Photos, Lina Baker, Instagram @seeyouringside
Rematch, grudge match, payback, revenge. Call it what you want, not many expected to see this fight when it was announced but it sure did get people curious to see exactly how it would unfold.
In 2012 Victor Ortiz 32-5-2 (24KO’s) and Andre Berto 31-4 (24KO’s) waged an epic back and forth battle that could’ve been voted fight of the year and probably should’ve had it not been for Juan Manuel Marquez’s sensational knockout of Manny Pacquiao.
Both fighters have seen their careers falter since their first encounter as they experienced losses and injuries to make each of them all but relevant in the smoking hot welterweight division. So, a matchup between the two in a crossroads fight made perfect sense.
Both fighters came out to boo’s in the first round as each fighter cautiously circled the other in the first round, but things would heat up. A hard straight left hand at the end of the second round would put Berto straight down on the seat of his pants to ignite the crowd into a frenzy. Berto would make it to his feet and survive the round. In the fourth Berto timed Ortiz with a nasty right uppercut that Ortiz never saw coming to drop him hard. Ortiz beat referee Jack Reiss’s count but was in trouble and Berto went in for the kill. A follow up right hand dropped Ortiz again and he was out, Reiss counted and waived the fight as Ortiz just walked sloppily to his corner with a lost look on his face.
It was a good performance from Berto to bounce back from a one sided loss to Floyd Mayweather but it didn’t do much to make a claim that he deserves a title shot. Especially against WBC title holder Danny Garcia, whom many in the media were murmuring would be his next opponent.
Thomas Williams Jr. 19-1 (13KO’s) put an end to title shot aspirations for Edwin Rodriguez 28-1 (19KO’s) after knocking him out to end the comeback string of wins since Rodriguez lost a one sided fight against Andre Ward back in 2013.
Both fighters came out in the first throwing bombs to keep the excitement rolling in the already raucous and rowdy StubHub center. Each traded turns landing big left and right hooks to rock each fighter’s heads back in spectacular fashion. In the second round Williams landed a beauty of a left hook that crumpled Rodriguez like a bag of crushed chips. Rodriguez would make it to his feet but referee Wayne Hedgepeth didn’t like what he saw and called a halt to the fight at 2:39.
Williams now looms as the next opponent for the now obscure Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson in a fight that no one is clamoring for.
Opening the televised action was a statement performance by Jorge Lara 28-0-2 (20KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico as he blasted out former world champion and veteran Fernando Montiel 54-5-2 (39KO’s) in under one round, dropping him four times.
Lara came out fast and hit Montiel with a ton of bricks disguised as a right hand that put the Mexican down hard in the opening minute of the fight. Montiel would make it to his feet prompting Lara to move in for the kill rushing him with a flurry and putting him down for the second time. Referee Ray Corona gave Montiel another opportunity to continue the fight but Lara came in with a hard one-two combination to drop Montiel for the third time.
Montiel miraculously made it to his feet, but it wouldn’t be for long. Lara landed a thunderous right hand that knocked Montiel out cold in the same fashion that Nonito Donaire stopped him back in 2011. Lara has certainly gained some notoriety and should capitalize on this performance with a return to the ring quickly.