Berto-Ortiz II - Can “Vicious" Victor Repeat His April Victory?

victor ortizBy James Slater: It has been announced by various boxing web sites that welterweights Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz have agreed to meet up in a return of their April 2011 thriller. The fight, reports, will take place on either January 28th or February 11th, and the eagerly awaited battle will go out live on Showtime, who outbid rival network HBO, who televised the first fight.

Berto, who went on to win the IBF 147-pound belt with an exciting 5th-round stoppage over Jan Zaveck, is looking to avenge the points loss he succumbed to at the hands of southpaw Ortiz. Back in April, Berto was a rising star, unbeaten and seemingly doing everything right as he made his way to superstar status. After suffering two knockdowns and scoring two of his own in a FOTY candidate, the 28-year-old lost his WBC title and unbeaten record via a somewhat wide (on two cards anyway) UD. Ortiz was now the next big thing at the weight.

As we know, however, Ortiz lost his head in his next fight, against legit superstar Floyd Mayweather Junior: blatantly butting Mayweather before being laid out by a legal sucker punch which was thrown by Floyd as a means of retaliation (and just as Ortiz had turned back into a nice guy and was attempting to give Mayweather a hug!). In the eyes of many, the 4th-round KO Ortiz suffered put him back in his place - but now the 24-year-old has another chance to prove he is capable of boxing at the highest level and winning.

The early 2012 fight is a must-win bout for both men; with the loser facing a tough, tough time ever getting back up to the big payday fights that all fighters shoot for. Both men must be applauded for taking such a risky, everything-to-lose fight.

Ortiz, 29-3-2(22) will be going into the return having had four or five months in which to put the Mayweather embarrassment behind him. Berto, 28-1(22) will have had a slightly longer time in which to improve his defence in the gym following his war with Zaveck. Berto got hit plenty against Ortiz and his defensive lapses also surfaced in the Zaveck win. Ortiz will surely feel he will be able to repeat his April 2011 win, that’s for sure. But will he do so?

Berto is a better boxer than Ortiz, and he has more maturity and a more level-headed approach. Ortiz - who has been DQ’d, has quit and has resorted to blatant fouling in his pro career - held it together mentally against Berto the first time; can he do so again?

If he can, and if Berto has not tightened up his defensive game, I feel we could see another points win for Ortiz. We can only hope the rematch is as exciting as the first meeting.

Article posted on 25.11.2011

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