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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Victor Ortiz Impresses in Win Over Andre Berto, Got Advice from Manny Pacquiao

Victor Ortiz beat Andre Berto by unanimous decision Saturday at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to win the WBC welterweight title. The action-packed fight featured four knockdowns — Berto went down in the first and sixth while Ortiz was dropped in the second and sixth. Though the bout was heralded on SportsCenter and by Jim Lampley on HBO as a “Fight of the Year” candidate, it was anything but that.

Ortiz was better than Berto in every aspect of the fight. Victor was relentless throughout the fight, constantly moving forward and delivering more punches than a ballot box on election day. He nearly doubled Berto’s output, throwing 696 punches compared to 480, while landing 281 to Berto’s 147. Of his 281 punches landed, 266 were classified as power punches, which is no surprise to anyone who watched the bout.

Ortiz’s motor cannot be understated. Though he took some good shots in the second and sixth and got dropped, he was the best fighter and was in attack mode the entire time. Berto’s balance seemed off from the beginning of the fight when he fell on a trip, and later when he was knocked down in the first. Berto seemed to be flat-footed, confused, and he hung his left hand low for a good amount of the fight. After the bout, he repeatedly said he “just wasn’t there” on Saturday, and that’s exactly how it looked.

After the fight Ortiz said he wanted to be considered for a shot at Manny Pacquiao. He also said he got some advice from Pacquiao prior to the fight. “I actually talked to Manny Pacquiao earlier,” Ortiz told Larry Merchant. “He said I’m more powerful than he is, I’m as quick if not quicker than he is, so just stick to my gameplan, listen to my coaches.” Ortiz thanked Pacquiao and Freddie Roach for the tips and is clearly interested in a chance to take on Manny.

If that does happen, I don’t like Ortiz’s chances. They’re both southpaws who move quickly and throw lots of punches at a rapid pace. The difference is Pacquiao just does it better, but you never know what can happen when you put two guys in the ring. After all, I thought Berto would win this fight.

AP Photo/Fred Beckham

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