Ortiz vs. Berto II opening presser photos, quotes & notes

Credit: Carlos Delago - Hoganphotos / GBP

At long last, the rematch of 2011’s Fight of the Year between former World Champions “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto originally scheduled for February 11 in Las Vegas, but postponed when Berto sustained an arm injury on January 30, has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 23 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, this time for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship.

In the co-main event, scheduled for 12 rounds in the super lightweight division, former Three Division World Champion Humberto Soto squares off against Argentine knockout artist Lucas Matthysse. The doubleheader will be telecast live on SHOWTIME.

Ortiz-Berto II Pictures from L.A. Press Conference

As agreed to when the fight was scheduled for February, both fighters will be subject to Olympic style drug testing which will be administered by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and will include random blood and urine tests.

“I will not underestimate Andre Berto because of his injury,” said Ortiz. “I hope and expect a new and improved Andre Berto. I am training for the greatest Andre Berto ever. I want to give the fans the best fight because that’s what they expect from both of us. I am going to be World Champ again, there is no doubt about that. There is only one option for me…victory!”

“The arm is feeling great and I’m ready to get in there and handle some unfinished business on June 23,” said Berto. “This is guaranteed to be an explosive fight that you don’t want to miss. Los Angeles has become a second home to me, so I’m excited to perform for all the fans at STAPLES Center this summer.”

“It’s been a long wait since February, but I’m glad that we’re finally going to see this rematch between two of boxing’s top young stars,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Ortiz and Berto went to war the first time and I’m expecting the same scenario to play out this time. These boxers only know one way to fight and that’s moving forward, which means we’re in for another great battle.”

Ortiz vs. Berto II Presser Quotes

VICTOR ORTIZ

“I’m counted out 100 percent of the time, but that’s my comfort zone.

“He’s a great fighter, but I’m here to win.  It doesn’t matter that this is in my backyard.  As long as there is a ring and gloves, I’m comfortable.

“I always fight with my back against the wall.  I like being counted out.  It makes me hungry.

“I told him I’m going to beat you again and he told me I got lucky.  He tried to bring Floyd in, but I told him to keep this between me and him.  Floyd doesn’t have anything to do with us.  I beat him (Berto) last time and I’ll beat him again.

“The slugfests keep boxing alive.  It keeps fans coming back and I expect another one in June.

“I didn’t want to wait, but the postponement gave me time to prepare a little bit more.”

ANDRE BERTO

“I didn’t have to take this fight.  I vacated the title to make this happen again.

“This fight is for the fans.  The last one was tremendous and this one is going to be even better.

“We’re doing it in Kobe’s (Bryant) house, so come out for a great fight.  I know all the stars will come out for it

“I was disappointed with the injury.  It was unfortunate, but I’m glad we made the fight happen.  Now I’m back to avenge that loss.

“I just need to be smarter and there are a few things I’ll do differently this time.

“I came back from the Ortiz fight hungry, got a world title and gave it up to beat Ortiz.  This is the most important fight of my career.

“I feel a lot better.  We’re healed and ready to roll.”

HUMBERTO SOTO

“I’m happy to be fighting in Los Angeles.  It feels like I’m fighting at home.  I expect a very difficult fight.  I want to fight like a true Mexican warrior.

“I’m hoping it can be for a world title.  I’m going to be in top shape and ready for a war.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions:

“We expect a sellout on June 23.  The first fight was a tremendous success and we expect the same for the rematch.  The last one was the “Fight of the Year” and I don’t think this one will be any different.  It will be an explosive fight once again.  Will it be repeat or revenge?

“The co-main event will also be great.  It has all the ingredients to be a classic.  The co-main event could be a main event anywhere.

“We’re also excited that SHOWTIME will also showcase the fighters in FIGHT CAMP 360 with three episodes leading up to the fight.”

RON RIZZO, VP of Operations of DiBella Entertainment

“These guys belong in a venue like this and it’s going to be an amazing event.

