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Berto vacates IBF welterweight belt to go after Ortiz rematch

Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz boxing photoBy Dan Ambrose: Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) has reportedly opted to vacate his International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title says Dan Rafael on his twitter account. Berto, 28, is vacating the title in order to go after a rematch against former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz, who defeated Berto by a 12 round decision last April.

Berto really wants that fight badly and had he kept the IBF strap, he would have been faced with a couple of tough fights against Randall Bailey, his mandatory challenger, and the winner of the Sebastian Lujan vs. Mike Jones fight. Berto would have been hard pressed to beat either Jones or Bailey, and at least this way by giving up the IBF strap without a fight, Berto can get a bigger payday against Ortiz. The Ortiz fight is the much bigger bout for Berto than if he were to face Bailey and Jones.

In his last fight, Berto defeated Jan Zaveck by a 5th round stoppage last September to capture the IBF belt. Berto had supposedly been working on his stamina to avoid running out of gas lke he had in his loss to Ortiz. However, Berto appeared to have shot his load by the 3rd and looked tired in the 4th and 5th rounds. It was good thing that Zaveck’s right eye closed in the 5th because had the fight continued into the second half of the bout, Berto may have lost another decision. As far as I can tell, Berto appeared to be the exact same fighter that lost to Ortiz.

Although Berto is making the right choice by fighting Ortiz in terms of getting the bigger payday than he would in fights against Bailey or Jones, it’s still going to be awfully tough for Berto to beat Ortiz. Berto doesn’t have the same kind of engine that Ortiz has, and he’s not going to be able to count on Ortiz dropping his guard like he did in his recent loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr after head-butting him. Ortiz is going to be on his game and there won’t be any apologizing. He’s going to be pure business and it could be tough on Berto.

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