Celebrities: Andre Berto, Haitian Descendants Among the Stars

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Andre Berto vs Victor Ortiz World WBA Welterweight Championship April 16, 2011 Mashantucket, CT Photos By Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos

First published in the Spring 2015 print edition, as part of “Haitian Descendants Among the Stars” Vol. 1

Andre Berto is a two-time Welterweight Champion and a Haitian Olympian. In fact, his Haitian citizenship came only when he was disqualified for a controversial action in the Olympics trials of 2004. Opponent Juan McPherson deliberately bumped into him and Berto responded by throwing him to the canvas. However, this was regarded as a foul on his part and he was
disqualified. Desperate to fight, he found a place in the Haitian team due to his descent. The island country also promptly granted citizenship to the boxer. Stead wins followed by a bad spell.

Left - Andre Berto 2014
Andre Berto 2014

Berto has otherwise had an impressive career with 29 wins and 3 losses.;22 of the victories were decided in knockouts. However, some critics hold the view that he had it easy because of a resourceful coach. Of course, no one can be welterweight champions with fluke play
either. He won the championship trophy in 2008 and successfully defended it until 2010 when he dropped out of the ring citing loss of close ones in the Haiti Earthquake. He lost the title to Victor Oritz in 2011. He regained the title in the 2011 match with Dejan Zavec of Slovenia.

Victorious return
He was tested positive for a banned substance in 2012, but it was proved to be a result of contamination. He eventually regained his license. In 2012, he fought Guerrero, where he narrowly lost after a hectic fight. After an 8 month hiatus, he again returned in 2013 to
face Jesus Soto Carass, but lost again. He took a long break again and trained at the legendary Virgil Hunter’s gym with top players from the boxing world. He fought and won Steve Upsher, resuming the winning streak. Andre Berto is a very socially active person. He took part in the Black Out Boxing Movement in protest against police brutality and racist atrocities.

Welterweight champion Andre Berto volunteering at the Project Medishare Hospital shortly after the earthquake.
Welterweight champion Andre Berto volunteering at the Project Medishare Hospital shortly after the earthquake.

Haitian Roots: Both parents are form Haiti Haitian Deeds: Fought in the 2004 Olympic for team Haiti. Berto was to defend his title against “Sugar” Shane Mosley for a WBC, WBA welterweight title unification bout on January 30, 2010. However, Berto announced that he was withdrawing from his title unification bout against Mosley on January 18, 2010 due to family loss in the Haiti earthquake.

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