By Carlos Boogs
Andre 'The Beast' Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) is looking to make a statement when he faces 'Vicious' Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) in a battle of former welterweight world champions. The two boxers will finally get in the ring for a rematch of their 2011 'Fight of The Year' war - where both fighters tasted the canvas on two occasions.
The rematch takes place on April 30 as the headline bout of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FOX, from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Ortiz won a twelve round decision in the first. The win gave him the WBC welterweight title and a high profile fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the fall of that year.
Berto has been out of the ring since losing a twelve round decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was Mayweather's final career bout. Prior to that, Berto stopped Josesito Lopez in six rounds last March, but the fight was razor-close before they entered that round. Lopez broke Ortiz's had his jaw and stopped him in 2012.
Berto has been waiting for a long time to make things right, by avenging the first career defeat of his career.
They were scheduled to face each other back in 2012, but Berto failed a random drug test and the rematch was called off.
Ortiz has not been very active in the last few years. It took a long time to recover from the jaw injury in the Lopez bout. He returned a year and a half later to suffer a second round knockout loss to Luis Collazo in January 2014. He's won his last two, with TKO wins over Manuel Perez, and Gilberto Leon last December.
Berto, who was being positioned to fight Mayweather back in 2011, admits that he overlooked Ortiz the first time around. Ortiz was moving up from junior welterweight at that time.
“I feel like he’s been a gnat that’s been flying around my ear,” Berto told Premier Boxing Champions. “I just feel like I need to smash this bug that keeps reminding me what happened.”
“If he’s going to try and be a forceful bull, he’s going to have a lot to deal with. I’m not that same kid who fought him years ago, who came in there half-assed and who shouldn’t have been fighting because I was so high on fighting somebody else, getting a lot of money and not taking things seriously. I’m more experienced now, a lot more seasoned. I’m going to come in and showcase it all.”