By Chris LaBate
At Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22KOs) captured the WBC welterweight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Andre Berto (27-1, 21KOs). The fight was a war, a fight of the year contender, and both men went down twice. The scores were 115-110, 114-112 and 114-111.
They both came out throwing very fast, hard punches. In the final minute, Ortiz caught Berto with a very hard left hand shot and a further combination sent Berto down hard on his knees. Berto was able to weather the storm and landed a few counters, but Ortiz continued to come and three very hard punches. Earlier in the round, Berto was dropped but it was ruled as a slip. In the second round, Berto was able to recover well and throw some very hard right hands over Ortiz's right. He caught Ortiz hard with a right that sent Ortiz down and caused his gloves to touch the mat, which gave Berto a knockdown call and evened up the fight.
In the third, they were slugging and trading hard punches. Ortiz rocked Berto hard with a big uppercut. For the better part of the round, Ortiz worked Berto over against the ropes. In the fourth, they were back to trading hard shots. Ortiz as getting the better of Berto and hurting him with shots. In the fifth, Ortiz still controlled the action with the harder punches and hurt Berto against the ropes.
In the sixth, Berto began to unload and started battering Ortiz. He badly hurt Ortiz with a counter shot that nearly knocked Ortiz cold. Berto was close to stopping Ortiz at the end of the round, when all of a sudden the wave in the fight turned again and Ortiz dropped Berto on his back with a huge counter. The bell rang before Ortiz could follow up on the hurt Berto.
At the start of the seventh, they went back to trading bombs in the final minute after two minutes of smart boxing by both. Ortiz started taking over the round in the final thirty seconds with hard punches. The eight round was filled with holding and missed punches.
They both looked energized at the start of the ninth. Berto slowed up the action and boxed for the better part of the round as Ortiz appeared to be resting. At the start of the tenth, Ortiz lost a point for hitting Berto to the back of the head. Ortiz charged at Berto and started throwing everything possible to even up the round. In the final minute, they were trading hard shots at close range and Ortiz won the exchanges.
Berto was doing a lot of holding in the eleventh round. Ortiz continued to charge and was landing hard shots on Berto against the ropes. Berto looked to be very tired and Ortiz still had a lot of gas in the tank.
They both started trading hard shots when the twelfth and final round began. Berto landed a big combination and Ortiz continued to come forward with hard shots. Ortiz closed the round stronger and pushed Berto around the ring.