Victor Ortiz needs help to beat Andre Berto

Victor OrtizBy Paul Strauss: You might say "Vicious" Victor Ortiz had an inside man for this job, and his name was Luis Collazo. You remember, he's the southpaw that gave Andre fits back in January of 2007. In fact, many people thought he beat Andre that night in Biloxi, Mississippi, but surprisingly Andre came away with a unanimous decision.

The lesson taught that night, and the one learned very well by Vicious Victor was that Andre Berto is vulnerable on the inside. When the opening bell sounded, Victor immediately closed the distance between him and Andre, and unleashed a "Vicious" inside attack, which started with his hard, sharp left hook. It landed because Andre backed against the ropes and could retreat no further. It also landed because Andre bent over to his right and stayed there. The left came in behind Andre's left glove, and then Victor complicated matters, by landing a good left uppercut to the head as Andre started to straighten up.

Victor wasn't done yet, as he then would fire his straight left, and then repeat the process. It was evident right from the beginning that Andre was uncomfortable, and was already feeling the power of Vicious Victor. He wanted to get this former junior welter, but now surprisingly bigger, off of him. He needed room to get his jab going and to fire off his counter right hand. But, Victor wasn't about to give it to him.

If you were told Victor got knocked down twice in this fight, and hurt badly by the second knockdown, and then suffered the indignity of getting penalized a point for hitting behind the head, you would undoubtedly guess that he loss the fight. Flashes of his embarrassing loss to Marco Maidana might come across your mind's eye. Yep, the same type of scenario. Victor comes out looking great, knocks his guy down, but is unable to finish him off, and the other guy comes storming back and Victor fades.

Not this time. Victor did come out like a summer storm. He did cause heavy damage, and he was unable to finish off his opponent, but this time he didn't fade even after suffering a quick flash knockdown. But, it's a safe bet that many of his fans and supporting had their hearts in their throats. If Victor wasn't gasping for breath, they certainly were.

Victor kept his cool, and did what he needed to do. He got back on the inside attack. He wanted to see Berto on the canvas again. Victor's corner correctly warned him against throwing his power punch, the straight left, from too far out, and they added that he shouldn't be throwing it from too far out. That's was the chink in his armor. When he came up short with that punch, Andre jumped all over the opportunity by landing his hard counter right hand, which Victor wouldn't see. Victor's failure to follow advice caused him the two knockdowns, the second of which was a very hard right hand that hurt him badly.

Victor looked seriously hurt and on his way out after that punch landed in the ...........round. Berto knew "this is my chance" and swarmed all over Victor, and unfortunately for Victor his defense wasn't that tight, and he was getting tagged. But, just when fans were about ready to pay off their losing bet, Victor surprised everyone with a great counter straight left that put Berto down! Soon after the round ended and both guys got the needed time to recuperate.

Berto's corner begged him to box. They wanted him to manage distance with his jab, and shoot his hard right over to keep damaging Victor. They also wanted him to "touch" Victor more to the body. They felt he would "fade" if Andre would do that. The problem was Victor could see the long right avoid it. It was the counter right that he was having trouble with, and as long as he didn't throw his punches from too far out, he was okay.

For the majority of the fight, Victor managed to keep Andre from moving to his left, away from the southpaw's power, but the problem he encountered was Victor's great right hook. Victor was able to land that shot again and again, which started the whole "Collazo" type inside game.

Hence, despite Referee Mike Ortega's interference in the proceedings, Victor pulled off an upset victory at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, CT and his first fight as a welterweight, resulted in a world championship.(WBC). The official scoring: Judge Julie Lederman 114-111; Judge Glenn Feldman 114-112; and Judge Clark Sammartino 115-110..

When Larry Merchant asked Victor if he wanted to get into the Pacman and Mayweather mix (opponent), Victor's eyes widened and he quickly said, "Yes"! He might need a different kind of inside man to get that task done.

Article posted on 17.04.2011

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