By Jake Donovan
In an era where news can be provided in an instant, it didn’t take very long for word to spread of Andre Berto reportedly injuring his arm during a Monday training session at Ten Goose Gym in Van Nuys, California.
The severity of the injury will determine whether or not the former welterweight titlist can proceed with plans to face Victor Ortiz on February 11 in Las Vegas in a rematch to their four-knockdown instant classic last Aprio. That Berto was taken to a hospital this close to fight night certainly isn’t promising news, but hope – however dim - shall remain alive until a final diagnosis is made.
“We heard that he’s hurt, but so far it’s not conclusive” Rolando Arellano, Ortiz’ manager, informed Boxingscene.com. “We’re acting as if the biggest, baddest Andre Berto is going to walk out of the hospital and show up ready to fight on February 11 on Showtime.”
Several hurdles have already been cleared just to ensure there would even be a date set aside in Las Vegas for the welterweight rematch. First came the discussion of random drug testing, which was eventually agreed upon by all sides.
Earlier this month, Ortiz was forced to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to clarify remarks he had made to the press regarding his fight with Floyd Mayweather last September. Ortiz assured the panel that the headbutt incident in question was a one-time act and that he has every intention of following the rules to the letter in all future fights.
Despite the obstacles, Ortiz refused to let up in training. Quite the opposite, as he’s reportedly enjoyed his best training camp to date (from legitimate sources, not the general hyperbole that comes with fight night). His demeanor - as well as that of his team - has given every indication that they are truly looking forward to fight night, and the buildup along the way.
“We have not backed off of the accelerator,” Arellano insists. “Until we get a conclusive medical report that Berto is not be able to fight, we are training for the biggest fight of Victor’s life.”
Not even the news of his opponent suffering an injury that could potentially kill the fight has been enough to disrupt Ortiz’ focus for this fight.
“I don’t want to hear it,” says Ortiz, who captured his first major title with his win over Berto last April. No belt is at stake for the rematch, though a championship element remains in the air. Showtime has already prepared footage for its Fight Camp series, with the first episode set to air on Wednesday, February 1 (10PM ET/PT), along with cross promotion on CBS.
“We watched his body language when news broke,” Arellano stated. “He said ‘F**k that, I’m fighting Berto.’ It’s a good thing that he’s not backing off. The thing you have to understand about Victor is, he’s a workout freak. Even without a fight, he does things to stay fight ready.”
Whether it’s still Berto on February 11 or someone else on that night or down the road, Victor Ortiz has every intention of staying ready so that he doesn’t have to worry about getting ready for whatever comes up next.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]