Ortiz vs Berto II: Showtime Buys the Fight For January 28 or February 11

Victor Ortiz is headed to Showtime for his rematch with Andre Berto. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Late last night, ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported that the rematch between welterweights Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto has indeed come together, and that the fight will take place on either January 28 or February 11.

But there's a surprise: Showtime, not HBO, will carry the fight.

Showtime bought the fight for $2.25 million, according to a source involved in the match, which was considerably more than HBO's initial offer of $1.75 million and just $100,000 more than HBO's final offer of $2.15 million, the same amount it paid for the first bout.

... "Showtime's offer was the highest in the marketplace," DiBella told ESPN.com on Thursday night. "It's good to know that they're in the game and that a fight of this quality had interest from both networks. Competition in the marketplace is a good thing. As Andre Berto's promoter, I am very grateful for the loyalty and investment HBO made in Berto over the years, and I know Andre is also."

I guess for those of us waiting to find out what new Showtime Sports leading man Stephen Espinoza would do in the chair left vacant by Ken Hershman, this is an answer.

[ Related: Espinoza Named Replacement for Hershman at Showtime ]

Landing this sort of fight may not be a game-changer for Showtime, but it does mean that there might be legitimate competition for fights of this level. While in the past HBO has bid against themselves to secure things like the career of Andre Berto or the Bradley vs Alexander fight, it appears as though common sense may be prevailing at HBO with Ross Greenburg out, and an aggressive Espinoza could "steal" some more fights like this one by picking and choosing where he wants to make a strong bid.

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