Jan Zaveck's team sent out a press release calling out Andre Berto for the Slovenian titlist's next fight. It wasn't long ago that Berto's promoter, Lou DiBella, was speaking with Team Zaveck about possible fights. DiBella said at the time that "Berto possibly came up," but that he was more focused on getting Randall Bailey a shot at Zaveck's alphabet belt.
Here's what DiBella said at the time:
"Did Berto's name come up during a conversation? Berto possibly came up, but a lot of things would have to be satisfied for something like that to happen."
Zaveck (31-1, 18 KO) is a solid welterweight and a fine fighter, but Berto (27-1, 21 KO) is a huge step up from the likes of Paul Delgado and Rodolfo Martinez.
What would make the fight really interesting, in my opinion, is finding out if Berto is a step up -- or how big of a step up -- from the likes of Rafal Jackiewicz or Isaac Hlatshwayo. Berto is still largely untested as a pro and has really had just the two tough fights -- a narrow win over Luis Collazo and his April loss to Victor Ortiz.
I do think the fight makes sense. Zaveck seems hungry for something bigger than he's been getting, and says he wants to fight in the States. Zaveck says he's "90%" sure that his next fight will be in America, but the IBF needs to select his opponent. Berto is a perfect project for him right now, and for the IBF. He's a credible name (moreso than Delgado at the very least) and is still one of the top guys at 147 pounds. It would be the biggest win of Zaveck's career should he get the win, and from Berto's side, Zaveck is a credible opponent instead of what I feared we would see, which is Andre handled with kid gloves coming off of the loss.
Obviously nothing is set yet, but this seems to be picking up some steam.