On November 27th, 2010, WBC Welterweight Champion, Andre Berto, 27-0, 21 KO’s, stepped into the ring to face the challenge of Freddy Hernandez. Hernandez, despite his 27-1 record, seemed to fit into the mold of most Berto opponents. He was considered easy prey, and when he hit the floor after two minutes and was out of the fight, a victim of a first round knockout, there was little excitement. Berto was picking on lesser opposition.
The chance to get some validation was in a showdown with Shane Mosley, a fight set to happen but one that crumbled when Haiti, Berto’s homeland, suffered a tremendous earthquake. Mosley went on to lose to Floyd Mayweather, JR., and is now on a collision course with Manny Pacquiao in May. Berto needs somebody to test him. He needs somebody that the public respects, that is dangerous and that could defeat him. He’s found him: Victor Ortiz, 28-2-2, 22 KO’s.
Ortiz was on the fast track, headlining HBO cards, and reminding many of a young Fernando Vargas. His first defeat was by disqualification in 2005 when Ortiz hit an opponent on the break and he was unable to continue.
In 2009, Ortiz would face defeat again, losing a war with Marco Maidana, losing via TKO in six rounds. Both men were down but it was the tenacity and will of Maidana that was the difference. Many believe that when the going gets tough, Ortiz will get going out of the fight, and against Berto, it will be a tough fight.
Since the Maidana defeat, Ortiz has rebounded, with a record of 4-0-1, 3 KO’s, although it is fair to say that he is 5-0, 3 KO’s. He picked up victories over former champions, Nate Campbell and Vivian Harris, and then had a bout with once defeated Lamont Peterson that he clearly won, but had to settle for a majority draw. It was on HBO, so the crime was seen by most and most consider it a win, leading to this championship shot against Berto.
This is a very interesting showdown between two young powerful fighters. Berto is finally in the fight that will test him and Ortiz has a chance at big time redemption and a title. This is a must see fight that could be nothing other than a war and the judges will most likely not be needed.
HBO will also feature British star, WBA Light Welterweight Champion, Amir Khan, 24-1, 17 KO’s, fresh off his spirited victory over Marcos Maidana, taking on Paul McCloskey, 22-0, 12 KO’s. Khan is a superstar and showed true grit in surviving a late onslaught by Maidana to win the fight, and now takes on a far less dangerous puncher in McCloskey, although he has stopped his last five opponents.