This was supposed to be the fight that launched Andre Berto into the boxing stratosphere. Instead it was Victor Ortiz who put a stamp on his stardom. Ortiz dominated Berto and scored a unanimous-decision win (115-110, 114-112, 114-110) for the WBC welterweight championship.
It was a fight that had the word "classic" written all over it. There were three knockdowns, including two in the sixth. Berto caught Ortiz with a minute left in the sixth. But Ortiz came right back with about 20 seconds left and floored Berto.
Ortiz will now be in demand. It will take Berto a while to recover from this loss. Could we see Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather? It's possible. Mayweather will certainly take a tune-up fight before he steps into the ring with Manny Pacquiao. Ortiz could be that guy.
Ortiz and Manny Pacquiao could also be a possibility in November. That's assuming Pacquiao beats Shane Mosley on May 7.
Of course there was talk of a rematch of this fight. We'll let the promoters deal with the aftermath.
Round 1-3: You couldn't have asked for more action. Victor Ortiz shocked everyone after dropping Andre Berto with a straight right in the first round. Berto certainly looked shaky after that. Ortiz dominated the first round. Berto was struggling in the second round, too, but he scored a knockdown of Ortiz with an overhand right. Ortiz came back with a huge third round. This fight is already on track to be the fight of the year. Scorecard after three rounds. Ortiz 28, Berto 27.
Rounds 4-6: Ortiz’s left hand is really hampering Berto’s ability to counter. Ortiz dominated round 4. If not for Berto’s knockdown of Ortiz in the second, Berto would have lost the first four rounds. Ortiz is throwing 65 punchers per round, up 20 from what he usually does. Berto settled down a bit in the fifth, but Ortiz is keeping him at bay with his right jab and straight left. Ortiz picked Berto apart and won round 5 easily. Berto came back in a big way in round 6. He was more patient and allowed the action to flow. He caught Ortiz with two great short rights. He then dropped Ortiz with a minute to go in the 6th. Ortiz came right back 30 seconds later and dropped Berto. Scorecard after 6 rounds: Ortiz 57, Berto 56
Rounds: 7-9: It was back to business for Ortiz in round 7. He went back to basics and protected himself better. He out-boxed Berto using his right jab and short left. Berto came back to win round 8. But it wasn’t because he necessarily out-classed Ortiz. Ortiz looks like he might be slowing down a bit. Ortiz won round 9, though. He caught his wind again. He’s keeping Berto at bay with the jab again and picking and choosing when to land the left. And he’s not walking into Berto’s vicious right. Scorecard after 9 rounds: Ortiz 86, Berto 83.
Rounds: 10-12: The 10th didn’t start off Ortiz’s way as the ref took away a point for hitting Berto in the back of the head. It was a questionable move by the ref. Berto lucked out and the round ends in a tie, 9-9 (in this writer’s opinion). Round 11 was all Ortiz. He had Berto on the ropes for most of the round. Even when they were clenched Ortiz landed several uppercuts. Berto hit him with one good right with a minute to go in the 11th, but that was it. Berto showed some heart in the 12th and landed two big shots a minute into the round. But Ortiz took control over the final two minutes.
Scorecard at the end of the fight: Ortiz 115, Berto 110. Ortiz wins 8-3-1.
The judges scored the bout: 115-110 (Ortiz), 114-112 (Ortiz), 114-111 (Ortiz).
Ortiz wins the WBC welterweight championship. Ortiz hands Berto his first loss. Ortiz is now a major player in the welterweight division. Ortiz controlled the fight from the start. His knockdown in the sixth notwithstanding, Berto didn't hurt him much. Berto's flat performance is a head-scratcher. He has a lot of questions to answer.