By Ryan Maquiñana
Rolando Arellano, manager of Victor Ortiz, confirmed that his fighter would go forward with an Andre Berto rematch in Las Vegas on June 30.
“Absolutely,” Arellano told BoxingScene.com. “Showtime is paying for the fight. They’re paying licensing fees, marketing, and they’ve spent a lot of money going toward the ancillary materials for the prefight production, so we’re going to act in good faith for the rematch.”
Last April, Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) defeated Berto by points in a blockbuster brawl where both fighters got off the canvas. The two former welterweight titlists were scheduled to meet a second time on Feb. 11, but Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) ruptured his left bicep in training and the fight was temporarily put on hold.
While the new date has been finalized, a venue has yet to be determined.
“Everyone’s still working on it,” Arellano said. “They’re looking at the availability of the MGM [Grand], and if not, one of its sister venues like the Mandalay Bay. We’ll probably know in a couple of weeks.”
Speculation commenced that Ortiz might face Robert Guerrero instead when both men expressed a mutual interest to fight each other via Twitter on Tuesday morning. Arellano commented on a potential matchup with “The Ghost.”
“Absolutely. We’d like to see Robert fight Victor, but he’s got to get himself back in contention first to get back in the mix,” Arellano said. “But we’re committed to Berto, and Berto’s committed to us. Showtime’s committed to us.
“This is the fight the public wants to see. They want to see the rematch with Berto and Victor. It was the Fight of the Year and had the Round of the Year. We have to honor our agreement. When we beat Berto, we’re moving on to bigger and better things.”
With the new date, Ortiz’ inactivity will now span nine months when he finally steps in the ring with Berto. However, Arellano is unconcerned with the lengthy hiatus, citing precedent as well as his fighter’s conditioning.
“[Victor] has been down this road before, when we went through those legal issues with his previous promoter there was a long layoff,” Arellano said. “One of the great things with Victor is that he’s always dealt well with adversity. He sparred four rounds the other day with some local fighters.
“This is the show, and you have to get ready for a contingency like that. If it was another fighter, maybe, but Victor is a fitness freak. It’s not like he doesn’t stay in the gym. He’s preparing for the L.A. Marathon, and after that he has a half-Ironman test, so he’ll be ready.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (CSNBayArea.com). He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.