Former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto will undergo surgery on Wednesday in Los Angeles to repair the tendon in his right shoulder that he tore July 27 during a brutal fight with Jesus Soto Karass.
Berto said after the fight that he had injured his shoulder during the second round of the match at the AT&T Center in San Antonio and fought the rest of the bout essentially with one arm before being knocked down in the 11th round and then stopped in the 12th.
Berto, 29, said he had to wait for a week to allow the swelling in his shoulder to go down before undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of his injury. After conferring with two orthopedic physicians, Berto learned he would need surgery to repair the tear.
"Surgery is obviously never something that anyone wants to deal with, but adversity is nothing new to me," Berto said in a statement on Monday. "I know that Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache is one of the best in the business, so I am in good hands. 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."
When Berto tore a biceps in 2012, ElAttrache assisted on the surgery. This time he will perform it.
Berto (28-3, 22 KOs), of Winter Haven, Fla., was working with new trainer Virgil Hunter for the first time for the fight with Soto Karass. Berto has lost two fights in a row and three of his past four but is regularly in exciting fights. The other defeats in his recent bouts were decisions in fight of the year candidates to Robert Guerrero (2012) and Victor Ortiz (2011).
The fight with Soto Karass was also exciting, although Berto's shoulder was injured early on and severely limited him.
"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," Berto said. "I had no power at all in that right arm and couldn't hold it up to defend myself. 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."
Berto, a 2004 Olympian for Haiti, where his parents are from, won a world title in 2008 and made five defenses before the loss to Ortiz. In his next fight, Berto stopped Jan Zaveck in 2011 to win another version of the 147-pound title.
Berto never defended it, instead giving it up to facilitate a much-anticipated rematch with Ortiz in 2012. However, Berto tested positive for a steroid in a random test during the lead-up to the fight and it was canceled. Berto returned in November and lost the slugfest to Guerrero.