On The Beak – Staff
Current British welterweight champion Frankie Gavin, who outfoxed former world titlist Junior Witter to claim the belt in London three weeks ago, has analysed the high-profile 147lb match-up between the bruising Andre Berto (below left) and the skillful southpaw Robert Guerrero (below right). The two American-based fighters box on Saturday, November 24 and Gavin has backed Berto to win via knockout despite Guerrero’s technical prowess.
“It’s going to be really close and I certainly wouldn’t want to be putting any of my money on it. I’ve seen Guerrero’s last two fights and he’s quality. He absolutely took Michael Katsidis apart, was far too good, a different level, and he was way too slick for Selcuk Aydin last time. To step up through so many weights as he has shows he’s one of the best around. You can only get away with that if you’re really top drawer.
“His biggest strength is his boxing skills. I love the way he picks his shots and forces his openings rather than just waits for them to happen. He can make you miss, then counter accurately, by darting in and out. He’s got fantastic uppercuts and I like the way he phases his attacks; throws a combo, then re-sets and goes again.
“Power wise, he didn’t look too dangerous last time out against Aydin but Selcuk’s a really big puncher. I boxed Selcuk twice in the amateurs. Second time, he got disqualified for repeatedly kicking, butting, elbowing…. basically everything you ain’t supposed to do! Perhaps that’s why Guerrero was wary and didn’t take too many risks. Still, he had the strength to keep Aydin away so he’ll probably have the strength to fend off Berto, provided he keeps it cute. Don’t count on it.
“For me, Guerrero’s downfall is that he voluntarily chooses to go to war, in fights where he’s the better technician and winning easily. He can get drawn in when he doesn’t need to and, other times, he chooses to row. It’s great to watch, I’m not complaining, but it might not win him this fight.
“My advice to him would be to try to keep control from the centre of the ring, dictate the pace and keep off the ropes at all costs. Being shorter, Berto will come looking to ‘put it on him’ – he’s stronger and better on the inside – so Guerrero needs to constantly move and counter; give him angles. Berto’s a career-long welterweight yet he’s never been stopped so, if Guerrero’s to pull this off, it’ll definitely be a points job.
“I’ve not seen too much of Berto but what I have has been impressive. He’s a short, stocky type who reminds me a lot of an orthodox Timothy Bradley. He always turns up in terrific shape and, though he’s not the tallest, he seems really quick, raiding in and out. I think he’ll be the heavier puncher; not a real blowout merchant but hard enough to gain anyone’s respect.
“He’s definitely the more natural welterweight and the more proven welterweight. He’s been fighting there at world title level for over four years now and only Victor Ortiz has beaten him in that great fight when they were both down twice. He’s rebounded since and picked up another world title [leaving Jan Zaveck retiring on his stool after five rounds last November]. He always seems to find away to win. You gotta respect that.
“His downside is that he’s a bit short for the weight and, while he can be really explosive, at times he fades off and admires his work. Even now, he’d not get near Floyd Mayweather. To win, he needs to set a hot pace that’ll disrupt Guerrero’s rhythm. He’s marginally younger, certainly fresher and naturally bigger.
“It’s a really tricky one that’s basically there to be won by whoever delivers on the night. But, as you’re forcing me, I’ll go with Berto on a late stoppage. I think Guerrero is gonna stand and have a fight with him and that’ll be his downfall.”
On The Beak – Admin
It was officially announced today that contender Josesito Lopez, of Riverside, has been tapped to meet Victor Ortiz in the main event on Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for the vacant WBC silver welterweight title, live on Showtime. Lopez, who had been training for a June 22 bout that was canceled days ago, replaces Andre Berto following Berto’s failed pre-fight drug test which was revealed last Friday.
Ortiz versus Lopez will headline a three-fight Showtime Championship Boxing telecast that now will include top rated heavyweight Chris Arreola in a ten-round bout against an opponent to be determined and the previously announced 12-round bout between Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBC continental Americas super lightweight belt.
The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas, finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a thrilling 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC welterweight championship.
Five months later, Ortiz would lose a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr, but on June 23, the 25-year old begins his quest to get back to the top of the division.
The latest in the line of talented contenders from Southern California, 27-year old Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17ko) has the style and determination to add “championship” to his resume sooner rather than later. A boxer-puncher who isn’t afraid to mix it up, Lopez flew under the radar for the early part of his career, but after a controversial decision loss to Edgar Santana in 2008, fight fans started taking notice of him.
Following a seven fight winning streak that included a knockout of unbeaten Mike Dallas Jr in 2011, Lopez got a coveted undercard fight against Jessie Vargas last September beneath the Floyd Mayweather versus Victor Ortiz pay-per-view mega-fight. While he lost a razor-thin split decision which many ringside observers had him winning, he proved that he can compete at the highest level of the sport.
