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Ortiz vs Berto II: Fight Could Move to June 23 at Staples Center

Staples Center in Los Angeles could play host to Ortiz-Berto II on June 23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Staples Center in Los Angeles could play host to Ortiz-Berto II on June 23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reports that Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer is trying to finalize a new date and venue for the postponed Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto rematch, with June 23 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles the new target. The bout was originally set for February 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but was canceled when Berto suffered a bicep injury.

Schaefer says that the May 19 fight in Las Vegas between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan prompted him to try moving this rematch to Los Angeles:

Schaefer: "After we moved the Khan-Peterson fight to Vegas, we decided we still wanted a major fight in LA. LA deserves it." #boxing
Feb 23 via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

One might question whether or not Los Angeles deserves major fights, since the last two Golden Boy-promoted events in the area were utter flops at the gate.

While Hopkins vs Dawson in October was simply a fish out of water on the west coast, the fight in December between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko, with a good co-feature, was a glorious disaster, selling just 1,161 tickets (with 918 comps to make the Honda Center in Anaheim look better) for a $70,313 gate. That fight truly deserved better, but Los Angeles wasn't interested in the fight.

I'd be interested to see how Ortiz vs Berto does in LA, though -- it's not going to be a hot ticket in Vegas, and Berto has no fan base anywhere. His last fight was in Mississippi, for God's sake, against a Slovenian guy no one here had heard of (but who sold about half the tickets, it seemed, with a traveling fan faction), and the first Ortiz-Berto fight was in Connecticut. Canelo Alvarez's September fight at Staples with Alfonso Gomez did OK, but Ortiz isn't Alvarez. Does he have the local fans to bring in a crowd?

Showtime will still televise the rematch, as originally planned.

On a side note, is it just me or is the Staples Center a total wannabe boxing venue? They keep putting events there, and there's a damn statue of Oscar De La Hoya outside even though he only fought there one time, and even considering the building is relatively new, he didn't fight much in LA period in his career. It's like people want it to be a boxing venue but don't want to earn the stripes. I don't know. Like I said, I'm not against the idea of putting Ortiz-Berto there, but I also won't be surprised if it flops.

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