Andre Berto didn’t impress everybody with his performance against Jan Zaveck on Saturday but the welterweight standout worked hard enough to defeat the IBF titleholder and retain his current placement in THE RING ratings.
Berto, who picked up the IBF title with a fifth-round technical stoppage, didn’t lack confidence or enthusiasm in his first fight since losing to Victor Ortiz, which is a good sign considering the brutal nature of their 12-round slugfest in April, but the 27-year-old power boxer’s technique and defense is still in need of improvement.
Berto (28-1, 22 knockouts) was an easy target for Zaveck as he relentlessly lashed into the 35-year-old veteran from Slovenia. Berto’s stamina, which was in question following the loss to Ortiz, was not tested by Zaveck (31-2, 18 KOs), who was deemed unable to continue after the fifth round due to severe swelling to his right eye and bad cuts above both eyelids.
Thus, fans and media are split on whether Berto made a statement with Saturday’s victory. It certainly wasn’t good enough for him to advance in THE RING’s welterweight standings, where Manny Pacquiao and Ortiz are Nos. 1 and 2, but it was strong enough to keep his No. 3 ranking.
Zaveck looked strong for five rounds against Berto but his loss caused him to drop one spot in the magazine’s ratings. Vyacheslav Senchenko, the undefeated WBA beltholder from Ukraine, took over the No. 4 spot in the welterweight ratings.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Dimitri Sartison (No. 9 last week) exits because he has not fought in more than a year. His departure allows Thomas Oosthuizen to advance from No. 10 to No. 9, and makes room for George Groves to debut at No. 10.
Zaveck (No. 4 last week) slips to No. 5 following his TKO loss to Berto, who retains his No. 3 spot. Zaveck’s demotion advances Senchenko (No. 5 last week) to No. 4.
Andreas Kotelnik (No. 5 last week) drops out due to inactivity. Kotelnik’s most recent bout was on August 7, 2010. All fighters rated No. 6 or below last week climb one rung each, and Mike Alvarado enters at No. 10.
Humberto Soto (No. 2 last week) leaves the 135-pound class to fight at junior welterweight. All rated No. 3 or below last week advance one position each and Jorge Linares fills the void at No. 10.
Previously unrated Tomonobu Shimizu upset Hugo Cazares (No 1 last week) via split decision to shake up the 115-pound division. The realignment moves Omar Narvaez (No. 2 last week) to the No. 1 slot, while Shimizu enters at No. 2. Cazares tumbles to No. 3. All rated No. 3 or below last week move down one spot and Drain Francisco (No. 10 last week) is forced out.
“THE RING junior flyweight world champion Giovani Segura has decided to move up in weight and relinquish his 108-pound title,” said Nigel Collins. Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine. “We are currently waiting for the official letter of resignation from Segura and his manager, Richard Mota. As soon as the letter arrives at THE RING’s editorial office, the title will be vacated.”
Doug Fischer can be emailed at dougiefischer@yahoo