By Chris Robinson
On Wednesday, former WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto caught many off guard by appearing to accuse his recent conqueror Victor Ortiz of using some type of Performance Enhancing Drugs prior to their raucous April bout. In a fight that saw each man hit the canvas twice, Ortiz would walk away with a close unanimous decision that obviously still has Berto reeling a bit.
Updating his nearly 31,000 followers on his personal Twitter account, Berto said the following, amongst other things.
"Yo, this is the main question I get from fans and boxing people. Did they drug test Ortiz? Let me clear the air now! You're right, there is a reason why Ortiz had so much energy, a reason he could take my heavy shots and keep ticking. [And] there is a reason why he came into the ring [at] 165-pounds. I know people close to him and his camp and I know exactly [what] he was taking. It wasn't Flintstone vitamins! But it is what it is. I should of beat him anyways but it wasn't me that night. Ortiz wasn't [himself] either," Berto wrote.
Strong words from Berto and I figured that his verbal salvo was worth addressing. I reached out to the 27-year old Haitian-American fighter's trainer Tony Morgan after hearing of the news and he wasn't so quick to accuse Ortiz.
"I look at it like this; I hope nobody is cheating," Morgan opened up from his Winter Haven bases in Florida. "Are people cheating? Probably so. It's sad because it makes the people who works their ass off, it makes it a disgrace for the sport. Our sport is hurting enough as it is. Hopefully none of them are."
Continuing forward, Morgan gave full respect to Ortiz and if anything he appeared to show his skepticsm towards the people making the accusations.
"Victor came in and did his job," a modest Morgan admitted. "There's so many accusations from so many people that it's sad. All it does is hurt the sport. Come on, we're men here. They both go in, they both work their butts off. I look at it for what it is; he came in and he put on a hell of a performance. Can I take that away from him? No. Until I can prove something different, than maybe I might think of something different. Nobody's proved anything on anybody. Everybody talks. 'Take the test' is the new thing, but it's sad but there is probably people cheating."
Berto's 27 contests prior to the Ortiz scrap were often one-sided displays showcasing his vast array of skills and offensive explosiveness. Against Ortiz he got caught early in suffering a first round knockdown and despite digging down deep he just didn't appear to be himself that night inside of the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Watching everything unfold from ringside, Morgan claims that Berto's focus just wasn't there during the bout.
"I know the fact of it all. Berto's head, for some reason, just wasn't there that night. Everybody knows Berto is a lot better fighter than that. It was Victor's night and it wasn't Berto's night. It happens. Welcome to the sport of boxing is what I tell everybody. That's what makes the sport so great is the upset. If anybody knows Victor and what he came from, you gotta take your hat off to him," said Morgan.
In boxing there is always going to be a lot of talk and six hours after his initial accusations, Berto would go on to lighten his stance towards Ortiz, claiming that it was 'Spinach' he was referring to as opposed to any kind of illegal drugs. Berto has been rumored for a fall return against IBF champion Jan Zaveck and you can tell that Morgan isn't looking to focus on anything of less importance at this point.
"It is what it is. That's yesterday's news and I look forward to tomorrow's."