Boxing


Andre Berto-Victor Ortiz In The Works, For April 16th

By James Slater: Andre Berto, the talented and unbeaten WBC welterweight champion, still awaits confirmation of who he will fight next. The unbeaten 27-year-old was, officially at least, in the running to face pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in May, but that date went to Shane Mosley, himself a one-time possible foe for Berto.

Promoter Lou DiBella has been working hard trying to get his fighter a big name; with guys like the Mike Jones-Jesus Soto Karass rematch winner, Randall Bailey and Kermit Cintron being looked at. However, the latest news, according to Ringtv.com, is that DiBella, along with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, is now trying to put together a Berto-Victor Ortiz clash for April 16th; the same night WBA 140-pound champ Amir Khan fights (against a still to be announced foe; the latest word on who it might be suggesting Ireland’s Paul McCloskey).

Berto-Ortiz, if the fight is made, will go ahead at a venue to be decided in the States - so there will be no U.K doubleheader taking place with the Khan bout as the main event.

Fans, when hearing that “Vicious” Victor is being strongly looked at as Berto’s next challenger, will no doubt ask out loud why Berto is facing yet another light-welterweight. Berto has already faced the likes of Juan Urango and he has had his name put next to other 140-pounders. Why doesn’t he face legitimate welterweights, some fans have been asking? Ortiz has never fought at welterweight before, and last time out he escaped with a ten-round draw against Lamont Peterson. Does the 23-year-old qualify for a shot at Berto?

On the weight issue, Schaefer told Ringtv.com that he will push for a catch-weight (groan, yet another one!) for the fight, to take place at 143 or 144.

“When they put Victor on the HBO scale the night of the [Peterson] fight, he weighed 156-pounds,” Schaefer explained. I think he’s also taller than Berto”

Clearly, Schaefer feels that at a catch-weight Ortiz will have no problems being big and strong enough for Berto. Assuming the fight is made at a catch-weight, it’s possible the WBC belt held by Berto will not be on the line.

An intriguing enough match-up - will Ortiz’ “vicious” power give Berto fits? Will Berto’s classier boxing prove to be too much for the younger man? - it will be down to the fans when it comes to whether or not this fight proves to be a hit. Berto, for all his talent, does seem to have more than his share of critics. While fans are still making up their minds about whether or not to forgive Ortiz for the way he quit against Marcos Maidana in June of 2009.

Both the 140 and 147-pound divisions are hot enough right now: shouldn’t Ortiz and Berto be concentrating on taking the best fight they can in their own weight division?

Article posted on 15.01.2011



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