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The hype has started for what should be the first major Las Vegas fight attraction of 2012. Just 10 months after a spirited slugfest, world champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and ex-titleholder Andre Berto will battle again Saturday, Feb. 11. at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The eagerly awaited 12-round fight airing live on Showtime is a rematch of a fiercely contested, multiple-knockdown affair last April that Victor won by a unanimous decision in capturing Andre’s World Boxing Council title.
Both fighters were knocked down twice in the fight. Andre dropped in the first, Victor went down a round later, and both hit the deck in a wild sixth round deemed by many as “the Round of the Year.”
At Tuesday’s press conference for “Repeat or Revenge: Ortiz vs. Berto II,” Victor said: “I prepare very well. I know I’m up against a tough opponent. I captured the world championship and went for the best. I’ll leave everything in the ring and bring home the victory once again. I don’t hate anybody. I respect all of them. We’re here to box and fight and make a great show. I’m ready.
“I’ll show you Feb. 11 why Andre Berto belongs where he’s at, and why I’ve made him belong there. We know he is a great fighter. We know he has the courage of a warrior. We know that he is hungry and his thirst for revenge. Berto thought he ran into a freight train last time; this time he will feel the (hurt) of a nuclear bomb. I don’t need to say anything more than that.”
Andre fired back: “I have put in the time and worked very hard to get to where I am. This is a tremendous opportunity. I’m ready to get it on. I’ve had to improve my game. I’ve had a hard, tough training camp and just have to stay focused and get the job done. I’m hungrier than ever. I predict a win.”
Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaeffer added: “This starts out 2012 with a big bang -- boxing at its best and the single biggest fight that can be made outside of Mayweather-Pacquiao. Both guys want to set the record straight. This rematch might be 2012 Fight of the Year.
“Both of these world champions are guaranteed to put on a great show. This is going to be an amazing fight between two of the brightest young stars in the sport.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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