Berto vs Ortiz – Fight is Set and Showtime Gets it

Their 2011 April fight was dubbed by many as the fight of the year, with the sixth round, in which both fighters were knocked down, one of the most exciting in recent years. Seven months later, and the highly anticipated rematch is on. Victor Ortiz coming off his loss to Floyd Mayweather, and Andre Berto, giving up on his IBF Welterweight title so he can avenge his only career loss.

The biggest surprise from this fight, which will happen on either January 28 or Februray 2012, is that Showtime, not HBO, will air it. The network bought the fight for $2.25 million, 100k higher than what HBO offered. The first fight, taking place seven months ago in Connecticut, aired on HBO. Pretty much all of Ortiz and Berto’s big fights aired on HBO. The network seemed to invest a lot of money in recent years in both fighters, but gave up on this one.<

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Besides the notions of a possible power shift in the world of boxing from HBO to Showtime (Don’t worry, it won’t happen), Berto actually giving up on Welterweight title and a fight with mandatory challenger Randall Bailey seems to be the biggest story. As with almost everything in life and especially in boxing, it was about the money.

Both HBO and Showtime weren’t buying the IBF mandatory challenger fight, while both the opportunity for revenge (the number two power in boxing) and the lucrative cash deal for a second Ortiz fight was just too good to turn down.

Andre Berto looked pretty good in his fight against Dejan Zavec, winning the IBF title a few months after losing his WBC belt to Ortiz. Victor Ortiz is the bigger question mark. He seemed to take his loss to Floyd Mayweather rather leniently. His frustration with Mayweather’s defense, the attempted headbutting adds up to his Maidana loss in 2009 and brings up questions regarding his mental ability to handle tough situations.

He had the upper hand over Berto in their first fight from the get go, surprising the Miami born fighter. This time, Andre Berto is ready, and if he’s able to keep Ortiz’ aggressiveness at bay or at least withstand it in the early rounds, he should have the upper hand over a fighter who seems to get frustrated early when things don’t go his way.