During his 13-year career, Berto has become known for his toughness, formidable punching power, and fast hand speed. In the late 2000s he was considered a rising star in the welterweight division, as well as a highly regarded young prospect in boxing. He reached the peak of his career in 2011, holding the WBC welterweight title which he had won in 2008 and made five defenses, and was ranked as the world's third best welterweight, behind then-top stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Berto's success was cut short after his first career loss to Victor Ortiz in 2011, which won Fight of the Year honors by The Ring magazine. Since then, Berto's career has fluctuated: from 2012 to 2015 he suffered three further losses, but bounced back in 2016 with a win over Ortiz in a rematch.
The son of Haitian immigrants, Berto was one of seven children born and raised in Winter Haven, Florida. Multiple members of the Berto family would become involved in combat sports. Andre's sister Revelina and brother James are both professional mixed martial artists. Their father Dieuseul is a retired professional kickboxer who competed at UFC 10. Andre was introduced to boxing by his father after getting beat up multiple times by classmates. Dieuseul taught the sport to Berto at a school in Winter Haven. For Berto, the sport of boxing became a solace to stay out of trouble in the rough community in which he grew up.
As an amateur, Berto won a bronze medal in the 2003 World Championships. He was also a two-time U.S. National Golden Gloves champion, a two-time National PAL champion, a three-time U.S. amateur championship medalist, and won 22 state titles in Florida. Prior to the 2003 World Championships, Berto defeated future world title challenger Andre Dirrell, and future three-weight world champion Timothy Bradley twice.
Berto was an odds-on favorite to breeze through the 2004 Olympic Trials and qualify as a member of the US Olympic boxing squad. Those dreams were dashed in the opening round of the trials, when he was disqualified for throwing Juan McPherson to the canvas. Berto was winning the fight, before McPherson bumped into him before being pushed to the canvas, and was deemed in no condition to continue. The act was ruled a flagrant foul, and Berto was disqualified. A protest was ruled in his favor, as he was declared the winner and advanced to the next round. Berto won that bout as well and prepared for the finals before a follow-up meeting the night before reverted to the initial ruling, eliminating Berto from the tournament. Because his parents emigrated from Haiti, Berto was able to keep his Olympic hopes alive, qualifying for Team Haiti, and subsequently granted Haitian citizenship alongside his American nationality, an exception the island country awarded the Olympian. Berto lost in the first-round to Xavier Noel of France.
From December 2004 to October 2006, Berto won 15 fights, with 13 coming by way of knockout. On December 12, 2006, at the Alltel Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Berto stepped up in competition and fought Miguel Figueroa. Berto put together a one-sided destruction of Figueroa, eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight in round six. He was named ESPN.com's 2006 Prospect of the Year. His next fight took place on February 17, 2007, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, against Norberto Bravo of The Contender. Berto defeated Bravo by first-round technical knockout after Bravo was knocked down three times, triggering the three knockdown rule. On May 19, 2007, Berto defeated Martinus Clay by seventh-round technical knockout.
On July 27, 2007, at the City Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. Berto fought Cosme Rivera. Berto was in full control until he was down for the first time in his career in round six. He was able to recover and open up a bad cut over Rivera's right eye in the seventh round. Rivera stood his ground in the remaining rounds to test Berto, but Berto won by unanimous decision. On September 29, 2007, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Berto defeated David Estrada by eleventh-round technical knockout to win the NABF welterweight title. Rounds three and eight were described by BoxingScene.com as "round of the year" candidates as both men went toe-to-toe with flush power shots. The end came when Berto dropped Estrada with an uppercut that was followed up by a huge right hand. Estrada made it to his feet, but could not defend himself as Berto attacked with more damaging shots that prompted the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
On February 9, 2008, at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, Berto fought Michael Trabant in his first defense of the NABF welterweight title. Trabant stayed on the defensive for the entire fight with Berto landing a variety of punches from all angles. In the fifth and sixth rounds, Trabant was barely able to land a single punch, as he was frequently taking punches to the head. Trabant told the referee after round six that he was no longer willing to continue with the fight. It was the first time that Trabant had ever been stopped.
On June 21, 2008, Berto captured the vacant WBC welterweight title left vacant by Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeating Miguel Rodriguez in the seventh round by technical knockout at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. Berto knocked Rodriguez down twice in the seventh round, before the referee stopped the bout with 47 seconds left as Berto continually hurt Rodriguez with right hands.
