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Berto pulls out of Mosley fight

18
Jan

Andre Berto, saying he is “mentally and physically exhausted” as a result of the earthquake in Haiti, has pulled out of his fight against Shane Mosley on Jan. 30 in Las Vegas.

The welterweight titleholder was born in Miami but his parents are from Haiti, which has been devastated by the earthquake, and he competed for the island nation in the 2004 Olympics. Berto has lost family members in the disaster.

“Since the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday evening, I have been focusing on my family and the Haitian people who are facing an inconceivable battle for survival while still trying to continue to prepare for an opportunity I have dreamt of since childhood,” Berto said in a prepared statement. “I lost several family members to the earthquake and after two days without word, was relieved to learn that my sister, Naomi, and her daughter, Jessica, survived but were left homeless. I have seen the pain in my parents’ eyes as they attempt to understand what has happened to our homeland and recognize a place they once called home.

“As a result of this disaster, I am mentally and physically exhausted and therefore I have no choice but to withdraw from my bout on Jan. 30.”



Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Mosley, said he and Mosley understand Berto’s decision and support him.

“We’ve very sorry for Andre,” Schaefer said. “We’ve all followed the pictures and devastating stories coming out of the Haiti. Last night, when I heard that 140,000 people have died ÔǪ It is just absolutely devastating. Andre’s mind right now is not on boxing but with his family and his people. We can certainly understand that. He’s lost family members and we’re sorry for him. We wish him much strength in a difficult situation.

“I talked to Shane. He echoed my sentiments. Of course he’s disappointed too because there was less than two weeks to go for a such a great fight. Shane is in unbelievable shape. He put in a lot of hard work. For the fight to fall out is a blow for him. But, again, he feels for Andre and understands his decision.”

The fight would’ve been the biggest opportunity in Berto’s career. He has held an alphabet title the past year and a half but a victory over Mosley would’ve made him a true star.

Schaefer said it’s not appropriate to discuss whether the fight might be rescheduled in light of Berto’s mindset but added that a Berto-Mosley fight sometime in the near future is a realistic possibility.

Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather Jr. could end up replacing Berto in early May. Schaefer said he already is working on that fight, a matchup that more or less rivals the Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown that was scheduled for March 13 but fell apart.

Golden Boy has that date reserved at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but Schaefer said he would want more time to properly promoter Mayweather-Mosley and he doesn’t want to go head to head with Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey, which is set for March 13 at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

(See related Mayweather-Mosley story.)

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