How does a second helping of Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto sound? If you enjoyed their salivating first blockbuster, packed with copious fireworks and four four knockdowns, you may be pretty psyched about this one. Ortiz vs Berto II has now been made official, with round 13 scheduled to commence at the StubHub Center, California. The Ortiz vs Berto II Press Conference has now gotten underway.
Going in, Ortiz will carry 31 wins, 5 defeats, 2 draws with 24 knockouts to the ring, and Berto 30 wins, 4 defeats and 23 knockouts. Both are former Welterweight champions, Ortiz a WBC holder, and Berto of the WBC and IBF variety.
Now, there are those who may say that this rematch isn’t worth getting too excited about. Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps they’re not. While there are reasons why their styles should gloriously mesh together once again for another back-and-forth classic, there’s enough room for cynics to get all…well, cynical.
Reasons to get optimistic are that while the pair isn’t considered to be of world-beater standard these days, they’re still evenly matched. At least on paper. They had each other’s numbers in their 2011 encounter, and history tells us that sequels to hotly-contested fights are generally competitive. Not exactly a scientific statement, I know.
Playing devil’s advocate, there’s plenty of reasons to not jump and sing at the announcement of Ortriz vs Berto II. While both men are relatively young – at least by today’s standards – they’ve partaken in a fair few – arguably career-changing – wars. And, let’s not forget that an awful lot has happened since their original fight. It didn’t happen yesterday. Or even last year.
Since the brutal Ortiz vs Berto, 2011’s Fight of the Year, Ortiz has suffered three back-to-back knockouts, being floored by Floyd Mayweather (via sucker punch) in 2011, Josesito Lopez in 2012, and Luis Collazo in 2014. Ortiz may have successfully gone on to wipe out mediocre talents Manuel Perez and Gilberto Sanchez Leon last year, but it would be inaccurate to call this a legitimate ‘comeback’.
Throw in the fact that Berto has been doing a fair bit of silver screen work over the past few years and you have to wonder where Ortiz’s priorities lie. Is his heart in boxing? Or making movies? If it’s both, it could be a problem. We’ll soon see in April.
Berto has enjoyed the more success in the ring since his first scrap with Ortiz, but if anything, has probably clocked up the greater punishment following his torrid affairs with Robert Guerrero in 2012 and Jesus Soto Karass in 2013. Berto was taken into the trenches by Guerrero, surviving two early knockdowns, and ended up being bludgeoned in a shock defeat to Soto Karass.
Berto has been claiming the more notable scalps since facing Ortiz, however, knocking out Jan Zaveck in 2011, outpointing Steve Upsher Chambers in 2014, and stopping Josesito Lopez last March. Berto was most recently trumped by Floyd Mayweather, of course, but that result came as a surprise to no one. Berto did, at least, leave it all in the ring with ‘Money’.
So, will any of this play a role when Ortiz and Berto face each other in April? How do you see Ortiz vs Berto II playing out? Will it be another classic? A more cagey affair? Or an unremarkable encounter which ultimately happened too late?