Berto's first title defense of the WBC welterweight title occurred on September 28, 2008, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California against Steve Forbes. Berto consistently outpunched Forbes throughout winning the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 118-109 on two of the scorecards and 116-111 on the third scorecard.
Berto made the second defense of his title on January 17, 2009, at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi against former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo. Berto got off to a rough start as he was hurt in the first round and had a point deducted in the fourth round for holding Collazo's arm. In round seven, Berto opened a cut over the left eye of Collazo. Berto won the fight by a controversial unanimous decision with scores of 114-113 on two of the scorecards and 116-111 on the third scorecard in a fight which most thought Collazo might have won.
On Saturday, May 30, 2009, Berto defended his WBC welterweight title against former IBF light welterweight champion Juan Urango and won a lopsided unanimous decision setting up a fight with Shane Mosley.
Berto was to defend his title against "Sugar" Shane Mosley for a WBC, WBA welterweight title unification bout on January 30, 2010. However, Berto announced that he was withdrawing from his title unification bout against Mosley on January 18, 2010 due to family loss in the Haiti earthquake. With Mosley subsequently landing a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Berto faced former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana on April 10, 2010 in the beginning Quintana outboxed Berto but eventually Berto's speed and power began to overwhelm Quintana and eventually won by an eighth round Technical knockout, despite injuring his left bicep during the fight.
On November 27, 2010, Berto scored a TKO victory over Freddy Hernandez. Berto successfully defended his WBC welterweight title, stopping an overmatched Freddy Hernandez at 2:07 of the first round putting himself in line for a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. He hammered Hernandez (29-2) with a left hook, then floored him with a straight right during the co-feature fight of the Juan Manuel Márquez-Michael Katsidis lightweight championship bout.
On April 16, 2011, Berto's reign as WBC Welterweight Champion came to an abrupt end in a fight which proved to be one of the biggest upsets of 2011 at the hands of a moving up in weight form 140 "Vicious" Victor Ortíz. Ortiz defeated Berto by unanimous decision in a fight that was named The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" for 2011 with 4 ruled knockdowns going into the fight Berto was undefeated but was facing complaints of being unproven at the highest level and a lack of notable, quality opposition on his record of 27-0-21 Knockouts and the loss stopped him from landing a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
On September 3, 2011, Berto returned after his defeat to Victor Ortíz to face IBF Welterweight Champion and Ring Top 10 Welterweight Dejan Zavec. After 5 rounds of a closely competitive fight, Zaveck's corner stopped the fight as he had been cut. The two men embraced and Berto thanked the Slovenian fans for traveling over to America to cheer their countryman on. Berto called his performance "so-so", becoming a two-time world champion and the new IBF Welterweight Champion.
Berto relinquished his IBF Welterweight title rather than face mandatory challenger Randall Bailey in order to facilitate the rematch with Ortiz because he wanted the opportunity to avenge his only defeat (at the time).
After testing positive for a banned substance, the rematch against Ortiz planned for June 23, 2012 was cancelled. It has since been ruled that Berto's positive test was the result of contamination, and Berto regained his boxing license. Josesito Lopez replaced Berto and fought Ortiz on the scheduled date at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lopez stopped Ortiz after 9 rounds claiming the vacant WBC silver welterweight title.
Berto's next fight was scheduled for November 24, 2012, in Ontario, California. The opponent was Ring Top 10 Welterweight and WBC Interim Welterweight champion Robert Guerrero. Berto was knocked down twice early in the fight but came back well to give Guerrero a tough scrap, but Guerrero managed to narrowly maintain control and won via unanimous decision. Both of Berto's eyes and Guerrero's right eye were closed shut by the end of the fight.
Following an 8-month lay-off after losing to Guerrero, Berto eventually returned to the ring to face Jesús Soto Karass on July 27, 2013, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. In a tough, entertaining back-and-forth fight, Berto lost via TKO in the twelfth round after having put Soto Karass on the canvas in the previous round. At the time of the stoppage, one judge had Berto ahead in the fight (105-103), one had him behind in the fight (103-105) and the other judge had the fight even (104-104).
On August 19, 2014 after a 14-month lay-off following consecutive defeats where he used most of that time nursing his injured shoulder, it was announced that Berto would fight journeyman Steve Upsher Chambers (24-3-1, 6 KO) on September 6 on Showtime in a 10-round bout, a day before his 31st birthday. Virgil Hunter trained Berto for the first time since announcing their partnership. Berto was going into this fight having not won since 2011. Chambers was going into the fight on a 2-fight losing streak. The fight took place at the U.S. Bank Arena, in Cincinnati, Ohio on the Adrien Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor card. Berto won the fight via unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 99-91, giving Chambers only one round. Berto landed jabs often throughout the fight gaining confidence with right uppercuts and straight right hands to Chambers' head. Chambers did let his hands go in some rounds unloading flurrie but never took control of the fight as Berto seemed to be more comfortable with the pace of the fight.
On January 22, 2015, it was announced that Berto would fight Josesito Lopez (33-6, 19 KOs) on March 13, as part of the new Premier Boxing Champions series on Spike TV. The fight took place at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The interim WBA welterweight title was at stake. Berto won the fight via TKO in round 6 to claim the vacant title. In an evenly matched fight, both fighters went back and forth the first 5 rounds. Lopez was the busier fighter landing solid punches, while Berto landed sharp Jabs and some hard rights hand. By the end of round 5, Lopez face was cut and bruised. In round 6, Berto landed 3 hard right hands in that dropped Lopez. He beat the count, another right hand put Lopez down again causing the referee to stop the fight at 1 minute and 3 seconds. Berto was booed following the win due to the fight taking place in Lopez's homestate. Lopez won most of the early rounds after working on Berto's body. At the time of stoppage, one judge had Berto ahead 48-47, whilst the other two judges had it 50-45 and 48-47 in favour of Lopez.
On August 4, 2015, it was announced that, after months of speculation, a bout between Berto and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas would indeed take place on September 12, 2015. He lost the match to Mayweather by unanimous decision, in what was a rather one-sided affair. The three judges at ringside scored the contest 120–108, 118–110, and 117–111, while Berto earned a career-high $4 million fight purse.
Five years after their first slugfest, Berto and Victor Ortíz finally met in a rematch on April 30, 2016 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Berto was down once in the 2nd round but was able to beat the count and subsequently came on strongly in round 4. Ortiz went down twice in the 4th round and although he was able to beat both counts, he didn't answer to referee Jack Reiss when asked if he wanted to continue. The bout would be called at the 1:44 mark. Berto stated afterwards that he would be willing to face Ortiz in a rubber match before then going on to call out WBC Champion Danny García.
On February 13, 2017 it was announced that a deal was close to being made between Berto and former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs). On March 5, it was officially confirmed the fight would take place on April 22, 2017 at the Barclays Center in New York City with CBS confirming Showtime would televise the bout. Halfway though the press conference, promoter Lou DiBella confessed that he received a phone call from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman and he reported the fight would be a final eliminator. On March 4, Keith Thurman defeated Danny Garcia to become the new WBA and WBC unified welterweight champion.
Berto failed to earn a world title fight when he was dropped and stopped in round 9. Berto suffered his fifth defeat in his last nine fights. Porter used power shots to the body of Berto to wear him down over the rounds. Berto was dropped in round 2, the same round Porter suffered a bad cut from clash of heads. After round 4, Porter was cut above both eyes and Berto was cut above the left eye, all due to clash of heads. At the time of stoppage, Porter was ahead on all scorecards, 79–71, 79–74, and 78–73. Porter was the busier fighter, landing 175 of 448 punches thrown, whilst Berto landed 81 of 254 thrown. Many experts called the fight dirty due to constant clash of heads and blood pouring from both fighters. Berto said, "I have to give him credit, but he's a rough fighter. He has great skills, but at the same time, he's going to be rough and try to handle me any way he can. I got a lot of head butts, and he did, too. Shawn is a tough competitor. We had a good, competitive fight until the head butts got to be a little too much for me. But I thought it was a really good fight before that."
Porter earned earned $1 million whilst Berto got the higher amount of $1.2 million for the fight.The fight averaged 468,000 viewers on Showtime.
In a March 2010 column he wrote for The New York Times, Berto described some of his efforts for Project Medishare in Haiti after the earthquake, as well as relating that he is frequently mistaken for American football star Reggie Bush. Berto's father Dieuseul is a retired professional kickboxer who competed at UFC 10, while his sister Revelina and brother James Edson Berto are both professional mixed martial artists themselves. Berto is often called "Mike", his middle name.