Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz II

By Robert Ecksel on April 26, 2016
Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz II
On April 30 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Berto and Ortiz do it again. (HBO)

If Ortiz’s expendable performance in “The Expendables” is any indication, he should have stuck with boxing…

It’s not a fight that fans have been clamoring for, but Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs), from Winter Haven, Florida, and Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs), the southpaw from Oxnard, California, are reenacting the rematch of their 2011 Fight of the Year on April 30 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

No title is at stake, for the simple reason that neither fighter is a titleholder. But Berto, who formerly held the WBC and IBF welterweight titles, and Oritz, the former WBC welterweight champion, both believe they have what it takes to claw their way back to the top, even though the odds and their records suggest otherwise.

Berto defeated Josesito Lopez in 2015, Steve Upsher Chambers in 2014, and Jan Zaveck in 2011. But interspersed between those wins he lost four of his last seven, to Floyd Mayweather in 2015, Jesus Soto Karass in 2013, Robert Guerrero in 2012, and Victor Ortiz in 2011.

Although Ortiz is on a win streak of sorts, having won his last two fights, against Gilberto Sanchez Leon (33-13-2 coming in) and Manuel Perez (22-10-1), his record isn’t great either, having lost three of his last five, to Luis Collazo in 2014, Josesito Lopez in 2012, and the aforementioned Floyd Mayweather in 2011.

Losing to Mayweather is no crime. Everybody does it. But Berto’s loss was a given going in, as he was Floyd’s personal choice for what was allegedly the final fight of his career. Ortiz’s performance against Mayweather was notable, insofar as an embarrassing loss can be notable, in that he was sucker punched, albeit legally, when “Vicious Victor” tried and failed to make nice.

Both men have been plagued by injury. Berto’s injuries have been physical and can be said to go with the territory. With Ortiz it’s his heart that has been questioned, especially after his loss to Marcos Maidana in 2009 and pulling an el foldo against Luis Collazo four fights ago. In addition, Ortiz has spent more time flirting with showbiz than boxing, and if his expendable performance in “The Expendables” is any indication, he should have stuck with boxing.

Although Berto is “only” 32 and Ortiz is “only” 29, both fighters are several years past their prime. But because they have nothing to lose, because they are name fighters, and because it’s liable to be a good scrap while it lasts, the fight should be an easy sell, and the main selling point is their Fight of the Year, even if it was five years ago.

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