VICTOR ORTIZ and Andre Berto served up 12 rounds of hellacious action when they met in 2011 and are promising more of the same in their better-late-than-never rematch this Saturday.
Both men hit the deck three times each in 2011, with Ortiz earning victory on the scorecards unanimously.
Ortiz has only fought five times since beating Berto, three of which he lost. However the 29-year-old insists he is still able to reach the top of the welterweight pile.
“I put a total of 14 weeks of work into this fight. Nothing easy about that work. Come the 30th, I’m going to prove why I beat Berto the first time,” he said.
“I know what I’m here to do. I’ve got my fire back. People claim that I don’t have the fire, but you’ll see on April 30.
“People don’t know what I go through on the daily. When I’m injured for months at a time, I just have me and my team. We work hard.
“I’m going to be back on top in no time. That’s my opinion. I know where I belong. I’m focusing on Berto. That’s my target and that’s my focus.
“He’s done what he’s done. You have to respect that. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. We’re going toe-to-toe.”
Berto – who has also lost three times since Ortiz outpointed him – is coming off of a wide points loss to Floyd Mayweather last September.
He claims to have been toiling away with trainer Virgil Hunter, alongside Amir Khan and Andre Ward, in his bid for revenge.
“This is the type of game where if you don’t respect it, it won’t respect you. I’m in a much better place right now. I’ve learned a lot over the years since the first fight. I’m healthy and focused,” he said.
“I’m just ready to go. Camp was tremendous. We’re really ready to get in there and do it.
“There’s a lot that goes into this for me. It was my first loss and I had so many emotions back then, so it’s time to get that monkey off my back.
“My plan is to win this in a fashion so there will be no third fight. My focus is on getting the victory Saturday night. I want to look good doing it. I’m not thinking about anything after that.
“I’ve worked on a lot of different things in camp. We’re going to do whatever it takes to get the win. You all haven’t ever seen me look like this. I’ve pretty much locked myself in a cage for eight or nine weeks. I’ve put everything aside. I’ve just been grinding.”