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Berto keeps welterweight title with quick KO of Hernandez

It didn’t take long for Andre Berto to beat Freddy Hernandez on Saturday — or for Berto’s promoter, Lou DiBella, to get on his cell phone and call promoter Bob Arum to try to get his fighter in the ring with Manny Pacquiao.

Berto retained his WBC welterweight title in impressive fashion, stopping Hernandez 2:07 into their 12-round bout at the MGM Grand Garden. A left jab followed by a left hook followed by a big right hand dropped Hernandez, and after he wobbled upon getting to his feet, he was clearly in no condition to continue and referee Russell Mora stopped the fight.

“You guys (in the media) have been giving me a lot of hassle, so I wanted to give a good performance,” Berto said. “I was just throwing a jab. I jabbed to the stomach and came over with the right.”

Hernandez (29-2) was stunned by Mora’s decision to stop the fight.

“I was fine. I wanted to keep fighting,” Hernandez said. “I was surprised by the punch. It was simply one punch, but I was conditioned to get up and keep fighting.

“It was ridiculous. I don’t know why they stopped it.”

Berto was looking to start fast and did just that. He employed his superior hand speed and established his jab early. Hernandez was still trying to get out of first gear when Berto waylaid him with the three-punch combination that resulted in a quick ending.

Berto (27-0) said he deserves a big-money fight given his performance.

“I have had all the appetizers, now I’m ready for the main course,” he said. “(Shane) Mosley, (Miguel) Cotto or definitely Pacquiao. I’m the best available fight out there for Pacquiao.”

Contact sports reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or at 702-387-2913.

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