Ortiz-Berto, Rodriguez-Williams & Montiel-Lara on 4/30
By Dan Ambrose: It’s finally a done deal; former WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (31-5-2 24 KOs) will be battling 32-year-old Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) on April 30th in a long awaited rematch on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox and Fox Deportes from the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The two originally fought each other five years ago in 2011, when the two of them were still in the prime of their careers. Now five years later, Ortiz and Berto are arguably over-the-hill and no longer truly relevant in the 147lb division.
At this time, Berto is ranked at #3 by the World Boxing Council, but he’s seen by many as having the potential to unseat any of the current world champions. Berto is lucky to be ranked in the top 15 at all right now, as he looked poor in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in losing by a 12 round decision last September.
Berto looked very old against Mayweather. It’s hard to imagine Berto being able to beat even a faded version of Ortiz. I think we’re going to see Ortiz take this fight, possibly by a knockout. It won’t mean that Ortiz is back. It’ll just mean that he’s good enough to beat a guy in Berto’s class. I don’t rate Berto as a true contender. I think he’s lost too much from his game from age, injuries and inactivity. It’s nice that the WBC has given Berto a high ranking with their organization, but I don’t think he rates it.
The Ortiz vs. Berto fight comes five years too late. They should have made the rematch no later than 2012, when the two of them started going downhill. By waiting until 2016 for the rematch, it likely means the ratings for the fight will be less than tremendous. It would have been better off just forgetting about the rematch altogether and having the two fighters try to claw their way to a world title shot.
Berto is in position to get a title shot with his #3 ranking with the WBC. However, Berto would likely get a title shot even if he didn’t ever make it to the #1 spot, because he’s managed by the same manager as WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia, so it means that Berto will almost surely get a crack at fighting Garcia.
Even Berto loses to Ortiz, he’ll still likely get a title shot against Garcia. Ortiz isn’t ranked by any of the four sanctioning bodies right now. For him to get a title shot, he’s going to need to beat Berto. A victory over Berto will likely give Ortiz a top 15 ranking with the WBC, and a title shot against Danny Garcia will likely follow soon after.
The undercard of the Ortiz-Berto fight has some decent fighters. Former super middleweight world title challenger Edwin Rodriguez (28-1, 19 KOs) tangles with the still developing Thomas Williams Jr. (19-1, 13 KOs) in a 10 round bout. Should be interesting unless Williams puts in another bad performance like the one he had against veteran Gabriel Campillo two years ago in his 5th round stoppage loss in 2014.
Williams has won his last two fights since then in beating Michael Gbenga and Umberto Savigne. It’s still going to be a tough fight for Williams Jr. to try and beat a guy as good as Edwin Rodriguez.
The 30-year-old Rodriguez was beaten easily by Andre Ward by a 12 round unanimous decision three years ago in November 2013 Rodriguez has moved up to light heavyweight and won his last four fights since that defeat. Rodriguez has looked good, but he also hasn’t faced anyone you can call a good fighter. Rodriguez will probably have too much for Williams Jr. to deal with, and I expect to see him score a knockout.
Also on the card is 37-year-old Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOIs) looking to bounce back from his defeat against IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby last year in October. Montiel will be fighting Jorge Lara (27-0-2, 19 KOs). It should be a good fight. Montiel, 5’4”, doesn’t look like he belongs in the featherweight division.
Montiel started his career out at flyweight, and his best weights were at flyweight and super flyweight. He doesn’t have the same power at featherweight that he did at flyweight and super flyweight. He would be better off moving back down in weight if he could cut the weight. At 37, Montiel appears to be stuck at featherweight. The money is probably a lot better than it was for him when he was fighting at flyweight, but he’s not finding the same success.
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