A big puncher with an even bigger personality, Riverside’s Chris Arreola (35-2, 30ko) has long been considered one of the best and most popular heavyweights in the game today. A former world title challenger who took on Vitali Klitschko at STAPLES Center in 2009, the 31-year old Arreola has since won eight of his last nine bouts, including knockouts of Raphael Butler and Eric Molina. With a world championship fight right around the corner, he will have a lot at stake when he enters the ring in front of his loyal hometown fans at STAPLES Center.
On The Beak – Admin
Andre Berto was recently advised that he tested positive for low levels of 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of nandrolone or nandrolone precursors. So far, neither Andre Berto nor his lawyer have been provided with any laboratory documentation other than a one page, summary report of the laboratory’s findings. Berto’s lawyer has requested the complete laboratory documentation package, including all chain of custody documentation and scientific data supporting the laboratory’s summary report.
Berto issued this statement: “At the present time, I cannot explain the positive drug test, which was provided as part of a voluntary anti-doping program in which I agreed to participate. I know that I have never used any steroids or other banned substances, and I am investigating all possible causes of the positive test with my attorney Howard Jacobs. I have never cheated, and all of my success has come from hard work and dedication.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
The highly-anticipated rematch between former welterweight champions Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto on June 23 has been jeopardised as the latter, a Floridian 28-year-old with a fan-friendly fight style, has registered a positive test result for the steroid norandrosterone, a banned substance. Berto’s nutritionist, Victor Conte, has made numerous comments clarifying the situation. One of which was that the positive result was because of a “clear contamination“.
The April duel Berto (28-1-0, 22ko) and Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) contested in April, 2011 was one of last year’s most thrilling with multiple knockdowns scored in a competitive encounter that Ortiz edged, wresting the WBC title away from Andre’s waist. Ortiz went on to book himself a match with the most lucrative opponent in boxing – Floyd Mayweather – who he dropped a fourth round knockout loss to, while Berto bounced back from the Ortiz defeat by retiring teak tough Slovenian Jan Zaveck.
Golden Boy Promotions were swift in pairing Ortiz and Berto back together but, in less than a fortnight on from the cancellation of the Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan rematch due to the former’s failed test, Golden Boy are set to lose out again, as CEO Richard Schaefer explained to ESPN: “I was informed late Saturday of the ‘A’ sample testing positive and urged an immediate testing of the ‘B’ sample. We just got the results that the ‘B’ sample tested positive as well [and] obviously, we are disappointed.”
Berto and Ortiz’s second fight, to be staged at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, was initially slated to occur earlier in the year but a bicep injury to Berto forced a postponement. The pair were contractually bound to have blood and urine routinely tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and, despite Berto’s test, it has been speculated that Berto’s rehabilitation from injury may have scored a false positive.
Also, nutritionist Conte, who was infamously embroiled in the BALCO scandal but has since moved to redeem his professional character, indicated that there may have been “clear contamination” from a supplement Berto took that he did not tell Conte about.
He also stated: “Sometimes you can’t protect people from themselves. I have advised boxers not to take different supplements [from the ones I prescribe], but they don’t always listen. [Berto took] several different products [but] anybody who believes an elite athlete would use nandrolone with an intent to cheat is uninformed because it stays in your system for a minimum of six to 18 months. [There is] clear contamination in the Berto case.”
He added: “Hundreds of Olympic athletes have testing positive for traces of nandrolone. I do not believe any of them injected it with intent to cheat.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Former welterweight world champions Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto cross swords for the second time in their respective careers when they duel on Saturday, June 23 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The bout had initially been set to take place earlier in the year but Berto withdrew after rupturing a bicep during routine training. Now that the Floridian is healed, he has pledged to take the fight to the man who bested him last year in a bout not shy of excitement.
“The arm is feeling great and I’m ready to get in there and handle some unfinished business on June 23,” said Berto (28-1-0, 22ko), motivated by last year’s defeat – his sole blemish as a professional. Such was the 28-year-old’s desire to avenge his loss to Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) that he relinquished possession of the IBF welterweight world championship (that he won in his most recent match, a forceful fifth round retirement of tough Slovenian Jan Zaveck) in order to purse the rematch.
“This is guaranteed to be an explosive fight that you don’t want to miss. Los Angeles has become a second home to me, so I’m excited to perform for all the fans at STAPLES Center this summer.”
Berto’s promoter Lou DiBella commented: “It was unfortunate that Andre suffered the injury and the rematch had to be postponed but we are happy that we were able to reschedule this much anticipated fight and are looking forward to another great night on June 23.
“Berto-Ortiz I was a fight of the year candidate and boxing fans can expect more of the same in this fight.”
