|Interview with Andre Berto’s Trainer: Tony Morgan, In Due Time
By John Pullman, Doghouse Boxing (July 9, 2009) Photo © HowardShatz.com
It has been about a month since WBC Welterweight Champ; Andre Berto won a lopsided unanimous decision over strong lefthander, Juan Urango. And not too long before that, in January of this year, Andre showed us he is not afraid to get his hands dirty, by standing in the trenches and taking it to another lefthander and top tier Welterweight, Louie Collazo. “We fought two in a row, I’m tired of lefthanders … I want an orthodox fighter,” Berto’s longtime trainer, Morgan chuckles as he states.
So what exactly is next for Berto and company? What orthodox fighter is in their sights? Morgan continues, “I don’t know. We have a great team behind us as far as management and promotions … I mean we are trying to do Shane, but I guess he don’t want to fight …I’m in no rush.”
Again, “I’m in no rush,” said Morgan. In a world where it seems everyone is in a hurry, it is refreshing to hear such wisdom from such a young teacher of the art.
He also backs up his statement with flawless reasoning. Morgan continues, “Berto is 25 years old, who is 25 and fighting all the champs?”
He is right. Fellow Florida fighter, Winky Right was in his thirties before he really got in the mix. Shane Mosley is another one that took his time; he was 29 when he first squared off against De La Hoya. “Due time, everything has it’s time,” says a cool, calm and collected Morgan.
Morgan is well aware of his critics. Sometimes he feels he’s under the microscope more than the fighter. That really doesn’t bother him. Tony tells us why, “I get a lot of criticism, but if you know boxing and you listen to what I tell Berto, you will hear that I tell him exactly what he needs to do … We learned a long time ago, in this sport you can’t please everybody … You’re always gonna have critics … I remember when Cotto had so many critics, talking about his chin and this and that … Then he had a great fight and everyone said he is the best! People are saying “Berto’s got a belt and he’s being babied” … I look at it like this; if they hurry us and we get knocked out … They are gonna say he was rushed, it’s a no win situation, we might as well win financially and win in the ring.”
Good point. Tony continues to remind people who may have forgotten about some of Berto’s tough wins. “People forget about David Estrada, he gave Shane everything he wanted, gave Kermit Cintron everything he wanted, and gave a lot of top fighters everything they wanted. Berto went toe to toe with Estrada and knocked him out!” Exclaims Tony.
Just because Tony Morgan has patience like most great trainers, he doesn’t forget about pleasing the fans. “I respect everyone as fans … We are fans, we want to give the people what they want. In time we will give people what they want to see … In time we will fight that big fight where in the 11th and 12th round we got to go to war to win, we will,” exclaims Morgan.
If you have seen the Collazo fight, it’s hard not to believe what this man is saying. Berto dug down deep to win that fight. Morgan attributes Berto’s boxing ability and toughness to all the work they put in at the gym. “Come to one of our training camps and see the work we put in … We work our ass off!”
Morgan has a lot of boxing knowledge. That knowledge started with a healthy respect for the sport. “This sport is very complicated. I think if you are in this business and you have achieved anything, you are good at what you do. I look up to everyone …” Says Tony.
At just 25 years of age, under the tutuledge of Tony Morgan, Andre Berto has already acquired a championship in a talent rich division. Tony Morgan asserts that they are just beginning a very long and successful career. “People are yet to see the best of Andre Berto …” Concludes Morgan.
Thanks so much to Tony Morgan for taking the time out to talk with me.
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