Five years ago, Victor Ortiz knocked out Andre Berto as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. admired the action at ringside. The entertaining win meant a Las Vegas showdown with Floyd later that year as Berto went in a different direction. Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, Berto (31-4, 24 KO’s) turned back the clock and turned the tables on "Vicious" Victor with a convincing fourth round knockout win in a rematch between two former world champions.
They exchanged jabs in round one. The southern California crowd echoed pockets of boos as they were no doubt expecting a barn burner from the opening bell. An accidental headbutt with thirty seconds to go opened a large gash above Ortiz’s hairlinafter they collided in typical southpaw (Ortiz) versus orthodox fashion.
Victor looked like he felt the urgency to push the action as round two was underway. He caught Andre a few times with straight lefts down the middle. With just under twenty seconds to spare, Ortiz (31-6, 24 KO’s) landed a left handed punch, which looked a lot more like a push to send Andre to the canvas. Of course, the Winter Haven, Florida fighter immediately rose to his feet while referee Jack Reiss gave the customary count of eight. As he returned to his corner, Victor’s face was partially covered with the blood streaming from his forehead.
Berto began to loosen up in the third as he threw his left jab worth more frequency. Twenty seconds into the fourth, he snuck up and under Victor’s guard to land a nicely placed right uppercut which put Ortiz on his backside. The Garden City, Kansas competitor beat the count but was clearly trying to shake the cobwebs. Berto went on the attack shortly thereafter. A hard right sent Ortiz into the ropes and a left hook sent him to the canvas again. He was groggy and disoriented as Reiss delivered the count and clearly asked him, "do you want to continue?". Victor didn’t answer, so the bout was ended at that point. The bout was called at the 1:14 mark of the fourth round.
"He threw me off a bit because he came to box", the victorious Berto said afterward. "He caught me sleeping for a second and my feet got tangled. I knew I had to press him, press him, press him after that and play "catch up". This bout was on my mind and my soul over the last five years because he gave me my first loss. If he wants to do it again, then I will."
Victor Ortiz explained his situation as well. "It was one of those punches that you don’t see coming", he said. "Training camp was awesome. I did everything right. I never saw that uppercut. He’s a heck of champ for a reason. My career has been up and down. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’ll be back".
Co-Main Event Report
Williams, Jr. KO’s Rodriguez in Two Round Firefight
Thomas "Top Dog" Williams, Jr. remained focused and set on victory as he refused to back down to Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez. His opponent’s only loss was to pound for pound resident, Andre Ward. He didn’t care. The southpaw from Laurel, Maryland ended matters with a second to go in the round two with a sleek and smooth one-two combination to the head which set him up for a hopeful showdown with light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
Each man threw his fair share of hard shots in the opening period. Williams (20-1, 14 KO’s) tried to land his left uppercut which left him open to Edwin’s right handed counters. Thomas had a good round one as he caught Rodriguez (28-2, 19 KO’s) a few times with right hooks. Midway through the second, Edwin threw a hard right which seemed to stun Williams, yet Thomas soon returned the favor with a pummeling left hook of his own.
Just seconds after the wood click sound to signal ten seconds left in the round, Williams scored with another right hook, which was quickly followed by a perfectly placed left. Edwin was sent to the mat and didn’t look fit to make it to his feet as he briefly rolled about on the canvas. He did, yet referee Wayne Hedgpeth read the eyes of the Massachusetts boxer and called the fight at the 2:59 mark of round two.
Lara Wastes Montiel in First Round
Jorge Lara only had to land twelve punches to knock out Fernando Montiel, who had the chance to throw twelve punches in total. Lara (28-0-2, 20 KO’s) scored a resounding knockout in in less than ninety seconds. He wasted no time in getting acquainted with the former world champion. Once the bell sounded, the unbeaten Guadalajara fighter came out swinging with overhand rights and combinations.
A hard right hook caught Montiel (54-6-2, 39 KO’s) on the top of the head and sent him to the canvas just thirty seconds into the bout. He arose on wobbly legs and in a slight daze as he was given the customary eight count by referee Ray Corona. Upon being signaled to continue, Lara swarmed the 37 year old ring veteran once again and as before, flung far and wide. Fernando fell once again and complained to Corona that he’d been hit on the back of his head as he beat the count.
This would become a broken record of sorts. Again, a solid right hook to the head meant the floor for Montiel. Just over one minute had elapsed and three knockdowns had taken place. As before, the fighter from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MX made to his feet. Fernando tried to fend off the continuing onslaught. He attempted to return fire but was soon was caught flush on the face with the last right that Jorge would have to throw. Corona didn’t have to count this time.
This was a quick, four knockdown contest which hopefully would make Fernando Montiel think about retirement and Lara about his future. Jorge Lara was declared the winner at the 1:37 mark of round one.