Tomorrow night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KO’s) and Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KO’s) square off or the second time in the Premier Boxing Champions headlining 12 round contest.
The former world champions put on a fight of the year candidate in 2011; in a bout that saw both fighters hit the canvas two times a piece, Ortiz managed a unanimous decision win that netted him the WBC welterweight title. Their careers have taken similar rocky paths over the past five years.
Berto went on to regain a share of the welterweight title in his next contest, stopping Jan Zaveck in five rounds for the IBF championship. The title was never defended, and Berto proceeded to lose his following two outings to interim WBC title holder Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto-Karass. After 13 months on the shelf, he returned to win two straight against Steve Upsher Chambers and Josesito Lopez respectively, the latter victory earning him the interim WBA welterweight belt. In September of last year he was comfortably beaten by Floyd Mayweather in Mayweather’s final pro contest, dropping a 12 round decision.
Victor Ortiz couldn’t capitalize on the Berto win; after trying so hard to climb out of the “no mas” hole he dug himself against Marcos Maidana , he went on to lose three straight after winning the world title. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Josesito Lopez, and Luis Collazo all stopped him early. His intentional foul on Mayweather didn’t earn him any new fans, nor did his ninth round retirement in the Lopez fight; but to be fair on that, it was a severely broken jaw that prompted Ortiz to bow out (and stay out of the ring for 18 months) and although he could barely speak following the bout, fans don’t always give a shit and it was unfairly 2009 all over again to some. Ortiz has won his last two contests, both by stoppage, and both against opponents that brought nothing special to the table.
Despite the see-saw careers of both fighters since their first meeting, this still has the potential to be a highly entertaining bout that could go either way given the styles of both men. Neither is considered a serious contender anymore, but it’s a must win for both if either wants any chance of continuing their career off more than just name recognition, as short as that extention might be. The pick here is Berto by late stoppage, he just looks to have more left in the tank than Ortiz at this point.