Andre Berto, a hotly recruited 2004 Olympic boxer and long considered to be one of the welterweight prospects in boxing, made his pro debut at DiBella Entertainment's Seasons Beatings on December 4, 2004 and came out with an impressive victory over Michael Robinson.
The 22 year-old Berto, overwhelmed Robinson the entire fight, dropping Robinson twice in round one, once in round two and again in round three before the bout was stopped at the 2:15 mark. The fight was part of the Jermain Taylor vs. William Joppy undercard at Barton Coliseum on HBO's World Boxing Event.
Andre has displayed a devastating knockout punch which has clearly illustrated his championship potential, and why promoter Lou DiBella had such keen interest in the youngster when he was ready to turn pro.
"I spent more time scouting Andre Berto than any other amateur and believe he is on the way to what will be a great professional career," said DiBella. "It was a treat for me to promote his pro debut and to introduce a great young prospect to boxing fans, and his many outstanding performances since then."
"I was really excited about fighting on the Talyor-Joppy undercard," said Berto. "I waited a long time and worked very hard for this day and was glad to come out with a victory. I have been patient and have paid all my dues."
On January 21, 2005, Berto faced Joseph Benjamin at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Using his superior speed and defensive skills, Berto got into a groove landing numerous quick combinations. Berto dominated all four rounds scoring a unanimous decision over Benjamin.
One week later, on January 28, Berto made his third pro fight appearance at the Manhattan Center in New York City. Berto took on Edgar Galvan from Okalahoma City in a four round contest. Berto attacked Galvan early, landing numerous power shots that lead to a first round TKO.
"Andre has a good pro style, and is a very pleasing fighter," says ESPN/NBC boxing analyst Teddy Atlas.
On February 24, 2005, Berto returned to New York City and took on Daniel Neil from Columbus, Ohio. Displaying speed, power and quick combinations Berto dominated his more experienced opponent. After four rounds of crisp punches and body shots, Berto won the fight on all three judges' scorecards, scoring a unanimous decision.
Berto continued his excellence against Tim Hymes on May 6, 2005 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Entering the ring with confidence, Berto scored a first round TKO, stopping Hymes at the 2:10 mark in the opening stanza.
Berto returned to the Big Apple's Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center on June 9, 2005 against Anthony Little. The KO punch was there once again to the delight of the New York City boxing aficionados. At 1:36 of the sixth round contest, Little could not beat the count, and Berto scored another knockout victory.
William Johnson was the next victim of Berto's KO thunder. On October 1, 2005 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, Berto was featured on the undercard on the Antonio Tarver-Roy Jones Jr. HBO Pay-Per-View card. In his typical "don't blink or you'll miss it" style, Andre put away Johnson with his lethal knockout punch at 1:36 of the opening round.
On the Shobox undercard on November 4, 2005 at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma was no different when Maurice Chalmers fell prey to the Berto devastation. At 1:36 of the first round, the exact same time of the previous victory, Andre scored the TKO triumph sending his opponent to the showers and upping Berto's unbeaten mark to 8-0.
From the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Berto took on the tough Taronze Washington on the undercard of the Taylor-Hopkins II Pay-Per-View bout. Berto used his combinations and quick hand speed to put an end to Washington's winning streak. Berto landed a left hook two minutes and fifty seconds into the first round that left Washington on the canvas and scored Berto another first round knockout.
On December 9, 2006 Berto made his HBO World Championship Boxing debut against Miguel Figueroa dispensing the ring veteran with a sixth round TKO victory at Alltel Arena on the Jermain Taylor televised co-feature. Named Prospect of the Year by ESPN's Dan Rafael, Berto possesses all of the qualities of a boxing superstar: determination, hard work ethic, boxing skills, knockout power and charisma to take him to the championship level.
On February 17, 2007 Berto had an impressive 1st round TKO victory over Norberto Bravo in the co-feature bout on HBO's Boxing After Dark at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.
On May 19, Berto then dominated Martinus Clay in a 7 Round TKO victory in Memphis on the undercard of Taylor-Spinks on HBO.
The most hard fought win of Berto's career came on July 27th in Saratoga Springs on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Berto came through with a 10 Round Unanimous Decision victory over Mexican veteran Cosme Rivera. ESPN2 blow-by-blow announcer called the night of action in upstate New York ESPN2 FNF's Show of the Year.
On September 29th, Berto took on hard nosed veteran David Estrada at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Berto hit Estrada with everything he had throughout the fight. He knocked Estrada to the canvas in the eleventh round to capture the NABF Welterweight title and become the #1 contender for the WBC Welterweight title. During a standout amateur career, Berto won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Bangkok, Thailand; was a two-time National Golden Gloves champion, a two-time national PAL champion; and three-time US amateur championship medalist.
The youngster was the center of a controversy at the 2004 Olympic trials in Tunica, Mississippi, when he was disqualified by referee Dennis O'Connell for tossing Juan McPherson to the canvas late in the 4th round of their opening round bout. After filing a grievance with the USA Boxing Grievance Committee, the committee determined that the infraction did not warrant disqualification. Berto was reinstated into the trials. Then in a bizarre reversal, a second committee overturned the decision upon further review. It seemed as though Andre's Olympic dreams had been dashed. However, this was not the case as Berto, who has a dual citizenship, became Haiti's one man boxing team in Athens.
Growing up, Andre looked around and saw friends and schoolmates head down the wrong path to jail, drugs, and in some cases, even death. Yet he knew that would not be his road. That was due to the fact that there was someone in his life to ensure that the choices he made led to success inside the ring, and not the inside of a prison cell. That person was his father, Dieusuel Berto, a strict disciplinarian, Ultimate Fighter and his son's biggest influence. Neither of them could have known that Berto would turn into the up-and-coming star that he is today. However, the two-time National PAL Champion, Golden Gloves Champ and U.S. Championships silver medalist certainly put in the work before reaping those rewards.