by Cliff Rold
If nothing stings like the first taste of defeat, is the first taste of revenge the ultimate tonic?
For the first time in his career, Andre Berto had a chance to reverse a bad night at the office. He’s never going to avenge his loss to Floyd Mayweather. He might get a chance at Jesus Soto Karass if he wants it.
That might not be the best business for Berto in the near future. Berto’s win, in front of a national TV audience, doesn’t erase the miles on his tires. It doesn’t make him a serious contender again. It does maintain market viability.
Name value under the same promotional tent as welterweight titlists Danny Garcia and whoever wins the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter fight is probably going to pay off.
Let’s go the report card.
Speed: Ortiz B+; Berto B+/Post: Same
Power: Ortiz B+; Berto B+/Post: Same
Defense: Ortiz C; Berto C/Post: Same
Intangibles: Ortiz B-; Berto B/Post: C; B+
It wasn’t as good as their first fight but they put on another fun affair. Both men were on the deck, we had a nasty head clash, and the ending was definitive. What more can we ask for? Apparently some jerk in the audience wanted a lot more from Ortiz. Let’s hope he’s banned from the arena in the future.
Let’s address what he, and many on social media, seemed upset about. Ortiz has quit in the past and has been accused of it again here. It didn’t look like that was the case. The shot that dropped him in the fourth had Ortiz badly hurt. When he got up, he fought to survive.
But he did fight.
Ortiz was swinging back. The shots that dropped him for the second time were flush, hard, and had his eyes glassed over. He made it to his feet but he didn’t seem to even register the referee in front of him. Ortiz isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt because of his past but he looked like a man separated from his senses.
Credit to Berto for not getting frustrated after he was dropped in the second. It was more a flash knockdown but it also showed how explosive Ortiz could still be. Berto fought with patience and, much as was the case in his win over Josesito Lopez, found his spot. Berto has always been a fighter who gave his heart in the ring.
That heart was on display again. So were Ortiz’s whiskers. He physically can still be an imposing offensive fighter but Ortiz just doesn’t catch well. He never had a great chin but it’s been dented so many times one wonders if he should be getting hit much more. Ortiz has talent. He never developed the skill to go with it.
Berto is now in line for another payday. Does he deserve a title shot? No, but deserve has little to do with what happens. Someone is going to cash in on him. Who knows; maybe he has another surprise in him?
Overall it was a fine weekend for the sport. The shows on Fox and Showtime Saturday night featured quality action. Williams-Rodriguez was blazing good stuff. The judging on the Showtime card left much to be desired but it doesn’t detract from the effort of the fighters.
It’s been a rough year for boxing but things have picked up. We haven’t seen the stars align fully yet, but with this past weekend and the brutal Soto Karass-Kamegai war, we’re starting to see fights live up to and even exceed potential. 2016 may get its course correct after all.
Report Card and Staff Picks 2016: 16-7
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]