Boxing's East-West Showdown: Andre Berto Defends vs. Victor Ortiz on April 16

Brian O. BlakeCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2011

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29:  Andre Berto lands a straight left against David Estrada during their NABF Welterweight Championship fight at Boardwalk Hall on September 29, 2007 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

On Saturday, April 16, live on HBO World Championship Boxing, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto puts his title on the line, as he is set to face the once very promising and more recently questionable “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.

It’s not to say that Ortiz can’t walk away from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Casino with the coveted title, but it’d be quite the surprise.

Many observers see this as an opportunity for Ortiz’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, to cash out on the former can’t miss prospect. While Berto isn’t the most tested of champions by any means, he should be able to utilize his amazingly fast hands to keep the challenger at bay en route to a successful title defense.

That may very well be the case, or on the other hand Ortiz just might rise to the occasion and dethrone the virtually untested world champion in Berto.

Either way, with the speed and skill of Berto along with the ferocious attack presented by Ortiz, fight fans could be in for one helluva night.

“There isn’t a more compelling welterweight matchup than Berto vs. Ortiz,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, the promoter of the show and Berto. “We will pack the undercard with some of the biggest names in boxing from New England and the rest of the world. I couldn’t be happier returning April 16 to one of the premier venues on the East Coast for another great night of boxing at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.”

The co-promoter of the upcoming event turned his attention to the main event attraction of the evening.

“This is a very risky fight for Victor, but I know he’s going to be ready for Berto on April 16,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “The best need to fight the best, and that’s what we have with Berto vs. Ortiz. I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys face off.”

The undefeated Berto (27-0, 21 KOs) has made five consecutive defenses of his title since claiming the vacant strap with a seventh-round TKO win over Miguel Angel Rodriguez in June of 2008. His last outing came just a few days after Thanksgiving, when he made quick work of Freddie Hernandez, ultimately needing just over two minutes to dispose of the challenger.

“This fight is exactly what boxing needs right now,” Berto commented. “Two young fighters in their primes going head-to-head. I’m excited and I know this is going to be a tremendous fight. I look forward to fighting in the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods. I heard it’s a great facility and we plan to pack it and put on a great show. This is going to be a great fight that no one should miss.”

It wasn’t long ago that his opponent, Victor Ortiz, was widely viewed as a can’t miss future star. His smile would light up press conferences, and his fists would light up his opponents.

All seemed to be going in his favor until he ran into the hard-hitting Marcos Rene Maidana. It was an exciting fight with back and forth action that had both men eating leather and tasting the canvas and was ultimately called off on the advice of the ringside physician, as he deemed Ortiz unable to continue due to a cut over his right eye.

It wasn’t the fight itself that left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans regarding Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KOs). It was actually his post fight comments that left many questioning whether or not he had what it takes to be a future champion in this brutal sport.

Since then he’s put together four wins along with his most recent outing, which ended up a draw against fellow contender Lamont Peterson back in December.

When asked to comment on his upcoming bout with Berto, the usually talkative Ortiz simply said, “I’m going to knock him out.”

Stay tuned for more news on East-West Showdown: Berto vs. Ortiz as it develops.


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