View Full Version : Andre Berto 'Devastated' by earthquake in Haiti.

01-14-2010, 12:18 PM
Source: Fanhouse.com (http://boxing.fanhouse.com/2010/01/13/andre-berto-devastated-by-earthquake-in-haiti/)

By Lem Satterfield
An older sister, Naomi, has been unreachable.

A home belonging to one of his mother's cousins, as well as an uncle, has collapsed. Only the uncle survived. And he is in critical condition.

They are among the relatives of professional boxer Andre Berto, who lived near an area that was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that is feared to have killed thousands as it rocked the island nation of Haiti on Tuesday.

A Hatian-American, Berto represented that country in the 2004 Olympics. A philanthropic 26-year-old, Berto has foundations in Port-au-Prince -- the Hatian capital whose Roman Catholic archbishop was among those reported dead.

"I'm devastated by everything currently happening in Haiti. As everybody knows, I have a lot of family members in Haiti and proudly represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympic Games," said Berto, in a statement released Wednesday.

"Like many other Haitian-Americans, my family and I are working to reach my loved ones," said Berto, who spent hours on Wednesday speaking to several contacts in order to begin his own relief efforts.

"From what we have learned to this point, some of my family members are still missing," said Berto. "And we have already been informed that members of my family have passed away in the earthquake."

Berto (25-0, 19 knockouts) is scheduled to defend his WBC welterweight (147 pounds) title against 38-year-old WBC super champ Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), on Jan. 30 in a highly-anticipated clash at at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

Already considered the biggest challenge of his professional life, Berto's bout with Mosley now carries an even greater meaning both to the fighter and his countrymen, said his promoter Lou DiBella.

"This is obviously a horrible tragedy, and we join Andre in praying for the people in Haiti and for his family. Andre's lost family, he's lost friends. His parents were born there, and they're obviously distraught. And we at DiBella Entertainment will help him in his fund-raising efforts and in doing the things that I know that he's going to do for the people of Haiti," said DiBella.

"Right now, he's emotionally with his family and the people of Haiti. But he's going to continue to train as hard as he can. And he understands that's the best thing he can do to put himself to do the most for his parents' homeland," said DiBella.

"Andre loves Haiti, and if he beats Shane Mosley and becomes a boxing superstar, it increases his ability to gain attention and it increases his ability to raise money," said DiBella. "He's not going to lose sight of the fact that he has this opportunity on Jan. 30, and if he wins he has a greater chance to do more good."

DiBella said that Berto is urging everybody to contribute through the existing channels that have been established by the Red Cross, which has reported as many as three million people having been affected by the disaster, including thousands trapped in the wreckage of collapsed buildings.

The presidential palace, a major hospital, and a five-story United Nations building are among those that have been leveled.

"We are currently working on starting our own Haitian relief efforts, and I will be releasing additional information on how everyone can help very soon," said Berto. "I am asking everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers for the people in Haiti during this devastating time."

The Red Cross has set up a donation texting system wherein texting "HAITI," followed by, "90999," sends $10 per text to the Hatian Relief Fund. The amount is then charged to your cell phone bill.

In addition, the U.S. government has designated a telephone number -- 1-888-407-4747 -- for people seeking information about friends and relatives in the country.

Tragic. Has to weight heavily on a guy that has to fight Mosley in a couple of weeks.

01-14-2010, 02:58 PM
At least his family is ok now.