With his dominant win over Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz should have silenced his critics. Myself included.
Ortiz has plenty of heart and tenacity and routed the heretofore undefeated Berto. As soon as the bell rang, Ortiz went after Berto and knocked him down twice in the first round. Although the first knockdown had been ruled a slip, or trip, it was clear that Berto was hurt and never fully recovered.
Ortiz, who had been credited for not being aggressive enough in his last fight against Lamont Peterson, kept the pressure on for most of the fight and took a lot of hard punches from Berto, weathering every flurry he faced. Even after he was knocked down in the second round, he came back even more determined.
The final scorecards had it much closer than I, even with the knockdown and the point deduction, which I believe was warranted, I think that Ortiz controlled the fight from the outset and I had him winning all but three rounds.
Not only did Ortiz show guts and a good chin, he showed ring generalship. For instance, he controlled the distance of the fight and kept it in close corners, where Berto couldn’t use his speed to throw his lightning quick punches. Then, when Berto covered up his head and made it difficult to land upstairs, Ortiz, who had already done some work to the body, concentrated his attack to the body, which sucked any life out of Berto that was left.
There are several questions that now need to asked of Berto. First, did he take Ortiz lightly? Can he not handle southpaws (see Berto vs. Luis Collazo)? Has Berto now been exposed? His record is littered with subpar opponents.
Regardless of any questions, be them answered by Ortiz or asked of Berto, it was another great night of boxing.
Ortiz was thrown to the wolves and he came out victorious. Maybe now we can go back to talking about Ortiz as a legitimate star in the making.