“Andre is one of the most dedicated guys I’ve seen in any sport.  He’s looking to correct a wrong from last April and I believe he’s going to do it.”

Ortiz vs. Berto II Fight Notes

“Berto-Ortiz I was a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate and boxing fans can expect more of the same in this fight,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.  “It was unfortunate that Andre suffered the injury and the rematch had to be postponed, but we are happy that we were able to reschedule this much anticipated fight and are looking forward to another great night on June 23.”

Everyone anticipated an action-packed fight the first time that Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto stepped into the ring back on April 16, 2011 with the WBC Welterweight World Championship on the line.

What ensued was nothing less than spectacular as the pair stormed out of the gate, setting a fast pace that would continue for the entire 12-round contest.  Midway through the first round, Ortiz staggered Berto with a sneaky right hand, then backed him into a corner and followed up with a barrage of punches which forced the defending champion to take a knee in order to recover.  Berto wasted little time returning the favor, sending Ortiz to the canvas with a counter right hand at the end of the second round.

The exciting battle continued round after round, and in the sixth frame, Berto landed a right hand that dropped Ortiz.  As soon as the action resumed, Berto was all over Ortiz, looking to close the show.  With Ortiz trapped against the ropes and Berto throwing caution to the wind, Ortiz threw a left hook that caught Berto flush on the chin, dropping him for the second time in the fight just seconds before the bell.

The back-and-forth action continued for the second half of the “Fight of the Year” candidate. In the end, Ortiz had captured the title with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory, winning by scores of 115-110, 114-111 and 114-112.

The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC Welterweight Championship.

Five months later, Ortiz lost a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, but with his rematch against Berto looming, the 25-year old now has the perfect opportunity to get back to the top of the division.

A member of the 2004 Haitian Olympic team, Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KO’s), like Ortiz, has been leading the charge of boxing’s next generation, thrilling fans with exciting fights and blistering knockouts. Crowned a world champion in 2008, the 28-year-old Berto successfully defended his WBC crown five times against the likes of Luis Collazo, Steve Forbes and Juan Urango before losing it to Ortiz in April.

In September, Berto put gold around his waist once again by stopping Jan Zaveck in five rounds for the IBF title. He would soon vacate the title in order to take the fight he has been clamoring for since April and now he’s looking forward to evening the score with Ortiz on June 23.

A lanky boxer-puncher with frightening accuracy and a busy attack in the ring, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico native Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (58-7-2, 34 KO’s) has been a World Champion at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, making eight total defenses of his crowns against the likes of Oscar Leon, Francisco Lorenzo and Urbano Antillon.

Unbeaten since 2008, Soto went 4-0 in 2011, defeating Fidel Munoz, Motoki Sasaki, Jose Alfaro and Adailton De Jesus, firmly establishing himself in his new division at 140 pounds with the 31-year-old being ranked number two in the world by the WBC and number three by the WBA. In his most recent bout on April 7, Soto decisioned Claudinei Lacerda and now looks to stay busy by facing another competitor in the always-tough Matthysse.

Currently ranked fifth in the world by the WBC, sixth by the WBO and seventh by the WBA, Trelew, Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KO’s) is a ferocious puncher with concussive knockout power in both hands, instantly making him a fan favorite wherever he steps between the ropes.

Despite having scored knockouts in his last six victories, fans may best remember the 29-year-old for his 2010 and 2011 bouts with former World Champions Zab “Super” Judah and Devon Alexander “The Great”, respectively.

In both bouts, the aggressive Matthysse dropped and hurt his foes, only to lose controversial split decisions that the boxing community met with outrage. Undeterred, Matthysse has kept his eyes on the prize, promising to never leave matters in the judges’ hands ever again.

“Ortiz vs. Berto II: The Rematch,” is the highly anticipated 12-round welterweight rematch of USA Today and Ring Magazine’s 2011 Fight of the Year between former World Champions “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship which will take place Saturday, June 23 at at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The double-header will be telecast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing.

Tickets, priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50, are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com and www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available at STAPLES Center box office beginning Tuesday, April 17.

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