Victor “Vicious” Ortiz shocked the boxing world by beating Andre Berto to become the new WBC Welterweight Champion. Ortiz won a unanimous decision. The judges had it, 115-110, 114-112, 114-111. I had it 115-110. Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto is turning out to be the front runner for Fight of the Year.
Victor Ortiz was fighting his first fight in the welterweight division and from the opening bell, he looked like a pit bull that was let loose. He quickly went ahead and started charging after Berto. In the first round, Ortiz hurt Berto by knocking him down twice. I scored that round a 10-7 for Ortiz. The 2nd round things shifted as Berto knocked down Ortiz. Rounds 3-5, I gave them to Ortiz. Andre Berto to me looked hurt in rounds 3 and 4. Not only did he looked hurt but he was getting tired quick. Round 6 should be the Round of the Year. This was clearly Andre Berto’s round when he knocked down Ortiz. Andre Berto was on the verge of knocking out Ortiz when out of nowhere Ortiz connected with a left hook that sent Berto to the canvas. Round 6 was scored a 10-10. Round 7, Victor Ortiz outboxed Andre Berto. The same goes for Berto who did the same in Rounds 8 and 9. Andre Berto looked like he was catching his second wind after the 9th round. He was slowly coming back into the fight. Round 10 was a great round. It was going well until Ortiz got a point taken away for hitting Berto in the back of the head. This seemed to ignite a fire in Ortiz as he took the fight to Berto and won an exchange of punches as the round was coming to an end. I scored the round a 9-9. Rounds 11-12 were all Ortiz. Andre Berto looked tired on the 11th round. He was inviting Ortiz towards the ropes and Ortiz was landing solid bombs on Berto. Ortiz hit Berto with uppercuts, hooks, and couple body shots. Ortiz won the round by being the more aggressive fighter and landing more punches. At the start of round 12, both fighters showed great sportsmanship as they walked to the middle of the ring and gave each other a hug. The only way Andre Berto could maintain his undefeated record was to knock out Ortiz. Andre Berto started the round well by attacking Ortiz with good combinations but Ortiz kept coming forward and landing some hard punches of his own. Ortiz kept throwing and ended the round strong by boxing well and taking the fight to Andre Berto.
With Victor Ortiz unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto, he silenced all his critics who questioned his heart and his will to fight. Ortiz fought the fight of his life. This was a war from the opening bell. If Victor Ortiz continues to fight the way he fought against Berto, he may live up to the hype that was placed on him before the Marcos Maidana fight. I see Ortiz staying in the welterweight division for awhile. He is a big welterweight. He weighed in at 146 and was fighting at 161. The question now is what is next for the new WBC Welterweight Champion. Who will he fight next? Should he take a Berto rematch next? Would Maidana move up and challenge Ortiz at 147? Would Ortiz challenge a fighter like Kermit Cintron? Would Ortiz fight Selcuk Aydin, who was Berto’s mandatory challenger twice but was avoided by Berto? Whatever is next for Ortiz, it should be against a top 10 contender. Berto, on the other hand, needs to work on his defense. Berto already has power but needs to stop holding too much his opponents. I think Andre Berto might have taken this fight lightly since he got tired in the earlier rounds. We will see what is next for Berto. Maybe he fights Mike Jones. But, the night belong to Victor Ortiz and he now puts his name in the mix with boxing’s biggest stars. It was an amazing fight. Looking forward to seeing what is next for Victor Ortiz.
On another note…Tonight will go down as one of Boxing’s biggest upsets as Orlando Salido (35-11-2) knocked out previously undefeated Juan Manuel Lopez (30-1) in the 8th round in Puerto Rico to become the new WBO Featherweight Champion. That fight was also toe to toe as JuanMa was sent to the canvas couple of times by some hard hooks to the chin. I think the referee stopped the fight too early on the 8th round but it was clearly that JuanMa was being beat. So much for the mega fight between JuanMa and Gamboa. This is a huge blow to Arum who was trying to hype the fight just so that he could take advantage of it and gain millions of dollars. One thing that Arum might want to consider is that if boxing fans are demanding a fight, don’t wait for fight to be fought at the perfect time because it will never come. Tonight was a reminder than when promoters put their economic interest ahead of the fans, the promoters learned that the fans received justice by the underdogs stepping up to the ring and delivering a knock out for the sport of Boxing. Arum can forget about his mega fight between JuanMa and Gamboa. Personally, Gamboa is on another level. Great win for Salido. He fought like a true Mexican warrior.