Former two-time welterweight beltholder Andre Berto will undergo surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right arm that was suffered during last month’s 12th-round stoppage loss to Jesus Soto Karass, the fighter’s publicist announced on Monday.
Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 knockouts) rose from an 11th-round knockdown to drop and finish Berto (28-3, 22 KOs) in the 12th, scoring the first-ever knockout of a man whose other losses were by unanimous decision to Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero.
“I threw a punch in the second round, and when Soto Karass blocked it, my right upper arm connected with his and it felt like fire shot through my arm. I had no power at all in that right arm and couldn’t hold it up to defend myself,” said Berto, whose surgery is set to repair the main supporting tendon of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
“I kept trying to use it, but midway through the fight, I realized I couldn’t, and just tried to work my left hand and throw jabs. I threw it instinctively in the heat of the battle later in the fight and yelled from the pain shooting through my arm. I could see that Soto Karass and the referee heard me, and the referee and doctor kept coming to the corner between rounds to check on the injury. But there was no way I was going to quit.”
The operation will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who was involved with the surgery that repaired Berto’s ruptured left biceps in February of 2012.
Berto was advised to wait a week in order to allow the extensive swelling to resolve before undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of his injury.
After conferring with two of the top orthopedic physicians in the field, he learned that surgery would be required immediately to repair the tear, according to the release.
“Surgery is obviously never something that anyone wants to deal with, but adversity is nothing new to me. I know that Dr. ElAttrache is one of the best in the business so I am in good hands,” said Berto.
“I’m going to tackle this latest obstacle head on and I plan to be back in the ring full force in 2014. I really appreciate all the support that my fans have given me over the last few weeks and promise that you are going to see much more from me in the future.”
Photos by Craig Bennett
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]