- By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Arnold Turner
Victor Ortiz: I Am Going In 100 Percent
Former world champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) of Oxnard is set to face former two-time world champion Andre "The Beast" Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) of Winter Haven, Florida once again on Saturday April 30 at Stub Hub Center in Carson, California in the next series of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX. We caught up with Ortiz as he talked about his upcoming fight and rivalry with Berto.
“It’s another tough fight once again, he is hungry and so am I as well. There is two hungry guys that want the same thing,” Victor Ortiz told Southern California Boxing.com “This is definitely the next chapter of my boxing career and I want to take full advantage of it. I'm healthy and I'm young and I'm still able to pull the trigger,” Ortiz added.
Coming off a stoppage over Gilberto Sanchez Leon this past December, Ortiz is riding a two fight win streak since his knockout loss to Luis Collazo. Prior to his win streak, Ortiz loss three straight fights to Collazo, a stoppage at the hands of Josesito Lopez in which he suffered a broken jaw, and of course the rare and controversial knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather.
“I questioned god why is it I am doing so well and then puts all these obstacles in front of me,” Ortiz said. “I just got shattered or broken something, I learned to deal with it. It is what it is,” Ortiz added.
During that three fight losing streak, Ortiz suffered some injuries and ended up landing a role on the action film the Expendables starring Sylvester Stallone and Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhall as he found work outside the gym. Now the year old will set his focuses in the ring as he is looking to win another world title.
"I've fought a lot of wars. I've been in battles. I broke my jaw and my wrist, that's three years right there. But my will to fight led me back. The more boxing I watched, the more upset it made me. I don't think the other welterweights are on my level,” Ortiz said. “It’s in the past now I am not thinking of Hollywood right now I am just trying to conquer these belts," Ortiz added.
On the night of April 16, 2011 Victor Ortiz went in as the underdog against then undefeated Andre Berto at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Berto was already in line to fight Floyd Mayweather as Floyd was seated ringside to witness the 2011 Fight of the Year. In that fight Ortiz came out strong scoring a knockdown later in the fight the two traded knockdowns as Ortiz pulled off a decision win.
“It was one hell of a fight. I definitely had to fight the champ it wasn’t like they gave me the easy fight. I had to go in there and prove that I can beat him,” Ortiz said. “Everyone said I was a 'tomato can' who had no business being in the ring with Berto the first time. I had to go to Connecticut to get my belt and my respect," Ortiz added.
Berto on the other hand has been in a decline since their last fight. He went on to win the IBF welterweight title with a stoppage Jan Zaveck in his next fight and suffered set backs with a pair of losses to former world champion Robert Guerrero and Mexican journeyman Jesus Soto Karass as well as a nagging shoulder injury. In his last fight he suffered a one sided decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in his farewell fight.
“I see a lot of decline in Berto. I am not shooting for twelve rounds this time. He thinks he has a chance. That’s always a good dream to have,” Ortiz said. "Berto blames me for his downward spiral but anytime you have to blame someone else I would be pissed off too. It’s not even me, it’s himself," Ortiz added.
Despite what turns both of their careers have gone there is some bad blood between the two. Following the post fight press conference to announce the fight the two posed with Ortiz getting the better of it as an angry Berto shoved Ortiz. With all that and them stepping foot in the ring at the Stub Hub is a recipe for a war. In a venue that has had its tradition of hosting many memorable fights.
‘It don’t matter there is a ring, referee, judges I don’t care what anybody needs to say about me what they are going to get their satisfaction. I don’t care I am doing this for me ultimately I will do what I want,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz vs. Berto will be a scheduled 12 round fight as they look to start off where they left off the last time they met.
“I am going in 100 percent. Check it out April 30th” Ortiz said.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla