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JAMES ALI BASHIR: "IF BERTO WANTS TO SAVE HIS CAREER, HE'S GOTTA INVITE A NEW TRAINER IN"

By Percy Crawford | November 28, 2012
JAMES ALI BASHIR:

"If Berto wants to save his career, he's gotta invite a new trainer in now. If I was ever to go in and train Andre Berto, and I'm not saying he should bring me in, but if I was to train him, the one thing that I would have to have is his undivided attention and he would have to tell all of those people in his corner to shut the fuck up. There would be no talking in that corner. You have his brothers yelling and his trainer waiting for them to finish so he could talk. I don't know where he goes from here because he looked terrible in that fight. If I'm Al Haymon, I would have to let that thing go now. I don't think he could save Berto," stated world-class trainer James Ali Bashir, who shared his thoughts on the recent performances of Johnathan Banks, Andre Berto, Ricky Hatton, and much more. Check it out!

PC: Congratulations on the big win with Johnathon Banks defeating the undefeated Seth Mitchell. How do you feel about the performance?

JAB: Well, I told Johnathon going into that fight that there would be different luxuries and opportunities that Seth himself would invite us to. He has vulnerability, and the fact that he crosses over his feet, and the fact that he is amateurish overall. I knew that if we stayed to course, we would be able to take him out between 7 and 9 rounds by KO. But after sharing the locker room with Seth during the hand wrapping and stuff, I saw that either his trainer was agitated or nervous. I also watched the wrapping of his hands, which I felt was flawed. It was flawed and amateurish. They put gauze and then tape and then gauze. That was the first step that they…either didn't know how or they was trying to get away with something, or maybe they simply didn't know, so I just let them wrap his hands for a while and then I told them, "You gotta stop and wrap his hands all over because that's wrong."
So in short, had Ricky Hatton had me in his corner the other night, he might have won the fight. I won't say that he would have, but I'm saying he would have given himself a better chance of winning. If Andre Berto had me in his corner the other night, he would have given himself a much better chance of winning simply because of the knowledge and the application combined together. It's very difficult to get results from one without having the other. It's very difficult to get the benefit of one without the other. Its knowledge and application; not just knowledge and not just application, but the combination, so if those two men had me in their corner the other night, whether they bought me in the last 10 days or the last 10 hours, they would have given themselves a greater opportunity to win those fights simply because of my knowledge and my application. There are so many things being done wrong by all of the trainers or teachers or what have you.

PC: Can you point out some of the things you mean when you say done wrong?

JAB: First of all, I would have never let Ricky Hatton come back to a fight of that magnitude. That was crazy to take that fight. Andre Berto has the same people in his corner and he looked even worse in this fight with Guerrero than he did against Ortiz. And he still has a lot of chaos in that corner, and it's also amateurish. He keeps them in the name of friendship or family or whatever. He needs to fire the corner and get a whole new team. If he doesn't find a new corner, he needs a trainer that can benefit him. He looked worse than he did in the Ortiz fight, which shows you he's on the way down now. And to add to that the embarrassing fact that he was in there with a guy who started his career at 122 pounds. He came from 122 pounds to 126, from 126 to 130, from 130 to 135, and from 135 to 140, and then finally at 147. He let a guy push him around instead of keeping that fight…my instructions to him would have been to keep this fight in the center of the ring and you win this fight easily with your hand speed and your boxing ability. Instead, he chose to fight the fight laying on the ropes with the guy laying on him and racking up points by punching him to the body.

PC: What were your thoughts on how he started the fight with the Mayweather shoulder roll that he looked very uncomfortable doing and it obviously wasn't working? I think Adrien Broner does it well and Ishe Smith is pretty good with it, but Berto didn't look comfortable at all.

JAB: That's something else that looked very amateurish. And the way he was using it was illegal. He had his elbow so high that he could have caused some major damage. He had his elbow raised up and that's an illegal tactic. This is not MMA; this is professional boxing. I would have told the referee that he can't do that because it is an infraction of the rule if I was in the opposing corner.

PC: I really don't know what you do with Berto at this point. Guerrero could have gone back down to 140 possibly with a loss, but what do you do with Berto now?

JAB: Unless he gets rid of that corner right now and eliminates them and bring in a whole new tutelage…he can keep those guys around, but they gotta fall in line and listen to a new trainer. He needs a new trainer. He needs a new trainer bad because the guy he has, I don't know that guy.

PC: His name is Tony Morgan. 

JAB: Who? Tony Morgan can go back to obscurityville because I have never heard of him. Tony Morgan is failing. He looked bad in the Ortiz fight and now this fight, it's time to go. If Berto wants to save his career, he's gotta invite a new trainer in now. If I was ever to go in and train Andre Berto, and I'm not saying he should bring me in, but if I was to train him, the one thing that I would have to have is his undivided attention and he would have to tell all of those people in his corner to shut the fuck up. There would be no talking in that corner. You have his brothers yelling and his trainer waiting for them to finish so he could talk. I don't know where he goes from here because he looked terrible in that fight. If I'm Al Haymon, I would have to let that thing go now. I don't think he could save Berto. That's two weeks in a row now where his fighters came up on the short end of the stick.

PC: What are your thoughts on Keith Thurman? I know your fighter, Steven Upsher, may be interested in fighting him for sure.

JAB: Keith Thurman is on our radar. Keith Thurman is a good puncher, but he's not a thinking man and we would beat him. The name of this game is called boxing, not punching. Yeah, Keith Thurman is definitely on the radar and Keith Thurman is a fight that we would take. Anybody that knows how to box and not run, like Quintana was doing, is going to give Thurman some problems. He's not a bad fighter, but he has a lot to learn. There are a lot of areas where he would give Steven some room to capitalize on with his style. So we are looking for that fight. Seth Mitchell was a big puncher too, but I saw a lot of flaws in his style that would allow Johnathon some openings. I see the same with Thurman and these flaws can't be corrected in one camp. I see a lot of flaws in his style that would allow him to be beaten. In Mitchell's case, Johnathon Banks beat him with simple application wasn't even deep. I don't want to vocalize the things that he does because I don't want to help him get better. That's up to his team to get him better. I don't know when I'm going to go against him with another fighter. So I want him to make those same mistakes that he's making to be available to us should I have to face off with him again. Keith Thurman is the same thing. He's a tough kid and a good puncher, but I see so many ways that he can be beaten.

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