Andre Berto suffered the only loss of his impressive career to date to Victor Ortiz in April earlier this year, losing the WBC welterweight title in the process. Berto then went on to win the IBF welterweight belt when he stopped Jan Zaveck in the 5th round in September. Now, after vacating his title, it appears as if Berto looks to be eyeing a rematch with Ortiz. He even tweeted Ortiz about making the fight happen:
Berto also spoke with ESPN’s Dan Rafeal about a rematch with Ortiz:
“It’s a fight that I want more than a world championship,” Berto told ESPN.com. “I love my title, but then again, I want to give the fans what they want to see.”
“I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night going the other route and just skimming through,” Berto said. “Knowing who I am, and how I was brought up, and my passion for the game, that’s the route I need to go. It’s just me. I’m the type of kid that if I got in a schoolyard fight, I’m gonna see that guy and we will have to fight every day until I beat him. I know we’re going to have to scrap again.”
Berto was looking at a match up with Randall Bailey had he kept his belt, but apparently HBO had no interest in a championship fight with Bailey as the opponent. The real money for the network and both Berto and Ortiz would be in a rematch, as HBO has broadcast each boxer’s fights for years. The target date for Berto/Ortiz II would be January 28, 2012, the weekend before the Super Bowl and generally around the time HBO hosts its fight championship fight of the year.
Berto/Ortiz I was an action packed fight and instant candidate for Fight Of The Year, with both fighters hitting the canvas twice before Ortiz secured the victory in a close decision. Ortiz is coming off a knockout to Floyd Mayweather where he was caught with his hands down after being docked a point for an intentional headbutt. A rematch would most likely be just as explosive as both fighters will be looking to rebound from the worst lose of their perspective careers. Hopefully it happens and sets the pace for the 2012 boxing calender.