By Rick Reeno
Promoters Lou DiBella and Richard Schaefer, the CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, have confirmed that there are ongoing discussions for a possible fight between WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (27-0, 21KOs) and top-rated 140-pounder Victor Ortiz (28-2, 22KOs). The tentative date is April 16.
"I am talking with Richard about the fight. I think it's a great fight," DiBella told BoxingScene.com. "I've heard Victor is possibly having trouble with making 140-pounds and wants to go to welterweight. He won't be the smaller guy in the fight. When they get in the ring, Ortiz will outweight Berto. Ortiz weighed like 156-pounds for his last fight [by the time he stepped in the ring with Lamont Peterson]."
Besides a possible weight advantage, Ortiz is actually taller and has a longer reach than Berto.
While the promoters continue to negotiate, industry insiders have advised BoxingScene that HBO presented a "lowball" offer when the network was approached with the idea of a Berto-Ortiz showdown.
The upcoming 140-pound unification between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander, which HBO will televise on January 29, reportedly received $2.7 million from the network. One industry insider told BoxingScene the offer for Berto-Ortiz is "not even remotely close to being in the same ball park" as Bradley-Alexander.
DiBella refused to discuss the financial details of his conversations with HBO.
"I won't negotiate through the media. We are still talking with HBO. I will say this, I guarantee this fight will do a higher rating on HBO than Bradley-Alexander," DiBella said.