Berto vs. Ortiz

By Francis Walker,BASN Staff Writer
Updated: March 14, 2011

New York, NY === Undefeated WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs) will successfully defend his title for the sixth time on Saturday, April 16, from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Berto, a former 2004 Haitian Olympian, defends against former world title challenger Victor Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KOs). HBO will televise.

“I am so happy to be coming back to one of the premiere fight venues on the east coast,” DiBella Entertainment President and CEO Lou DiBella said in a recent statement. “Berto vs. Ortiz is a compelling of a match as could be made in the welterweight division.”

Berto vs. Ortiz sounds like a very fun and action-packed fight because, it sure it. Berto is never in a bad fight, as he has quality victories against Luis Collazo (W 12), Steve Forbes (W 12), Juan Urango (W 12), and a pair of spectacular knockouts of Carlos Quintana (TKO 8).

Berto is coming off an impressive first-round knockout of Freddy Hernandez in November.

Ortiz, the young southpaw boxer-puncher from Oxnard, CA, has repositioned himself as a threat following his shocking loss to Marcos Rene Maidana for the WBA jr. welterweight title in June 2009. Ortiz has knocked lout Vivian Harris (TKO 2), Nate Campbell (W 10), but drew with Lamont Peterson (D 10) last December. Overall, Ortiz is 4-0-1, in his last five fights.

—Although he may no longer have the unified WBC/WBO middleweight championships, Sergio Martinez is the consensus world middleweight champion. Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) proved his dominance at 160 yet again following an impressive eight-round TKO of previously unbeaten WBO 154-pound champion,Sergiy Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs).

The event was promoted by DiBella Entertainment and was televised on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” series from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods on Saturday.

Martinez KO’s Dzinziruk

Martinez-Dzinziruk was an interesting match of southpaws. Dzinziruk entered the bout recognized for his technical boxing skills and great stamina. However, Martinez was able to systematically break through Dzinziruk’s defense using an excellent right-jab. Martinez, having knocked out Paul Williams in a rematch last December following a 12-round drumming of Kelly Pavlik in ’010, coaxed Dzinziruk into dropping his hands and attacked in with vicious left hands.

Martinez scored a knockdown in round four when Dzinziruk’s glove touched the mat. Dzinziruk went down again in round five before Martinez floored him three times in round eight. The official time of the stoppage was 1:43 seconds.

“Mayweather, Cotto, I want the best,” Martinez said at the post-fight press conference.

Why shouldn’t Martinez be able to fight the best? Simply look at is track record in recent years. Martinez has lost only one fight in the last 11 years dating back to a stoppage defeat to former world champion Antonio Margarito. That one defeat occurred in 2009 when he fought Williams in the first of two scintillating contests, but dropped a debatable decision. His draw with Kermit Cinton was actually a knockout victory, as the referee reached 10 but opted to restart the fight.

The perfect fight for Martinez is a match with WBA jr. middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who on the same evening in Las Vegas, defeated Ricardo Mayorga after he suffered an arm injury. The bout was stopped in the twelfth and final round.

Martinez-Cotto could be a sensational fight, but promoter Lou DiBella has his doubts about making the fight a reality.

“That’s not up to me, that’s up to (Cotto’s promoter) Bob Arum,” DiBella stated. “Maybe Cotto is man enough to ask Bob Arum to make the fight.”

Andy Lee KOs Craig McEwan

Once-beaten middleweight prospect Andy Lee 25-1, 19 KOs) was put to the test and passed with flying colors against previously unbeaten Craig McEwan (19-1, 10 KOs) by scoring a come-from-behind knockout victory at 56 seconds of round ten.

A right-hand in the opening round proved to be huge, as Lee had McEwan badly hurt. Pressing for the knockout, Lee became a one-punch fighter looking for one big shot. But McEwan refused to cooperate. Instead, McEwan jabbed, put punches together, and was suddenly out-boxing Lee. Lee even survived several anxious moments in the fight when he was badly hurt. Heading into the last two rounds, Lee was trailing behind on the scorecards.

“I was losing the fight,” Lee said. “I let him outwork me, but I wasn’t going to let him walk away with it. I walked him down.”

Lee was going to lose to the unbeaten McEwan before a left hand badly stunned and dropped McEwan to the canvas in round nine.

“I was flatfooted looking for big punches,” Lee said. “I felt I did need a knockout to win. I put him down in round nine and I pulled in a 10-8 round. That was a big round for me.”

Lee’s trainer Sugar Hill was very honest with his fighter before the start of the final round.

“I told him to finish it big in the last round,” Hill stated. “We needed the round in a big way and to start doing what we trained for in camp. Andy is a strong fighter from a longer range instead of fighting closely from the inside. Box instead of looking for one big shot.”

Desperately looking for a much needed KO, both Lee and Hill’s prayers were answered. The young Irish lad sent McEwan to the canvas following a vicious barrage of punches to end the fight.

Lee’s promoter Lou DiBella was impressed with Lee’s courage and tenacity under fire.

“[Lee's] performance makes him an HBO fighter,” DiBella said. “That’s the best you can do for your career.”

Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz lands at Foxwoods