In an interview with Chris Robinson of the Examiner, welterweight contender and former titleholder Victor Ortiz says he feels he's being underestimated once again, and that he's prepared to prove his critics wrong once again, just as he did in April 2011 when he faced Andre Berto for the first time:
"I just keep pushing forward and keep pushing a little harder than the day before. As far as being ready, that’s not even a question in my mind. As far as getting past Berto, that’s definitely not a question I got to worry about."
Asked what realizations he has discovered about himself after the rollercoaster ride he’s been on, Ortiz points to a lack of respect from fans and the media,
"I’ve learned that I’ve been counted out for too long, by everyone," he continued. "Once again, I’m an underdog once again. I don’t mind it one bit. It’s the story of my life. As far as that goes, I’m ready."
I actually thought it seemed odd that Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO) would consider himself the underdog again, and figured it was more of his usual self-help chatterbox stuff, but no, he's right: On the one line I've seen for the fight, Ortiz is a +145 underdog, with Berto the -175 favorite.
If you ask me those are some nice early odds on "Vicious" Victor. He beat Berto once and I don't think either of them has really changed in the ring since then. Sure, Ortiz had his meltdown against Floyd Mayweather Jr, but Andre Berto is not Mayweather. Against Berto, Ortiz has a mirror action fighter who does more fighting than thinking. It's a great matchup for him.
Berto (28-1, 21 KO) is coming off of a fifth round cuts stoppage win over Jan Zaveck, a fight where he was definitely tested by a guy most expected him to bowl over on pure talent. Zaveck was determined and fought toe-to-toe, and pressed Berto. That's both a credit to Zaveck being better than some thought, and a reflection of the fact that Andre Berto basically can't help himself from getting into a slugfest if the other guy can force him into that sort of pace.
Honestly, I think this is about as close to an even money fight as you get on this level, but right now I'm tipping my hat toward Ortiz just a little bit. When both are at their best, which I expect, I just think Ortiz is a bit better a fighter, and maybe that little bit better at recovering from punishment quickly, which is a big deal when two guys swing like these two guys swing.
Who are you favoring right now?