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Berto and Ortiz ready for February 11

Victor Ortiz (L) poses with Andre Berto at

Victor Ortiz (L) poses with Andre Berto at press conference. December 19th, 2011. Credit: Hogan Photos

We’re just over two weeks away from the first big match of the year. And boxing certainly needs it. With the likely hood of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao not fighting this year fast becoming a reality, the sport needs a big bout to help overshadow things.

Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) will take on Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) in a re-match of last April’s thrilling bout on Saturday night, February 11 at the MGM Grand on Showtime. That one blemish on Berto’s record came at the hands of Ortiz. It was considered my most one of the best fights of the year, as both fighters tasted the canvas twice.

Berto admitted the loss set him back a bit mentally.

"Of course. It played with my mind a bit. You get to a point where I think any fighter would be affected by that,” said Berto.“But you just brush it off, get back on your feet and get back in there. And that's what I did."

Berto came back with a fifth-round stoppage of Jan Zaveck in September.

"[That fight] definitely helped, but at the end of the day I know I can fight,” said Berto. “If I had a bad night or if you have a bad day at the gym, at the end of the day you know you're going to be able to know how to fight."

As for Berto’s claims that Ortiz used an illegal substance, he has since backtracked and said: "No. Ortiz was just better that night."

Nonetheless both fighters have agreed to random drug testing. Berto said he’s already been test twice via urine and blood.

As for Ortiz, he says he’s ready to put the gloves on.

Said Ortiz: "I've been working hard and keeping it positive. There are no worries in the world right about now, and Berto is certainly not one of them. At the same time I know I have to be tremendously tough for this guy, both in and out of the ring. I'm not a guy who has to sit there and run his mouth

Ortiz took a beating in the press and from many fans after his performance against Mayweather. Mayweather’s knockout punch notwithstanding, Ortiz was criticized for the head butt. Ortiz doesn’t seem to care about the criticism, though.

“At the end of the day I don't really care what anybody believes but me,” said Ortiz. “I'm ready for this guy once again."

New York Sports