MASHANTUCKET, CT (April 16, 2011) – “Vicious” Victor Ortiz lived up to his nickname tonight, upsetting defending World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Welterweight Champion and previously unbeaten Andre Berto by 12-round decision, headlining the “East-West Showdown” card at MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
In the first six rounds, both fighters hit the canvas twice in arguably the best fight of 2011. It culminated with what is now the 2011 Fight of the Year frontrunner, as two of the best young fighters in the world amazingly kept an electric pace from start to finish.
Ortiz came out firing right from the opening bell, cornering Berto with a series of punches, until the defending champion took a knee. Berto, however, came right back to drop Ortiz with a straight right at the end of the second round.
The non-stop action went back-and-forth in the third through fifth rounds; Ortiz’s power and aggressiveness versus Berto’s speed and quickness.
In what is certainly to be the round of the year in round six, Berto decked Ortiz again with a big right in the sixth, and looked on the verge of finishing the Ventura, CA native. However, Berto, couldn’t finish off Ortiz, who came back to drop Berto with a left cross moments before the bell sounded to end the round.
Adding to the drama, in the tenth round referee Michael Ortega penalized Ortiz a point for hitting behind Berto’s head.
In the end, Ortiz won on all three judges’ scorecards 115-110, 114-112, and 114-111 to capture the WBC welterweight division title in thrilling fashion.
“Absolutely not,” Ortiz responded to a question about this fight being redemption for his loss to Marcus Maidana. “Maidana was never in my class. I never gave him respect, especially for not giving me a rematch.
“147 lbs. is where I’m king. I want to thank Andre Berto for the opportunity. He is a real champion.”
Berto, who was having his right thumb examined after the fight, stated, “I just didn’t feel it tonight. I just couldn’t get off.”
Red-hot Puerto Rican welterweight prospect Thomas “The French” Dulorme (11-0, 10 KOs) continued to shine bright, stopping veteran Harrison Cuello in sensational fashion in the tonight’s chief supporting fight.
Dulorme dropped Cuello and then registered his 10th consecutive knockout, when the budding star Dulorme caught his opponent with a devastating left hook, and referee Johnny Callas didn’t bother to count-out the fallen Cuello. Dulorme is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Gary Shaw Productions, and Universal Promotions, under the Team Puerto Rico banner.
“East-West Showdown: Berto vs. Ortiz,” presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions, aired live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.
Sonya Lamonakis (6-0, 1 KO), New York, NY WDEC4 (40-36, 39-37, 39-37) Gigi Jackson (2-2, 0 KOs), Columbus, OH
J’Leon Love (6-0, 5 KOs), Dearborn Heights, MI WTKO2 (2:13) J.C. Peterson (1-11, 0 KOs), Ft. Myers, FL
Deandre Latimore (22-3, 17 KOs), Las Vegas, NV WDEC8 (80-72, 80-72, 80-72) Dennis Sharpe (17-7-3, 4 KOs), Bayonne, NJ
Victor Ortiz (28-3-2, 22 KOs), Ventura, CA WDEC12 (115-110, 114-112, 114-111) Andre Berto (27-10, 21 KOs), Winter Haven, FL
(Ortiz wins WBC welterweight title)
Thomas Dulorme (11-0, 10 KOs), Carolina, Puerto Rico WKO2 (1:27) Harrison Cuello (20-16-3, 15 KOs), Albany, NY
Joseph Elegele (12-0, 9 KOs), Winter Haven, FL WKO2 (2:54) Angel Hernandez (14-10, 11 KOs), Gary, IN
Luis Rosa, Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs), New Haven, CT. WTKO5 (1:12) Joseliz Cepeda (4-2, 0 KOs), Newark, NJ
For information about DiBella Entertainment, including a list of all upcoming bouts, please visit www.dbe1.com, or follow Lou DiBella on twitter, @loudibella. Follow Andre Berto on Twitter, @AndreBerto.
For information on Golden Boy Promotions, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, on twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing or Victor Ortiz @VICIOUSOrtiz.
Follow HBO Boxing news at www.hbo.com/boxing, Facebook at www.facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter www.twitter.com/hboboxing.