NEW YORK – Colombian power puncher Alejandro “Naco” Berrio, former IBF Super Middleweight Champion, has signed an exclusive promotional contract with Boxing 360 and proved how serious he is about recharging his career that he moved to New York City.
“We’re excited to have Alejandro Berrio onboard,” Boxing 360 Founder and CEO Mario Yagobi said. “We’re going to have him campaign as a super middleweight and he’ll be fighting for the first time under our banner January 13 in Oklahoma.”
Berrio (31-5, 28 KOs), who stopped previously unbeaten and present WBO titlist Robert Stieglitz 3 ½ years ago to capture the IBF crown, now lives in Queens and trains in the Bronx.
“I signed with Boxing 360 because Mario believes in me,” Berrio said. “I’m motivated by his company. I want to be world champion again. I’ll take it one fight at a time but all I need is one opportunity. Today’s fighters choose who they fight. I’m a real fighter, a throwback who will fight anybody. I’ll adapt to any opponent that gets in the ring with me. I wasn’t prepared when I fought Bute. I’ll fight anybody but Bute is one fighter I really want to get in the ring with again.”
Seven years into his pro career, Berrio knocked out Carl Handy (19-4-2) in the right round to capture the IBO Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight Championship. Next up was a ninth-round stoppage of Syd Vanderpool, setting up a showdown against 27-0 Stieglitz in Germany. Stieglitz won by 11th round TKO in their 2005 IBF Super Middleweight Eliminator.
The resourceful Berrio won a stay busy fight before taking on another undefeated fighter, 22-0-2 Yusaf Mack, who Alejandro put to sleep in the sixth round. In early 2007, Berrio was matched against Stieglitz, currently the WBO 168-pound champion, in Germany for the vacant IBF strap. Berrio was at his best as he dropped Stieglitz twice before referee Remigio Ruggeri halted the match in the third round.
Berrio’s first title defense was seven months later against 20-0 Lucian Bute in the challenger’s backyard, Montreal. Bute won the IBF title that he still holds today by knocking out Berrio in the 11th round. “I wasn’t prepared properly to fight Bute,” Berrio noted.
In the three years since losing to Bute, Berrio has had only five fights, all victories as a light heavyweight, four in his native Colombia and the other in the Dominican Republic.
Lenny DeJesus has trained Berrio for the past four years. “Alejandro fought the cream of the crop for three or four years,” DeJesus noted. “Other promoters tried to make him a star but they never explained things to him. It got to the point where he didn’t believe anybody because his promoters just used him like a cash cow. He was just fighting here and there, being used and abused. Nobody super middleweight hits like Berrio. He’s a good, quality fighter who still has it. He’s a big puncher that gives fans what they want – knockouts!”
“Alejandro has a manager, Vinnie Scolpino, who brought Joshua Clottey to a world title and his head trainer, Lenny DeJesus, has worked with several world champs,” Boxing 360 Director of Boxing Bob Duffy commented. “With Boxing 360 as his promoter had has the total package. It’s Berrio’s last hurrah but he’s not just an opponent. He’s a dangerous opponent, as dangerous as anybody in the super middleweight division, and he always has a puncher’s chance. We hope to get him a few wins and then a fight against a top 10 guy.”
Other members of Boxing 360’s stable include USBA heavyweight champion Maurice “Sugar Moe” Harris, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada, Mike Mollo, Joshua “The Juice” Harris, Emad Ali, NY State super middleweight title-holder Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen, Angel “Toro” Hernandez and “King” David Estrada.
Go to www.Boxing360.com for more information about Berrio, Boxing 360 or any of its other fighters.