This weekend, PBC will be on Fox and will be live from the StubHub Center in Carson, California as boxing fans will finally get the see the rematch of the fight of the year from 2011 as “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (31-5-2 with 24 KOs) steps into the ring against Andre Berto (30-4 with 23 KOs). Before we talk about the rematch this weekend, we much 1st touch on one of the most thrilling fights of the last 5 years, a fight that people still remember and mention on social media and other boxing outlets.
Going into the 1st fight, Berto was the WBC World Welterweight Champion and a big 3/1 favorite. He entered the ring at 27-0, was ranked 3rd for welterweights by Ring Magazine, and was looked at highly as 1 of the possible future stars of the sport. Ortiz, on the other hand, was 28-2-2 and unranked by Ring Magazine. This was looked at as a good fight that Berto was supposed to win, and then become a possible opponent for #1 p4p in the world, Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
In round 1, Ortiz came out firing and knocked Berto down, however, Berto showed his heart and caught Ortiz to know him down in round 2. The fight was pretty even for most of the middle rounds and continued that was as both fighters hit the canvas in round 6. Berto started to wear down at the end and was penalized in the 10th for hitting behind the head. Amazingly, the fight went the distance and Ortiz came out on top with a unanimous decision.
After this fight, the repercussions were greatly felt. Ortiz moved from unranked to #3 in the welterweight rankings, and 5 months later, got a shot as Floyd Mayweather. Berto took a step back to beat Jan Zaveck, but then lost back to back fights against Robert Guerrero and then Jesus Soto Karass, a fight in which he broke his hand and then took a year off. Berto did eventually get that Mayweather fight last year as he was Floyd’s final fight before retiring in September.
After Ortiz lost to Mayweather, in what can be call an unconventional way, Ortiz lost to Josesito Lopez, left the sport for a year and half, only to lose what was supposed to a fight to showcase him back into the sport. After that loss he took another year off and has fought 2 lower level opponents before his showdown on Saturday.
Both of these two are try to prove the same thing, that they are not yesterday’s news and that they are still live opponents to eventually get back to the top of the welterweight division. Neither man is currently a top 20 welterweight and they both desperately need a win to keep the light signing on their careers, as a loss maybe the end of it.
These are two fighters that the best of defensive fighters, so it should be a good slugfest. Both have solid pop, both are aggressive, and their styles make for it to be an exciting fights. Ortiz has the reach advantage, but he is also the naturally smaller guy. The righty vs. southpaw styles that usually can be awkward and filled with head butts and stepping on one another’s feet shouldn’t be a probably with these two.
With that being said, I’m going with Berto on Saturday, but split decision. I don’t think either guy is going to give up. They know that getting stopped could be essentially the end of their careers. Berto has been more active in the last year and has fought a much higher level of competition within that time period. When it comes down to it, Berto’s jaw is just better than Ortiz’s jaw, so even though I expect it to go the distance, I can see Ortiz hitting the floor twice. That should be enough to be the difference.
The 32 year old, Berto, is always in great shape. He’s a former 2 time champion and has a lot of pride. No matter if he is the favorite or underdog, he gives it his all. When he broke his hand in the fight against Soto Karass, he almost seemed to fight better and almost pull off a win. Whether he wins or loses, Berto’s fights are always fun to watch and he will always have a spot to fight on TV as long as he continues that.
Victor Ortiz has gone through a lot outside the ring at the young age of 29. He has developed business adventures and gone through some heavy thinking about what to do next with his career and with his life. He now states he wants to “conquer the division at 147 and 154”. Whether he’s able to accomplish that goal or not is one thing, but one thing is for certain, despite everything that he has been called, including the word “quitter”, Ortiz will acknowledge it, stand up, and continue on.
All in all, this fight, this weekend isn’t for a belt, it isn’t to be called the best in the division, it isn’t even supposed to immediately lead to something huge, but it will be a fight that people have been asking for since 2011, Berto vs. Ortiz, the rematch. Enjoy the fight.