppage of Carlos Quintana on Saturday, boosting his chances of a

bout against the premier fighters in the weight class.

Berto stopped Puerto Rico’s Quintana in the eighth round for his

fifth successful defense of the WBC crown.

Berto (26-0, 20 KOs) did heavy damage from the third round

through the eighth. He finally stopped Quintana, a former WBO

champion, with a succession of hard rights before referee Tommy

Kimmons ended the bout at the 2:16 mark.

Now, the question is how long it will take before Berto, 26,

gets a shot at the high-profile welterweights such as WBO champion

Manny Pacquiao, WBA champion Shane Mosley or former champion Floyd

Mayweather.

“My knockout was pretty vicious,” Berto said. “It may open up

their eyes a little bit. But then again they have to look at I’ve

been off for a long time so it’s only going get better from

here.”

Promoter Lou DiBella, who handles Berto, said he’d like a fight

against Pacquiao but he also admitted Berto, who had an 11-month

layoff, might need another bout or two before taking on the

best.

Quintana (27-3) had Berto looking tentative in the first two

rounds. Berto sustained a right biceps injury sometime in the

opening two rounds, but he finally found his comfort zone and began

teeing off on the Puerto Rican.

Berto began landing combinations and had Quintana against the

ropes in the third round. In the fifth round, he rocked Quintana

again, this time with a straight right.

Berto landed a couple big rights in the sixth and seventh

rounds.

Both fighters complained about their opponents’ tactics during

the fight. Early, Berto claimed Quintana was hitting him in the

back of the head, and Quintana eventually had a point deducted. But

Quintana also had a complaint.

“The ref let Berto hit me in the back and it took me out of my

rhythm,” he said.

Part of the proceeds of the fight will benefit the Haitian

earthquake relief fund. Berto’s parents were born in Haiti.

After the Jan. 12 earthquake, Berto canceled his Jan. 30 fight

against Shane Mosley and went to Haiti to aid the relief effort.

Part of his job there was holding down semi-conscious people while

they had limbs amputated because there wasn’t enough anaesthetic to

go round.

On the undercard, Panama’s Celestino Caballlero (34-2, 23 KO)

defeated Indonesia’s Daud Cino Yordan (25-1) by unanimous decision

to claim the WBA interim featherweight title to go alongside his

IBF and WBC belts. Caballero dominated the fight although Yordan

managed to score regularly.

“It wasn’t an easy fight,” Caballero said, “but when it comes

to the world championship, if they want my belt they have to be

prepared.”