Andre Berto discusses Miguel Cruz fight on Kownacki v Arreola undercard
Two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto will return to the ring and look to make a statement on his way toward another world title when he takes on Miguel Cruz in FOX PBC Fight Night action Saturday, August 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
“I’m at a point in my career where every time I step into the ring, I need to make a statement,” said Berto. “I’m a fighter who has spent a lot of years at the top of the welterweight division and that’s something to be proud of. I have to continue earning my stripes and I plan to do that on August 3.”
Berto will be fighting for the first time since the passing of his father, who has been influential throughout his career, and for the first time since the birth of his daughter Legaci. With these new factors in his life, Berto promises to show a new fire on August 3.
“I definitely have a ton of motivation this camp,” said Berto. “This is the first fight since my father passed away, and he’s been in my corner my whole life. I’m also fighting for the first time as a father myself. I’m taking that honor into the ring and it’s a huge motivation. I have more motivation for this fight than I’ve had in a very long time.”
While he trains in the Bay Area with longtime coach Virgil Hunter, Berto represents his hometown of Winter Haven, Florida. His opponent Miguel Cruz is from nearby Lake Mary, Florida, creating a ‘turf war’ of sorts that came to fruition in the announcement press conference for the fight, with both men staking claim to the area and their side of the generational battle.
“I wasn’t surprised at all that we got into it at the press conference,” said Berto. “I saw someone that was nervous. I was doing a lot of barking, so the only thing he could do was defend himself.
“I don’t really consider this a ‘turf war’ because I’ve been doing this for so long. He’s watched me do it for a very long time. Everyone in Central Florida knows who the big dog in that area has been for a whole. He’s one of the young fighters that’s trying to come up, and we are going to have to tame him.”
Cruz most recently scored a second round stoppage at Barclays Center in January to bounce back from his lone pro defeat, a decision loss to Josesito Lopez last April on FOX. Prior to that, the 29-year-old had beaten a slew of prospects and contenders, and will now look to put himself back in the title mix with a win against a big name in Berto.
For Berto, he will be facing a new challenge after a run that has seen him take on former and current champions in Devon Alexander, Shawn Porter, Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather, dating back to 2015.
“I know that I’m facing a fighter who is trying to make a name for himself,” said Berto. “That’s always dangerous. He’s tough, rugged and he’s going to come to fight. I have to make sure I’m on point with all parts of my game.”