IN front a packed house of 7,760 and a nationally televised PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes audience, Andre Berto, (31-4, 24 KOs) turned back the clock and successfully gained his revenge over “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, 31-6-2 (24 KOs) with a stunning fourth-round knockout in a rematch of their 2011 “Fight of the Year” on Saturday night at Southern California’s legendary open-air boxing venue StubHub Center.
Ortiz found success early dropping Berto with a straight left, sending the Winter Haven, Florida-native to the canvas. Berto turned the tables in brutal fashion in the fourth, drilling Ortiz with a right uppercut which sent the southpaw from Ventura, Calif. sprawling to the mat. Upon rising, Ortiz was met with a barrage of punches which sent him down again as referee Jack Reiss waived the fight off at the 1:14 mark of the round.
Said a thrilled Berto, “I wasn’t hurt by the first knockdown. I was more mad at myself for getting caught. Once he went down it was over, I knew he was hurt and I went right after him. He couldn’t take my power.
“I feel terrific, it’s a great comeback victory. I would take on Danny Garcia sure, just tell me when and I’ll be ready.”
From a disappointed Ortiz, “I didn’t really lose control. I dropped my hand and he caught me. He is a hard puncher just like myself.
“This was a history book type of fight. He went down. I went down. Righty vs. lefty. This is boxing.
“I knew as soon as the head butt happened that it was not good because the blood started pouring. That’s not a big deal. It happens in boxing.
“I never disliked Berto. It is part of the game. He acted like he didn’t like me, but I always tried to shake his hand. I don’t hate anyone.”
In the televised co-feature, Thomas “Top Dog” Williams Jr., 20-1 (14 KOs), continued his reign of terror in the light heavyweight division with a spectacular second round (2:59) knockout of Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (28-2 19 KOs).
With both contenders throwing and landing bombs from the opening bell, Williams and Rodriguez were each rocked in the first stanza. Towards the end of the second round with the action reaching a boil, Williams unloaded with a massive left hand that sent Rodriguez sprawling to the canvas resulting in an immediate stoppage.
Said an elated Williams, “I told you what was going to happen, that he was going be open for everything and he was. I countered him and hurt him with every punch. I could see his punches like it was slow motion.
“I want the title, absolutely I want to fight Adonis Stevenson next, he’s the champ and I want his belt.”
From a dejected Rodriguez, “I thought I could have continued. I didn’t know what the referee saw, but I could have kept going.”
“I didn’t fight the fight I was supposed to. I was supposed to go in there and box, and I didn’t do it. I should have taken my time.
“He throws like crazy and I wasn’t fighting defensively. I should have stuck to my game plan and that’s my fault.”
In the televised opening, unbeaten featherweight contender Jorge Lara, (28-0-2 20 KOs), savagely stopped former world champion Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel, (54-6-2, 39 KOs) in the first round. Montiel was drilled to the canvas four times before the action was halted at the 1:37 mark.
Said Lara, “It went totally according to plan. We trained for every round, but we knew that it wouldn’t go every round. After the first knockdown, I knew it wouldn’t go past the first round.
“I want the winner of either Mares v. Cuellar or Frampton v. Santa Cruz.
“I am honored to beat a great champion like Montiel.”
From a shocked Montiel on the quick start by Lara, “It’s what I expected. He didn’t do anything that surprised me. He just caught me with a shot. But he gave me a couple shots behind the head that weren’t good.”
When asked if he was fouled, “Absolutely. Especially when I was down and he hit me in the back of the head. The referee should have called that (a foul).”
In televised heavyweight action, Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington improved to 17-0-1 (11KO’s) with an eight round unanimous decision over former world title challenger “Fast” Eddie Chambers, 42-5 (23KO’s). Scores were 80-72 twice and 79-73.
In a televised swing bout top light heavyweight prospect, David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 14-0 (13KO’s), stopped Philip Jackson, 16-3 (15KO’s) in the second round at the 2:07 mark.