On June 2008 at the FedEx Forum Arena in Memphis Tennessee, two
warriors faced off to become WBC Welterweight Champion of the World. Miguel
Rodriguez was forced to sing the Memphis City Blues while Andre Berto
orchestrated an ending to the bout in the seventh round by technical knockout.
Andre Berto is the newly crowned WBC Welterweight Champion of the
world and todays most sought out fighter to watch as he shines his flawless
record: 22 wins, 19 KOs, 0 losses. Andre has been setting his claim to his
position in boxing history by punishing his opponents with the tools of fast
feet, a good chin, a whip snapping right, vicious left hook and a deadly
uppercut becoming a dominating force within the ring.
Throughout his amateur career he won a bronze medal in the 2003
World Amateur Championships. He is a two-time National Golden Gloves champion, two-time
National PAL Champion, three-time U.S. amateur championship medalist, and won
22 state titles in Florida. Due to his parents' Haitian decent, Andre was able
to represent Team Haiti in the 2004 Olympics after being disqualified and given
a flagrant foul in the U.S. Olympic Trials for throwing Juan McPherson to the
Andre Berto has fought his way through the ranks of fighters. His
first 13 of 15 bouts were knockouts. He was deemed ESPN.coms Prospect of the
Year, he has fought Norberto Bravo of The
Contender, David Estrada NABF Welterweight Title and defended his title
this year against Michael Trabant.
AllHipHop.com: Congratulations on winning the WBC
Welterweight Championship. How does it feel to be the Champ?
Andre Berto: Thanks! I appreciate it man. It feels good to be the
Champion! It was a lot of hard work. Im just reaping the harvest right now. I
planted the seeds...and I had a good harvest, I cant complain.
AllHipHop.com: Your father
and brother are fighters. You come from a fight family. How has that shaped you
Andre Berto: It matured me. At early age I was blessed with a
vision early in life. Ive always just wanted to prove myself as a young kid so
I set goals early on in life. I wanted to prove to my father, my family and
myself that I'm one of the best to come out of Florida. I stayed focused and I
wanted to be the perfect example of hard-work in the end. Be perfect!
AllHipHop.com: In your last
fight you punched with an accuracy rating over 50%. Your athletic ability is
superb! What is a day training Andre Breto like?
Andre Berto: I workout like a beast! I take training and staying
healthy to the extreme. I put myself through hell with explosive exercises,
roadwork. I had got some 30 once (two pounds) gloves specially made for me. I
throw thousands of punches with them. Spare rounds with the 30 ounces (two
pounds) while other fighters are using 16 ounces. I do this until the workouts
become regular and everything becomes easier for the fight but I stayed and
AllHipHop.com: There is a
legacy of a series of Florida fighters
professionally in the ring. Have you worked with any of them? If so
Andre Berto: Oh yeah, Winky Wright and Jeff Lacey, they both
basically took me under their wing when I was in the amateurs. I was a young
boy about 14 or 15 years old. Those were the superstars to me. They would bring
me into there training camps so I can see how they got down. They saw the
potential in me, but I saw Winky, Jeff Lacey and Roy Jones theyre the big guys
in Florida when I was coming up.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me
about your team. What was the partnership with Damon Dash like?
Andre Berto: Damon reached out to me when I was coming out of the
2004 Olympics and I wanted to do something that has never been done. I wanted
to do something different so I basically built the first Hip-Hop and
Boxing promotions team in history made of Lou Diabella and Damon Dash as
co-promoters. They created Dash/Diabella promotions. I had one of boxings top
promoters and one of the Hip-Hop promoting superstars involved with my fights
AllHipHop.com: Who are your mentors in life?
Andre Berto: I live by example. Growing up Ive seen fighters that
are superstars and theyre given everything handed to them basically but they
end up fucking it up doing other things. So I try to surround myself around
certain people. Im big on the business end of it. When it comes to mentors my
father has been my inspiration on who I am and what I do. My manager Al Heyman
has really, really mentored me. Al Heyman has conquered the music promotion
game and has conquered the boxing game.
Guys like Puffy, Russell Simmons and Damon Dash. These guys are
really hands on with everything that they do. They understand the business. Thats
basically what Im trying to do. I am a fighter but at the end of the day I
want to understand the business in and out so that I dont end up broke like
other talented fighters once their careers are over. Guys like this is who I
look up too. They push everything to the side. They work hard and love
everything that theyre doing.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have
any final thought for youngsters?
Andre Berto: Theres a whole world out there past those streets,
past your city, past your state if you really want to get it. Ill let you know
all about it. Im from a small city and I stayed focused and grinded it out and
I was able to do big things. I was able to accomplish things that I never
thought I would be able to do. Just be
that example. Be that example that all your homeboys will in the end look up to
and say, "If he can do it so can I." Live by example and stay
As a personal trainer to
the stars, Chris Sainsbury is certified through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), ISSA Nutrition (International Sports Science Association) and ACE (American Counsel Exercise) and also specializes in boxing, mad dogg spin cycling and marathon running. Find out more Chris and his Worldwide Greatest
Fitness company at myspace.com/greatest_fitness.