LOS ANGELES (April 16, 2012) Former World Champions Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto held a press conference on Monday in Los Angeles to formally announce their upcoming rematch of the 2011 “Fight of the Year” on Saturday, June 23, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s), of Ventura, Calif., and Berto (28-1, 22 KO’s), of Winter Haven, Fla., will square off more than one year after their classic slugfest was named 2011 “Fight of the Year” (USA Today, Ring Magazine) for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship. The eagerly awaited 12-round fight, which was originally scheduled for February but was postponed when Berto suffered an arm injury in late January, is a rematch of a fiercely contested, multiple-knockdown affair on April 16, 2011 that Ortiz won by a unanimous decision while capturing Berto’s WBC 147-pound title.
Ortiz went on to lose the WBC title in his next fight to pound-for-pound champ Floyd Mayweather via a controversial knockout while Berto won the IBF Welterweight title in his next fight, but then relinquished it with hopes of avenging the only loss of his career against Ortiz.
In the June 23 co-feature, Mexican legend and former Three Division World Champion Humberto Soto (54-7-1, 24 KOs), of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will face Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KOs) in a 12-round super lightweight bout.
Tickets, priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com and www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available at STAPLES Center box office beginning Tuesday, April 17.
“Ortiz vs. Berto II: The Rematch,” is the highly anticipated 12-round welterweight rematch of USA Today and Ring Magazine’s 2011 Fight of the Year between former World Champions “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship which will take place Saturday, June 23 at at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Sotobattle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round super lightweight fight presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The double-header will be telecast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday.
“I’m counted out 100 percent of the time, but that’s my comfort zone.
“He’s a great fighter, but I’m here to win. It doesn’t matter that this is in my backyard. As long as there is a ring and gloves, I’m comfortable.
“I always fight with my back against the wall. I like being counted out. It makes me hungry.
“I told him I’m going to beat you again and he told me I got lucky. He tried to bring Floyd in, but I told him to keep this between me and him. Floyd doesn’t have anything to do with us. I beat him (Berto) last time and I’ll beat him again.
“The slugfests keep boxing alive. It keeps fans coming back and I expect another one in June.
“I didn’t want to wait, but the postponement gave me time to prepare a little bit more.”
“I didn’t have to take this fight. I vacated the title to make this happen again.
“This fight is for the fans. The last one was tremendous and this one is going to be even better.
“We’re doing it in Kobe’s (Bryant) house, so come out for a great fight. I know all the stars will come out for it
“I was disappointed with the injury. It was unfortunate, but I’m glad we made the fight happen. Now I’m back to avenge that loss.
“I just need to be smarter and there are a few things I’ll do differently this time.
“I came back from the Ortiz fight hungry, got a world title and gave it up to beat Ortiz. This is the most important fight of my career.
“I feel a lot better. We’re healed and ready to roll.”
“I’m happy to be fighting in Los Angeles. It feels like I’m fighting at home. I expect a very difficult fight. I want to fight like a true Mexican warrior.
“I’m hoping it can be for a world title. I’m going to be in top shape and ready for a war.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We expect a sellout on June 23. The first fight was a tremendous success and we expect the same for the rematch. The last one was the “Fight of the Year” and I don’t think this one will be any different. It will be an explosive fight once again. Will it be repeat or revenge?
“The co-main event will also be great. It has all the ingredients to be a classic. The co-main event could be a main event anywhere.
“We’re also excited that SHOWTIME will also showcase the fighters in FIGHT CAMP 360 with three episodes leading up to the fight.”
RON RIZZO, VP of Operations of DiBella Entertainment
“These guys belong in a venue like this and it’s going to be an amazing event.
“Andre is one of the most dedicated guys I’ve seen in any sport. He’s looking to correct a wrong from last April and I believe he’s going to do it.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Delgado – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions