Andre Berto is looking for revenge this Saturday night when he faces Victor Ortiz in a rematch five years following their epic first fight, saying that he didn't prepare properly for the first fight, and that even though he tried to forget about it, Ortiz didn't let him.
"I was subpar that night [against Ortiz], and he got the win," says Berto, who is entering his fifth fight under the tutelage of former Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter. "I've tried to forget about Ortiz, but if other people don't bring him up, he's talking about me.
"I'm in the gym 30 minutes early fine-tuning everything, feeling like I'm 22 again. I'm explosive, fast and strong. This fight will not go the distance."
Berto (30-4, 23 KO) has gone 3-3 since his loss to Ortiz, undergoing shoulder surgery following a 2013 loss to Jesus Soto Karass. Last year, he beat Josesito Lopez -- who beat Ortiz in 2012 -- and lost to Floyd Mayweather -- who beat Ortiz in 2011, the fight after Ortiz beat Berto.
Now 32, Berto said the loss to Ortiz and Victor's follow-up fight with Mayweather definitely bothered him:
"[T]here was talk of me fighting Floyd. I wanted it known that I should be next to face Floyd, but I didn't train like I was supposed to for Ortiz, and I paid for it. ... Ortiz got the fight with Floyd after he beat me and went on to other things. It was discouraging. I moved forward, but he got stopped a few times. Fans would see me and say, ‘You need to get that one back and finish this kid.' That always played in the back of my mind."
Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KO) is 2-3 since his win over Berto, missing significant time with a broken jaw suffered in 2012 and then hand/wrist surgery after a fight to end 2014. He last fought in December, beating Gilberto Sanchez Leon.