(WINTER HAVEN, FLA. ) – WBC Welterweight World Champion Andre Berto (Winter Haven, Fla.) has opened training camp in his hometown of Winter Haven, Fla., for his title unification bout with WBA Champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Berto is returning to his roots for the second straight training camp, holding his 10-week camp in Central Florida at his long-time amateur training facility, the Winter Haven PAL gym.
While he is zoned in on Mosley in Florida, Everlast is featuring Berto on the cover of their 2009 Holiday Catalog, showcasing the 26-year-old champion to over 300,000 boxing fans nationwide.
With the biggest fight of Berto’s career quickly approaching, his team is working feverishly to prepare him for battle with one of the sport’s living legends. Long-time trainer Tony Morgan has joined forces with Berto’s brother, Cleveland Berto, who is serving as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Mosley Training Camp, his second straight with his brother’s team. They are using a wide range of training techniques to prepare for Mosley, incorporating swimming, strength and agility exercises, track work, and standard boxing workouts into the regimen, which includes three workouts a day.
Using the backdrop of his Winter Haven to prepare for January 30 has provided his hometown fans with the opportunity to watch and share in his fight preparations. Berto conducts his track workouts at his High School track and when he completed his training on Thursday morning, a student from his Alma Mater, Winter Haven High School, was waiting anxiously in his Andre Berto t-shirt take a photo with his boxing idol. The 26-year-old provides much a needed role model for the youth in his area. “I wanted my son to see that there was more out there than being a thug or getting into drugs,” the fan’s mother said as the pair waited excitedly for Berto to finish his workout. “Andre Berto is proof that you can make something of yourself no matter where you are from if you work hard enough.”
Berto has also reached out to one of his closest friends from his amateur days to join him during the early portion of his training camp, bringing in 2004 U.S. Olympian, Ron Siler, to Florida, to participate in training camp. Siler hopes to make his long-awaited professional debut in early January, and Berto wanted to make sure that he was prepared to step back into the ring. The two traveled the world together as amateurs, racking up trophies and medals, and now provide outstanding motivation and encouragement to one another during the extremely grueling training camp.
Yet Berto knows that he is no longer fighting for a trophy, and plans to make his mark on the welterweight division and the professional boxing world with a victory over Mosley. The highly-anticipated match-up will take place on Saturday, January 30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev., and live on HBO. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through www.ticketmaster.com or mandalaybay.com. Berto will be posting regular training camp updates and photos to his official website, www.andreberto.com, to keep all the fans informed about his preparation for January 30.
Andre Berto is the World Boxing Council Welterweight World Champion and maintains a perfect 25-0 record as a professional. An accomplished amateur with numerous national titles, Berto represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympic Games. Outside of the ring, he champions the cause of Haitian citizens as a Board Member of the Carma Foundation, an organization founded by Melky Jean to improve the health and living conditions of poor and vulnerable women in Haiti.