The undercard to support the Berto v Ortiz main event is already stacking up as a thunderous punch-up between junior welterweight duo Humberto Soto (58-7-2, 34ko) and Lucas Matthysse (30-2-0, 28ko) has been booked. Middleweight prospect J’Leon Love (10-0-0, 6ko) also makes an appearance on the bill.
On The Beak – Admin
Welterweight challenger Andre Berto – slated to face Victor Ortiz in a well-publicised rematch of a 2011 classic this month – withdrew from the February 11 contest due to sustaining injury to his left bicep during a routine sparring session on Monday. The rupture, that occurred whilst throwing a left hook, is expected to require arthroscopic surgery and a photo of the injury has been released by Showtime, who were scheduled to broadcast the non-title clash.
On The Beak – Admin
Due to a left biceps injury sustained while training on Monday, January 30, Andre Berto will be unable to compete in his scheduled February 11 Showtime televised bout against Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, forcing a cancellation of the event on that date. All parties involved are actively seeking a possible postponement date for Ortiz vs. Berto II.
Information regarding previously purchased tickets being honored for a possible postponement date will be released as it becomes available or, alternatively, ticketholders can contact their place of purchase for refunds. More information will be announced as it becomes available.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Not included on any pound-for-pound top ten lists, two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto and former WBC titlist at 147lbs Victor Ortiz remain two of the P4P most exciting prizefighters on the planet and both trade leather on Saturday, February 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a highly-anticipated rematch of their 2011 classic. Fanning the flames ahead of the do-over duel, Ortiz has claimed he does not even respect his opponent…
“I know I have to be tremendously tough for this guy, both in and out of the ring,” said Ortiz, a 24-year-old product of the conveyor belt of boxing talent that is Oxnard. Born in Kansas City and, in a highly-publicised life-story, abandoned by his mother, Ortiz was left to take care of his younger brother Temo before being discovered by Robert Garcia and brought to California, where his career is now overseen by Robert’s brother Danny.
Often the underdog, Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) was written off by fight scribes for his capitulation against Marcos Maidana in 2009, produced a career-best performance to beat Berto down last year earning him a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr, an experienced athlete who knocked Victor out in the fourth round leaving Ortiz, once again, as the unfancied fighter heading into the February bout in Vegas.
Ortiz is – unlike his Vicious moniker – well-spoken and articulate outside of the ring. Even after losing in such swift and unsatisfactory a manner to Mayweather, Victor was all-smiles post-fight and had the appearance of a man just happy to be there considering the road he had trodden, however, inside the squared circle he wants to reassert himself and live up to his nickname.
In his own words he is “not a guy who has to run [my] mouth” as he “lets the boxing gloves do the talking.” He continued: “It’s going to be a great fight, I will be victorious once again and I will not take no for an answer. [In the last fight] it was the same Berto I trained for, actually better. The only difference – there was a beast in there with him. Again, I’m the underdog. That’s the story of my life,” said Ortiz.
“I don’t really mind it one bit. It’s the game. I’m just here. At the end of the day I’m just trying to be one of the greats.”
With strong victories over Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo and Steve Forbes, combined with his aesthetically-pleasing fighting style, it is impossible to dismiss Berto’s credentials and skillset, something Ortiz acknowledges when he labels Berto (28-1-0, 22ko) a “good fighter”, however, having already shared the ring once with him where he twice dropped the Floridian, he added: “I never saw him as great.
“Not even when I was at 140 and I was coming up to challenge him — which is why I challenged him,” Ortiz added. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a dangerous fighter but I don’t fear him. I have no respect for him, I’m not scared of him, nothing like that.
“At the end of the day I will win this once again.”
Related article: New IBF champ Berto sends Zaveck back to Slovenia a bloody mess
Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
In a soundbite that is spat in customary fashion following his prized pugilists latest outing, Top Rank Boxing founder Bob Arum has again stated that current WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao will have the ultimate decision on whom he boxes next. With Floyd Mayweather Jr‘s next fighting date ambiguous due to his imminent incarceration, On The Beak highlight the pros and cons of five fighters potentially available to the Filipino belt collector.
