An interesting double-header for April 10 on HBO is being discussed, with one of the fights nearly finalized.
In the main event that night, WBC welterweight titlist Andre Berto would defend against former titleholder Carlos Quintana, which is all but completed, says Rick Reeno. Berto (25-0, 19 KO) pulled out of a scheduled January 30 fight with Shane Mosley after the earthquake in Haiti. As of now, Berto hasn't fought since May 2009, when he won an easy, dull 12-round decision over 140-pound titlist Juan Urango.
Quintana (27-2, 21 KO) would be one of the two best opponents of Berto's career, along with fellow crafty southpaw Luis Collazo, who nearly upset Berto in January '09. The 33-year-old Puerto Rican Quintana is in a Michael Corleone position with this one, as he's tried to stay at 154 pounds since the first-round rematch loss to Paul Williams in 2008. He's fought just twice since then, beating Joshua Onyango and Jesse Feliciano, but he's been more notable for constantly being in talks to fight top welterweight contenders or prospects. Most recently, he was rumored to be matched with 154-pound prospect/contender Vanes Martirosyan, who struggled with Kassim Ouma in January. Many were calling for the Quintana "upset" in that one.
Now, it looks like he's headed for bigger money, an HBO date, and the chance to take another belt. But don't ignore the weight, either. It was Quintana's desire to stay at 154, meaning he was doing so for a reason. Maybe he just thought it would be easier to win a title (and it probably would be, unless Quintana wanted to chase the completely ridiculous IBF welterweight belt), but more likely the weight was giving him some problems, and he decided that moving up would benefit him.
The Berto fight is about the biggest thing he's going to get, bigger than any potential fight at 154 save perhaps for a third fight with Paul Williams, and that's not going to happen. My gut feeling is he's taking this one more for the money it presents than making his wisest career choice. If he can struggle down to 147 again (which he hasn't done in almost two years), then he makes good bank.
The other fight for the card would pit IBF light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud (20-0, 18 KO) against Glen Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KO). Johnson just won the shot at the belt by dismantling Yusaf Mack on February 5. Cloud has been inactive (what's new?) since winning the strap against Clinton Woods last August.
With Cloud, Johnson and Berto all Floridians, chances are this card winds up in Florida, although Johnson has minimal following, Cloud built his career in Chicago and has fought just twice in Florida (his pro debut and the Woods fight), and Berto has also fought just two times in Florida (against Urango and once in 2005). Berto and Cloud still have enough future that building a home base for them down there would still be a worthwhile venture for sure, especially when you can advertise them both as "undefeated world champion."
Promoter Lou DiBella has also said he has an April 10 date at Madison Square Garden. There was talk that date could host Berto-Paulie Malignaggi.