Ortiz bullies Berto

Victor OrtizBy Kirk Jackson: At the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, in a candidate for fight of the year, the bout between WBC Welterweight Champion Andre Berto and challenger Victor “Vicious” Ortiz far exceeded the expectations of many viewers. A contrast in styles, with Berto being the quick handed fighter relying on speed, reflexes, while also possessing decent punching power and Ortiz, the aggressive, crowd friendly, powerful brawler.

There were many questions regarding both fighters entering this fight, and is seems all the questions were answered.

There was the question of whether Ortiz would carry his punching power and overall strength in to this match up, and how he would handle the pressure of a big time championship fight.

For Berto, the questions were in regards to how his chin would hold up against a fighter with good punching power, and if the recent string of mediocre opposition would hurt him in this fight.

The first half of this twelve round fight action filled, culminating in the sixth round, with each fighter trading knockdowns. But it was Ortiz who emerged from the chaos as the stronger fighter.

Ortiz fighting his first fight as a welterweight appeared to be the bigger, stronger man throughout the night. Living up to his moniker “Vicious” Ortiz, aside from the few knockdowns and brief moments of vulnerability, stormed through Berto’s best shots, especially through the later stages of the fight. Ortiz constantly applied enormous amounts of pressure, bullying the champion at close range and steadily breaking down the Haitian star Berto.

Overwhelmed by the incessant force from Ortiz, it seemed Berto never fully recovered from the two knockdowns he suffered and could not find his rhythm in the fight. Ortiz capitalized on every moment, outworking Berto to earn unanimous decision.

Both men displayed badges of honor and bled courage in tonight’s classic clash. Although both fighters should be commended for their efforts, especially since both fighters were scrutinized entering this fight, it is Berto who needs to go back to the drawing board.

As mentioned earlier, Berto has been criticized for the lack of quality opposition. Not always facing legitimate contenders, Berto surely will be questioned if whether he is a legitimate, elite fighter himself, or just overrated.

Entering this fight Ortiz was accused of having a lack of heart and dedication for the sport of boxing because of his questionable previous efforts against the likes of Marcos Maidana and Lamont Peterson. Maidana earned a TKO victory in back and forth thriller and Peterson fought Ortiz to a controversial draw.

Ortiz may have silenced many of his critics tonight, fighting like a man possessed for the entire fight.

A huge step for both fighters although each in the opposite direction with the future uncertain. Ortiz may end up in the running for the Mayweather-Pacquiao sweepstakes or may end up fighting Amir Khan or Timothy Bradley somewhere in the near future. While Berto is still young and talented enough to rebound from this defeat. Not certain on how things will pan out, but hopefully somewhere down the line Ortiz and Berto face off again in a rematch.

Article posted on 17.04.2011

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