You just knew anything might happen when Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz got back into the ring together after their 2011 slugfest, with the intervening years marked primarily by losses. And we got a dramatic reversal on PBC on FOX Saturday — Berto suffered a knockdown in the 2nd, then scored the knockout in the 4th.
The “anything can happen” atmosphere got a boost in a pre-fight interview when Ortiz twice insisted on singing the chorus from the Scorpions’ “Rock Me Like a Hurricane.” Was he on drugs? Is there something wrong with his brain? Maybe, on the first, hopefully not on the second, but let’s remember that Ortiz has always been a strange space cadet.
Naturally, Ortiz came out boxing cleverly and sharply, which is about the least expected start to the fight. He didn’t even seem remotely bothered by a bad gash from a head butt in the 1st. And he dropped Berto in the 2nd with a straight left, although it was more of a pushing punch against an off-balance foe.
Just as everyone was predicting Ortiz really did have Berto’s number, as he had promised, Berto landed a flush right uppercut that put Berto down in the 4th. And he never seemed to gather himself after that. Another knockdown later and Ortiz, either dazed or unwilling to continue, didn’t answer the referee’s question about continuing.
It was a fun time. It will not, however, have much impact on the welterweight division, the way the PBC team was talking it up. Berto is still so flawed, for all his natural physical abilities.
On the undercard, Edwin Rodriguez and Thomas Williams, Jr. delivered two rounds of sizzling, wild-slugging action, with Williams coming out on top. The two traded turns hurting each other throughout, both teeing off with maximum leverage. It was a huge left that put Rodriguez down, and apparently out, yet Rodriguez rose. Still on shaky legs, he didn’t pass muster with the referee.
Light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson looks to be next for Williams. It’s not a fight Williams is likely to win with this approach, i.e. slugging without defense, but then, it’s not a fight he’s likely to win at all. That said, it’s great to see him make this kind of comeback after the devastating Gabriel Campillo loss.