On a Saturday night back in April of 2011, Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz set the boxing world on fire when their welterweight fight became an instant classic and also 2011 fight of the year by numerous media outlets including Ring Magazine.
The aftermath of their showdown helped lay the landscape for the welterweight division for the years that followed with Victor Ortiz’s victory transforming him into a star and catapulting his name into the conscious minds of the casual fan thanks to an immediate fight against boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather and acting stints which include an appearance on Dancing With The Stars, and The Expendables 3.
Andre Berto also benefited from the fight even though his limited skill set was exposed. He proved to the fans that despite being on the wrong end of a decision, his heart and determination would never surrender which he used to eventually parlay into his own bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September.
In the half decade that has followed their intense matchup in 2011, it can be said that both fighters boxing careers peaked with the fight against each other and have been spiraling downward ever since.
Now it seems a possibility that the two fighters would like the opportunity to attempt to rekindle that fire each previously displayed with a rematch likely to take place later this spring.
Although no official announcement has been made regarding the two exciting welterweights fighting each other, there has been plenty of hints that a rematch could be brewing.
In an interview with ESNEWS, Ortiz explained that he would make his return to the ring on April 30th on what he thinks will be a PBC televised event.
Interestingly enough, Berto(who has previously fought on PBC) also claimed that he was preparing to come back from his September unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather on April 30th, in a separate interview with ESNEWS.
Coincidence? Maybe, but there is more evidence to suggest that the long-overdue rematch is in the works.
In recent weeks, Berto(30-4, 23KO) has made several comments claiming he would like the opportunity to avenge his loss to Ortiz, comments that have not escaped the Ortiz camp.
In an interview with FightHype.com, Ortiz perhaps let the cat out of the bag when questioned about Berto’s recent remarks. “He’s gonna get it, and we’re looking at April 30th so Andre Berto, I’m gonna remind you who I am again.”
This would coincide with Information that Ortiz’s now former trainer, Joel Diaz, told Fight Hub last week. “he’s gonna get a big fight. I don’t know (the names), because when I spoke to Al Haymon a few nights ago, they said they’ll get back with a name, but they’re already asking if he’s ready for a big fight. But he’s already fought some of the best in the world. He fought Floyd. He fought some of the biggest fights. If he’s gonna make it or break it, let’s do it now.”
Diaz just recently parted ways with Ortiz following two successful victories against journeyman opponents including an 8th round KO against Gilberto Sanchez Leon in San Antonio last December.
Diaz claims no hard feelings in the split but does question Victor’s ever dubious commitment to the sport, something that has been raised since the first Berto fight.
Ortiz wants to put all those questions about work ethic to rest and states that he will be ready if a second Berto fight presents itself. “I’m back. I put acting aside just because I know what I want, and that’s the championship, so 147, I’m here. And I’m here for the taking” he told FightHype.com.
Even though a rematch at this point in both fighters’ careers is probably a little too late, it is still an exciting matchup between two well-known names in boxing and will likely draw well enough with fans to warrant a prime-time television slot. I know I’ll be watching if for nothing else due to the intrigue of seeing which one of these one-time top prospects still has what it takes to stay in the game(and let’s face it, Victor’s unpredictability is always fun).
The truth is we came very close to getting Ortiz-Berto 2 back in February of 2012 following Ortiz’s Knockout loss(protect yourself at all times) to Mayweather. The fight was postponed to June of that same year following a biceps injury suffered by Berto than ultimately cancelled when Berto failed an anti-doping test, testing positive for nalondrone. The highly anticipated rematch was then shelved as both fighters moved on to other opposition.
Ortiz(31-5-2, 24KO) has not forgotten the reason why the previous rematch attempt was scrapped and when questioned by FightHype.com if he would welcome another fight with Berto despite the previous positive PED results, Ortiz responded: “Oh hell yeah. Come on, you had to cheat twice on steroids in order to beat me and you still can’t beat me?! Get out of here, man. You’re lucky I’m even thinking about giving you a chance. But it’s okay, ’cause here’s the thing, I’m ready once again, and, this time, I’m gonna end him.”