Berto was 'ready made' for Ortiz, Lopez for Salido!

By Robert Jackson: Watching Berto fight this past Saturday I couldn’t help but notice how weak and winded the former WBC 147lb Champion looked. In Puerto Rico, Lopez looked about the same. Both men dealing with some sort of personal struggle, in Berto’s case underestimation, could never really pull the trigger. Both had their chances to snatch defeat from the hands of victory but neither did.

Berto who was supposed to be the bigger man having fought at full welterweight for most of his professional career looked like he had just come up from Jr. Welter, not Ortiz. Ortiz unofficially came in the ring close to the middleweight limit and Berto was more than a few pounds less than that on fight night and it showed.. Team Ortiz did a masterful job of studying Berto and creating a gameplan which was to fight Berto inside – in a telephone booth. Berto needs room and a little distance to land his power shots, so Ortiz fighting inside smothered Berto’s punches while putting his body on him, hugging and mugging him, tiring Berto out. Perfect plan, but…a couple of times Ortiz strayed from the plantation and paid for his neglect by fighting at Berto’s range, Berto obliged him by landing 2-right hands the 2nd which he might not of recovered from, Ortiz was hurt+. In the end Ortiz mugged, brawled and outworked the former champion putting the ‘ghosts of fights past’ behind him to win. On that night Berto was the perfect opponent for the NEW WBC welterweight Champion.

Having watched Orlando Salido fight several fights all I could say was WOW, that dude can fight. When he fought Juan Manuel Marquez a few years ago he was much less than a full length behind him at the finish line IMO, Salido is a well schooled boxing technician. He wasn’t that far behind Gamboa either. Salido does the little things in the ring that only the hard-core boxing fans might notice. Against Salido, Lopez couldn’t focus, he would do well for while and then he would digress, in any case Salido was connecting with sharp counters that would only get sharper as the fight went forwards. The ‘slip and counter’ strategy that Salido employed was paying off round by round and you could see Lopez’ punch resistance lessening. You could also see that Salido had built up his own body in preparation for the very large (and rugged) 126lber – Lopez. The left-right combination from Salido that put Lopez down, had him hurt and took his legs away – Lopez was never the same after that! Not dismissing the out of the ring issues in Lopez case, one could surmise that he just had an off night, but on this night he was ready made for the Orlando Salido.

Moving forwards expect to see both ex-Champs make changes and then moves to regain what was theirs.

Article posted on 20.04.2011

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