One of the more memorable matches in the sport of boxing for the year 2011 was last April’s war for the WBC welterweight title between then champion Andre Berto and challenger ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz. On February 11th 2012 both men will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada in a rematch that has a lot at stake! Both men have been on a roller coaster ride career-wise since their first encounter, and both men could use a good showing to stay on the ‘A’ list.
Both men saw Ortiz parlay his victory in their first bout into a lucrative match with Floyd Mayweather, and both men would like to get to that pay bracket.
There first encounter was a memorable fight, with both men being dropped on multiple occasions before going the distance. The judges saw it closely, but gave the overall edge to Ortiz. Since that decision, both men have traveled different paths to the rematch.
Ortiz famously went on to get KO’d by Floyd Mayweather, but he seemed to enjoy the spotlight while he was in it. In his defense, the ending was controversial in someways, with Floyd hitting him while he was distracted, but he couldn’t let go of the spotlight and chose to win and complain about the outcome. Consequently, he is back to answering questions about his maturity.
After their first meeting, Berto never really complained publicly. He came back to the ring in September and became a World Champion again, capturing the IBF version of the belt by stopping Slovac fighter Jan Zaveck in 5 brutal rounds.
Heading into the rematch, the rhetoric is all from the Ortiz camp. Ortiz is still playing the victim regarding the Mayweather match, and frankly he sounds confused. He still can’t let go of the Mayweather incident, and he is trying to act like the world is against him. He has not lost all the credibility that the first Berto fight earned him, but a loss in this upcoming rematch with Berto could further stall his career. He is claiming that Berto is looking past him, while it seems that this is what he is doing. I don’t think Ortiz’ mind is right.
It is going to be a close fight, I would lay the juice on Berto for this one though, as Ortiz seems to be regressing.