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Andre Berto, Robert Guerrero to fight Nov. 24 in Ontario

October 23, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Boxers Andre Berto, left, and Robert Guerrero pose for photos during a news conference on Tuesday. The two will fight in a welterweight match on Nov. 24 in Ontario, Calif.
Boxers Andre Berto, left, and Robert Guerrero pose for photos during a news… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Andre Berto and Robert Guerrero, two former world champions who could still use  more name recognition in their pursuit of boxing stardom, will fight each other Nov. 24 in Ontario with a likely captive Thanksgiving weekend audience tuned in.

Former world welterweight champion Berto (28-1, 22 knockouts) will fight for the first time since September 2011, after he saw his June shot against Victor Ortiz scrapped because Berto tested positive for a steroid.

The California State Athletic Commission later reviewed the case and cleared Berto, 29, of wrongdoing, identifying his sample as a result of contamination.

“Sometimes you have to go through things in life,” Berto said Tuesday in a downtown Los Angeles news conference announcing the bout at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. “It hurt, because we know what kind of people we are. I knew I didn’t do it. We proved it, and I’ve moved on.”

Tickets, ranging from $25 to $200, are on sale now. HBO will televise the bout.

For Gilroy, Calif.’s 29-year-old Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs), his second welterweight bout is for the World Boxing Council interim belt pending champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s next career move.

Guerrero beat little-known Selcuk Aydin by unanimous decision in July in San Jose, and lobbied hard for a shot at another welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley, before his promoter Golden Boy landed the Berto bout.

The fight matches Berto’s power and punching speed against Guerrero’s boxing skill and southpaw style that threatens to produce a defining exhibition of the sweet science.

“He’s slick and can change the fight with one punch, so I have to be prepared — in great shape,” Guerrero said. “I’ll be changing gears, changing styles. I can beat him in 12 rounds.

“Aydin is a big puncher too. You’ll find out in the ring if you can take the punch or not.”

Both fighters could potentially emerge as a candidate to fight the unbeaten Mayweather Jr. with an impressive victory, promoter Richard Schaefer said.

Although the possibility remains that attempts will be made again to stage a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in April, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said earlier this month that Brandon Rios is positioned for Pacquiao if the often-failed talks with Mayweather crash again.

Berto and Mayweather share managers.

“The division’s wide open, they’re waiting for something else to happen,” Berto said. “I bring to the table what’s needed for this division.”

Schaefer said he’s been in talks with Ontario arena operator and business partner AEG for the last year about bringing a good fight to the Inland Empire.

The undercard will include a World Boxing Assn. lightweight world title fight between Richie Abril and Sharif Bogere and a junior-middleweight bout between Carlos Quintana and Keith Thurman.

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Twitter: @latimespugmire

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