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Berto vs. Ortiz II: Best boxing news of 2012

Victor Ortiz (L) poses with Andre Berto at

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

Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz agreeing to a second fight is the best news the Neutral Corner has heard this year. The two former world champions will square off in a scheduled 12-round bout on February 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime.

Why is news of this bout the best news we’ve heard? Simple. We finally have a situation where two quality boxers who actually want to fight each other agreeing to step into the ring. Yes, it’s that simple, because if there’s anything boxing fans and anti-boxing critics complain about, itsp fighters/promoters (take your choice) ducking each other.

Why haven’t Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought already? The two should have stepped into the ring at least twice already. What about Tim Bradley and Amir Khan? That bout should have taken place last July.

We would’ve loved to have seen Miguel Cotto fight Sergio Martinez or even Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. We probably won’t see Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland anytime soon, if ever. We probably won’t see Alvarez vs. Chavez Jr. in the near future either.

So that’s why we think Berto (28-1, 22 KOs), who actually gave up a welterweight belt, against Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) could be the fight of the year. It may be premature on our part to make such a bold prediction, but the first time these two hooked up at Foxwoods in Connecticut, it was a spectacular showing.

Both fighters went down twice in the fight. Ortiz took control the second half of the fight and won via unanimous decision, 114-112; 114-111; 115-110.

Said Ortiz: “I don’t need to say a whole lot. I prepare very well. I know I’m up against a tough opponent. I captured the world championship and went for the best. I’ll leave everything in the ring and bring home the victory once again. I don’t hate anybody. I respect all of them. We’re here to box and fight and make a great show on February 11th. I’m ready.”

Berto gave up his IBF welterweight title for a chance to get revenge against Ortiz. It doesn’t get much better than that.

“This is a tremendous opportunity. I’m ready to get it on. I’ve had to improve my game,” said Berto. “I’ve had a hard, tough training camp and just have to stay focused and get the job done. I’m hungrier than ever. I predict a win.”

New York Sports