In the manner that boxing is often unpredictable, co headliner Shawn Porter (24-1-1, 15KOs) nearly lost his televised spot for his Friday March, 13, 2015 Spike TV 9PM PBC event scheduled to take place at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California when his opponent Roberto Garcia (36-3, 23KOs) failed to show for the weigh in. It has since been reported that Mr. Garcia was suffering from dehydration and B12 poisoning, effectively preventing him from passing his California State Athletic Commission physical.
Early on it looked as if Chris Arreola (35-4, 31KOs), firmly starting on the comeback trail since losing to Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1, 21KOs) would be taking Porter’s prime spot on the televised portion of the card with his own scheduled bout versus Curtis Harper (12-3, 8 KOs). However, in the nick of time the boxing gods smiled on Porter as event officials were able to find a last minute replacement in Erick Bone (16- 1, 8 KOs) from Ecuador. Arreola and Porter, both still favorites in their respective long set and newly made bouts for March 13th had potentially concerning issues making weigh with Porter needing to strip nude to make weight at 146.7 pounds and Arreola coming in at the second heaviest weight of his career at 262 pounds. Surely any problems there negligible or damaging will de determined tomorrow in the ring.
Still as set to bang as ever, the night’s headlining event, Andre Berto (29-3, 22KOs) vs. Josesito Lopez (33-6, 19KOs) was a making weight slam dunk with Berto coming in at 146 and Lopez coming in at 146.3. Unlike the dramatic seesaw of Porter vs. Garcia, both are locked and loaded as planned at conception for Friday night. In a media conference call leading up to the fight, Berto was quite candid regarding how far he has come with earning this fight against Lopez. Especially of note was Berto’s physical as well as mental crises around the torn shoulder he initially suffered against Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18KOs) in 2013: “ just going through rehab, I didn’t think I was going to be able to be in this position to fight anymore to be honest. I thought my career was probably going to be over,” stated Berto, speaking from the heart. “ When a man goes through that, when he goes through those types of obstacles and he doesn’t have any choice but to stay focused and stay prayed up,,, you don’t have no choice but to be a different man, a different animal,” Berto confessed soberly. “ We’re in tremendous just shape and.. we just can’t wait to just put it all together.. you’re going to be able to see a complete fighter in Berto,” concluded Andre.
As for Josesito, Berto’s reconfiguration of himself in the ring, along with the fact that both fought Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23KOs), with Berto being the loser and Lopez the winner, is something that has no real bearings in his preparations for the fight Friday. “ Whether it’s a win or a loss… you move forward,” stated Lopez, revealing that Berto in his loss to Ortiz, only significantly showed that, “He (Berto) has a big heart and he’s willing to fight through anything. Other than that we are fighting a different fight… I feel fresh and I feel like I’m ready to step in with the big dogs again… a victory come March 13th really opens every single door in the welterweight division in boxing right now…. This is the fight we need and this is the fight that fans can be talking about for a long time.”
Now that is the type of mental game any fight fan wants to hear.
Written by Kylie Krabbe
Photo by Bryan Horowitz
March 13th 2015