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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Berto Stops Quintana In 8th, Caballero Punishes Yordan


Andre Berto remained unbeaten (26-0, 20 KO's) and retained his WBC title, scoring an impressive 8th round TKO over Carlos Quintana (27-3, 21 KO's)  in a welterweight showdown. Berto, 26, had trouble with Quintana, a 33-year-old slick southpaw, early in the fight, but managed to use his youth and strength to take over the later rounds.

Quintana appeared to drop Berto in the first round with a short left that landed on Berto's right ear. However, Berto immediately complained to referee Tommy Kimmons that the punch landed behind his head, and it was not ruled a knockdown. Quintana used a lot of angles, and both men tried to get their punches off first.

In round two, Quintana connected with straight lefts, while Berto unleashed lightning-fast shots. Yet, Berto had a great deal of trouble putting his punches together. Quintana struck Berto with his right jab and straight lefts in the third round, although he was deducted a point for hitting Berto behind the head with a left hand. Then, Berto briefly hurt Quintana with a short left hook, and opened up with a series of punches while Quintana's back was against the ropes.

Berto started to close the gap in round four when he connected with a straight right to Quintana's head. Quintana continued to land right hooks and straight lefts in close quarters. Berto was applying steady pressure and throwing explosive punches. Quintana snapped Berto's head back in the fifth round after landing a sharp left uppercut. Still, Berto absorbed the punch and fired a straight right - left hook combination. After Quintana hit Berto with a right hook to the head, Berto hurt Quintana with a right hand. Next, Berto threw a series of rights and lefts.

The holding and hitting carried into the sixth round, however, Quintana was able to land his left uppercut in close range. Again, Berto responded with a right hand - left hook combination. Quintana landed a right hook to Berto's body in round seven after being tied up. Then, Quintana connected with some short punches. Berto was still charging forward, but was throwing his punches one at a time.

In the middle of the eighth round, Berto hurt Quintana with an overhand right to the head. With Quintana's back to the ropes, Berto landed a left hook - right hand combination. Then, Berto let his hands go quickly, scoring with many rights and lefts as Quintana was trapped in the corner. After that, Berto hammered Quintana with a flush right hand that landed on the bridge of Quintana's nose. Quintana tied Berto up, but Berto landed another forceful right, which pushed Quintana's head back and prompted referee Tommy Kimmons to stop the bout at 2:16.

Andre Berto still exhibits technical flaws in his game that need to be corrected, if he is to be considered among the elite welterweights in the sport. Berto's stance is too wide, which gives opponents the opportunity to land swift, short shots and move out of range quickly. He does not put his punches together unless he has an opponent hurt. Most of the time, Berto looks one dimensional and does not fight well in close range, as was the case tonight with Quintana repeatedly hitting him with his left hand in the clinches. Berto must learn to change from offense to defense better.

On the other hand, Berto is a powerful puncher and possesses a devastating right hand. He is also very strong at 147 lbs., where he holds an edge in hand speed over most opponents. Berto's overall foot speed and agility troubles the majority of his rivals. Tonight, Berto also displayed relentless pressure and the capability to take an opponent out when he hurts them. If Berto can put all his tools together, he could be a very difficult future opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao or "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

CABALLERO PUNISHES YORDAN

Celestino "Pelechin" Caballero (34-2, 23 KO's) won his 15th straight bout and first at featherweight, scoring a one-sided, twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Daud Cino Yordan (25-1, 19 KO's). The official ringside judges scored the bout 119-108, 118-108 and 120-107. Caballero, 33, battered and pummeled Yordan, 22, every round with sharp, accurate combinations and loads of volume punching. At the end of the fight, Yordan had immense swelling over both eyes. With the victory, Caballero hopes to gain a fight with Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa or Puerto Rico's Juan Manuel Lopez at 126 lbs.

In round one, Yordan fought aggressively, while Caballero tried to find his range with the jab. When he did, Caballero landed some brutal right hands to Yordan's body. In the second round, Caballero ripped a right to Yordan's body and followed it with a right uppercut behind his jab. Then, Yordan countered with a solid left hook, but Caballero fired a right uppercut without delay. Caballero continued to throw and land rights to Yordan's body. Toward the end of the round, Yordan missed with an overhand right and Caballero answered with a hard right uppercut that floored him.

Caballero's work rate was steady and unrelenting as he entered round three. Caballero landed a sharp overhand right, and kept hitting Yordan in the body with a series of rights and lefts. Caballero's punch output was too great for Yordan to land his shots in succession. Throughout the fight, however, Yordan was doing well landing left hooks to Caballero's head.

In rounds four through six, Caballero continued to overwhelm Yordan with his large punch output. Yordan kept getting hammered in the body by right hands. At times, Yordan connected with some left hooks, but was getting peppered with clean punches frequently. Caballero did an excellent job of mixing up his punches and unleashing them from a variety of angles, keeping Yordan incredibly off-balanced.

In the seventh round, Caballero repeatedly scored first with his punches. Yordan's punch output dropped after getting hit by a right hand to the head. Yordan struggled to time him because of the vast amount of punches Caballero was throwing. Caballero was remorseless in rounds eight and nine, battering Yordan with fierce, sharp punches. Other than landing an occasional left hook, Yordan was sustaining a beating.

By round ten, Caballero had inflicted a tremendous amount of damage to Yordan. If Yordan's corner decided to stop the fight, they would not have been criticized. Yordan was too tough and kept pressing forward throwing punches.

In the twelfth round, Caballero was momentarily stunned by a left hook from Yordan. Then, Yordan followed up with another left hook and Caballero went back into the ropes. However, Caballero stayed relaxed and quickly recovered, regaining his momentum by firing blistering shots to Yordan's head.

After moving up to featherweight from junior featherweight, it seems Caballero would be a handful for any future opponent. A bout with Yuriorkis Gamboa (18-0, 15 KO's) would be intriguing because Gamboa possesses exceptional hand speed and good left hook, a punch Yordan was successful with tonight. On the contrary, a fight with Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KO's), who is a slick southpaw, may give Caballero some problems. Lopez displays outstanding  movement and uses very good angles. It appears Caballero's volume punching would give Lopez more of a problem than Gamboa, because Gamboa is a very dangerous offensive fighter. However, Lopez is awfully precise placing his punches, and Caballero will not have the same ease with him as he did with Yordan. If Lopez fights too defensive in a showdown with Caballero, he may be engulfed by the enormous quantity of punches Caballero throws. In a match-up with either Gamboa or Lopez, Caballero will have a distinct height and reach advantage.

In 2005, Caballero scored a twelve round unanimous decision against a previously unbeaten Daniel Ponce De Leon, which was televised on HBO Latino. Since then, Caballero has been dodged by many fighters in the sport, and his ability is extremely underrated. Caballero has notable victories against Jose Luis Valbuena (TKO 5), Somsak Sithchatchawal (TKO 3), Ricardo Castillo (DQ 9), Lorenzo Parra (TKO 12), Steve Molitor (TKO 4) and Jeffrey Matthebula (SD 12).

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