REMATCH OF ONE OF 2011'S FIGHT OF THE YEAR
CANDIDATES SET AS "VICIOUS" VICTOR ORTIZ AND
ANDRE BERTO PREPARE TO FACE OFF ON FEBRUARY 11
AT THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
SHOWTIME® & CBS Join Forces with Golden Boy Promotions &
DiBella Entertainment to Promote Event
SHOWTIME to Televise Live on Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 p.m. ET/PT
(Delayed on West Coast)
LOS ANGELES (December 19, 2011) - In April 2011, Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto gave boxing fans one of the best fights of the year, with both men hitting the canvas twice before Ortiz rallied to victory and captured Berto's WBC Welterweight World Championship. On Saturday, February 11, these rugged and determined fighters will meet once again, this time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., in a highly anticipated 12-round welterweight rematch live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
"Ortiz vs. Berto II: Repeat or Revenge" is presented by Golden Boy Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and SHOWTIME. Coming off of its groundbreaking promotion during the blockbuster SHOWTIME PPV® event featuring Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley in May 2011, SHOWTIME will again receive promotional support from the network's parent company, CBS Corporation, whose assets include the CBS Television Network and local radio and television stations, among others. The Ortiz-Berto rematch marks the first time that SHOWTIME and CBS will join forces in support of a boxing event televised live on the premium network.
Both fighters have agreed to be subject to Olympic style drug testing which will be administered by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and will include random blood and urine tests.
"For me, the first Berto-Ortiz fight was the 2011 Fight of the Year and one of the most memorable fights of the last several years," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "Immediately after, like most every other boxing fan, I couldn't help but hope for a rematch. Now that I am in the position to bring this fight to the loyal SHOWTIME subscribers, and to do so with the support of our world-class colleagues at CBS, I couldn't be more proud to make this special announcement."
"I'm prepared to go to war again with Berto," said Ortiz.
Berto said, "I am looking forward to this fight. It's a fight that I want and it's a fight the people demanded. These are the types of fights that make boxing so great. I am so hyped and excited to get ready to make another classic, but bottom line...Ortiz has to GO!"
Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, said, "After the April fight between Ortiz and Berto, the first words out of everyone's mouths were, 'When are they going to do it again?' Well, I'm proud to say that February 11th is the date for the most anticipated rematch we've seen in a long time. When you put these two fighters together in the ring, there will always be fireworks. I can't wait to see them do battle a second time."
Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, said, "Berto-Ortiz I was a 'Fight of the Year' candidate and boxing fans can expect more of the same in this meaningful rematch. This fight is the perfect way to open up what is expected to be a great year of boxing in 2012."
Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50, are now on sale and are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Everyone anticipated an action-packed fight the first time that Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto stepped into the ring back on April 16 with the WBC Welterweight World Championship on the line. What ensued was nothing less than spectacular as the pair stormed out of the gate, setting a fast pace that would continue for the entire 12-round contest. Midway through the first round, Ortiz staggered Berto with a sneaky right hand, then backed him into a corner and followed up with a barrage of punches which forced the defending champion to take a knee in order to recover. Berto wasted little time returning the favor, sending Ortiz to the canvas with a counter right hand at the end of the second round. The exciting battle continued round after round, and in the sixth frame, Berto landed a right hand that dropped Ortiz. As soon as the action resumed, Berto was all over Ortiz, looking to close the show. With Ortiz trapped against the ropes and Berto throwing caution to the wind, Ortiz threw a left hook that caught Berto flush on the chin, dropping him for the second time in the fight just seconds before the bell. The back-and-forth action continued for the second half of the "Fight of the Year" candidate. In the end, Ortiz had captured the title with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory, winning by scores of 115-110, 114-111 and 114-112.
The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC Welterweight Championship. Five months later, Ortiz lost a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, but with his rematch against Berto looming, the 24-year old now has the perfect opportunity to get back to the top of the division.
A member of the 2004 Haitian Olympic team, Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs), like Ortiz, has been leading the charge of boxing's next generation, thrilling fans with exciting fights and blistering knockouts. Crowned a world champion in 2008, the 28-year-old Berto successfully defended his WBC crown five times against the likes of Luis Collazo, Steve Forbes and Juan Urango before losing it to Ortiz in April. In September, Berto put gold around his waist once again by stopping Jan Zaveck in five rounds for the IBF title. He would soon vacate the title in order to take the fight he has been clamoring for since April and now he's looking forward to evening the score with Ortiz on February 11.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?