Pro: Can avenge the recent defeat of Wildcard Boxing Club stablemate Amir Khan
Is not even the number one in a division 7lbs south of Pacman: Con
Pro: Further quashes the notion ‘Manny avoids black American fighters’
Is not a guaranteed pay-per-view-selling boxer: Con
Pro: Just come off the back of a strong win and is now a dual titlist
Pro: Is undefeated
Would be Pacquiao’s second successive non-welter opponent: Con
Pro: Could be a barnstormer
Yet another in-house fight with fellow Top Rank Boxing fighter: Con
Pro: Desert Storm Tim is in his prime
Pro: A Berto bout is potentially fight of the year as two of the pound-for-pound most exciting fighters would go toe-to-toe
A match-up with Ortiz could be lambasted as pursuing a ‘Mayweather leftover’: Con
Pro: Berto and Pacquiao have been HBO mainstays for numerous years, the sell would be easy
The punch resistance of both fighters has been brought into question in recent years: Con
Pro: Both Berto and Ortiz are natural welterweights, accustomed to campaigning at 147lbs
Pro: With Cotto’s superb performance against Margarito and Pac’s apparent regression, a rematch could provide a competitive fight
Fight fans are fed up with catchweight fights from Pacquiao, a 150lb weight limit may be enforced: Con
Pro: With victory, Pac would become a two-time super welterweight champ
Pacquiao would likely vacate the title with no defences should he win, something he has done multiple times: Con
Pro: Has a huge Puerto Rican fanbase that he could bring to the gate, or would purchase PPV
Pro: Is yet to taste defeat
Has never been tested against an elite-level fighter, let alone a pound-for-pound superstar: Con
Pro: Has a height (6’0) and reach (72′) that Pacquiao is unaccustomed to
Is the least known and least reputable of all five fighters listed: Con
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
When they are not going face-to-face for obligatory media shots, former world championship holding duo Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz have a somewhat pleasant and cordial respect for the other. Having gone life and death during a barnburning bout earlier this year, a rematch – set for February 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas – has been confirmed, with team members from each fighters’ respective camps talking up their man’s chances of success.
“I know I’m up against a tough opponent,” said Ortiz, who continues to be matched with elite-level fighters having gone 1-1-1 with his last three opponents: Lamont Peterson (draw), Berto (win) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (loss).
“I captured the world championship [against Berto] and went for the best [Mayweather],” the 24-year-old continued. “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.”
Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko) has long found himself tagged as the underdog. Whether it’s his tragic childhood that saw his mother abandon him, or when he entered the nadir of his professional career when his credibility plummeted from the prospect to keep an eye on to a fighter who lacked heart, courage and the will to win (following his second career loss, to Marcos Maidana), Ortiz will have to tread familiar terrain as he again finds himself attempting to rise above adversity.
“I’m being counted out once again,” he said. “Once again, not the best of the best. Once again, I’m too nice.”
Against Maidana, in 2009, detractors claimed to witness a meltdown as a fighter was deemed to have lost his fighting spirit. That sense of being discounted… by members of the boxing industry, by broadcasters, by scribes and by fight fans, fueled Ortiz to the point where he became world champion at 147lbs. Twenty-seven months after Maidana, however, the critics were back as Victor appeared to deliberately butt Mayweather prior to dropping his guard, getting himself knocked down and out and relinquishing his WBC world championship to Floyd.
“I’ll show you on February 11 why Andre Berto belongs where he’s at and why I’ve made him belong there,” said Ortiz, sending a message to those who censure him. “I don’t need to say anything more than that.”
Berto has never attempted to offer excuses for getting out-pointed by Ortiz yet, just months later, it was found he had anaemia and was consequently not training at optimum efficiency. The Floridian fighter, therefore, has a legitimate argument if he was to say he could not operate at 100 percent prior to his diagnosis. With the aid of conditioner Victor Conte (who has worked with pound-for-pounders Nonito Donaire and Andre Ward), Berto is now beginning to reap the benefits of targeted nutritioning.
“I have put in the time and worked very hard to get to where I am,” said the Beast (28-1-0, 22ko). “This is a tremendous opportunity,” added Berto, who scored a technical knockout over Jan Zaveck in his comeback fight after Ortiz, winning the Eastern European’s IBF crown, a title he has since vacated in order to seal the lucrative second go at Victor.
“I’m ready to get it on. I’ve had to improve my game. 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.”
The respect between the two prizefighters has filtered through to their respective camps, but each team are confident, and expectant, of seeing their guy with his arm raised.
“We at Team Ortiz will convey nothing but respect to Andre Berto – we know he is a great fighter,” said Rolando Arellano, Ortiz’s manager. “We know that he has the courage of a warrior with a great team. We know that he is hungry and that his thirst for revenge is present. I will pledge to our fans that Victor will raise his standards in this fight like never before. If Andre Berto thought he ran into a freight train last time, this time he will feel the [hurt] of a nuclear bomb.”
Berto’s long-time trainer, Tony Morgan, who has overseen the 28-year-old’s development from a child, to an amateur star to a professional two-time world champion, believes that, with a 100 percent Andre, there is no chance Ortiz – even with the aforementioned threat of hydrogen weapons – will survive a distance fight.
“Berto was just out of it the last fight,” Morgan mentioned. “He tried to come in light. He was completely deficient. We found out after that he was anaemic, but no excuses. Victor fought his butt off. I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying Berto wasn’t 100 percent.
“This time, we’ll be 100 percent and we’ll see the true outcome,” he added in a concluding statement. “I think we knock him out.”
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