On Monday in Los Angeles, the first press conference for the February 11 rematch between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz was held. Below are photos and quotes from the event.
One really important note: Showtime's Stephen Espinoza says that when they're deserving, undercard fights will air on Showtime Extreme from now on -- and by undercard fights, I mean the stuff that used to be off-TV. I think this is great and something that should have been done ages ago, and hope it catches on. Top Rank has taken to airing their off-TV undercards online, and it's nothing but a gift to the diehard fans who care to watch. Showtime would be doing the same thing next year, and I hope they consider more than a couple of undercards worth airing. - Scott
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"VICIOUS" VICTOR ORTIZ
"My team kind of said it all. I don't need to say a whole lot. I prepare very well. I know I'm up against a tough opponent. I captured the world championship and went for the best. I'll leave everything in the ring and bring home the victory once again. I don't hate anybody. I respect all of them. We're here to box and fight and make a great show on February 11th. I'm ready.
"I'm being counted out once again. Once again, not the best of the best. Once again, I'm too nice. You know what, I'll show you February 11th why Andre Berto belongs where he's at and why I've made him belong there. I don't need to say anything more than that."
"I have put in the time and worked very hard to get to where I am.
"This is a tremendous opportunity. I'm ready to get it on. I've had to improve my game. I've had a hard, tough training camp and just have to stay focused and get the job done.
"I'm hungrier than ever. I predict a win."
RICHARD SCHAEFER (CEO of Golden Boy Promotions)
"We are definitely starting out 2012 with a big bang. ‘Ortiz-Berto II' is boxing at its best and the single biggest fight that can be made outside of Mayweather-Pacquiao.
"We are all very excited. This is the first time a premium channel fight is being supported like a pay-per-view event. SHOWTIME is planning to do a Fight Camp 360.
"Their first fight may be ‘Fight of the Year' and both guys want to set the record straight. The rematch might be 2012 ‘Fight of the Year.' Both of these world champions are guaranteed to put on a great show.
"The 147-pound division is the one with all the biggest names and we have two of them fighting each other.
"We're expecting a sellout.
"I really want to thank Stephen Espinoza and SHOWTIME for stepping up the way they have. This will be an incredible night of boxing.''
STEPHEN ESPINOZA (Executive Vice President, General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports)
"I'm very excited and proud to have this as my first official press conference. I'm more excited and more proud that this is the first fight that I acquired in my position as Executive Vice President (and General Manager) of SHOWTIME Sports and Event Programming. This fight is the most compelling, most exciting, most highly anticipated fight available. That's why it was my No. 1 priority from the very first minute I accepted the position with SHOWTIME...to make sure that this fight appeared on SHOWTIME.
"Not only am I excited and proud to have this as SHOWTIME programming but all of my colleagues are excited as well. We will be receiving the support of our parent company, CBS and all of its platforms, which includes the free television network, CBS Interactive and other CBS Sports Networks. All of these plans will be developing more as time goes forward.
"When they are deserving, we'll be airing what used to be non-televised undercards on SHOWTIME EXTREME before the telecast begins on SHOWTIME. This will be an opportunistic play for our network based on multiple factors. SHO EXTREME has blossomed into one of the strongest cable television and sports programming outlets. SHO EXTREME is where we replay all our boxing and MMA events, and the rest of our award-winning sports programming such as Inside the NFL, Inside NASCAR, The Franchise.
"This is going to be an amazing fight between two of the brightest young stars in the sport and that's yet another reason why it was important for SHOWTIME to acquire this event. These are two world-class athletes and just as importantly, if not more importantly, two world-class young men, very articulate, very personable and they are exactly the type of young men that SHOWTIME wants to be in business with. I'm looking toward to February 11th. It's guaranteed to be a great.''
ROLANDO ARELLANO (Ortiz's manager)
"We at Team Ortiz will convey nothing but respect to Andre Berto. We know he is a great fighter. We know that he has the courage of a warrior with a great team. We know that he is hungry and that his thirst for revenge is present. We clearly understand all those facts. The only way we know how to respect him, our sport and the fans is to prepare for this fight like never before.
"I will pledge to our fans that Victor will raise his standards in this fight like never before. If Andre Berto thought he ran into a freight train last time, this time he will feel the (hurt) of a nuclear bomb.''
TONY MORGAN (Berto's Trainer)
"Berto was just out of it the last fight. He tried to come in light. He was completely deficient. We found out after that he was anemic, but no excuses. Victor fought his butt off. I'm not making excuses. I'm just saying Berto wasn't 100 percent. This time, we'll be 100 percent and we'll see the true outcome. I think we knock him out. I just hope for a good fight."