Victor Ortiz out-guts Andre Berto in 12-round thriller at Foxwoods
by Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 4/17/11 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
Vicious Victor Ortiz lived up to his nickname in capturing the WBC Welterweight Title from Andre Berto in the Main Event of the East-West Showdown on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. Sporting what looked like several days growth of facial hair and an air of menace seldom seen around him before, Vicious Victor came to the Connecticut woods with clearly just one thing in mind, beating Andre Berto.
After a first round assault that put Berto down in his own corner, Ortiz used relentless aggression and supreme focus to beat Berto by 12-round unanimous decision, exorcising any demons the Vicious One from Ventura, California might have been plagued with coming into the bout. After suffering a 2009 stoppage defeat at the hands of Marcos Maidana, the popular misconception about Ortiz was that if the going got tough versus Berto it would be Ortiz that failed the gut check. But boxing is perhaps the oldest form of reality television and despite the conventional wisdom, the Foxwoods crowd, and the HBO audience watching from around-the-world, were treated to the sport’s latest upset and a back-and-forth slugfest between two young tigers that leads the pack for fight-of-the-year honors.
Both fighters survived two knockdowns each in a bout that saw each fighter hurt the other only to roar back to try and even the score. Throughout the bout however, it was Ortiz’ aggression, pressuring offense and gloves held close to his chin that ended up being the perfect formula to hand the previously undefeated Andre Berto his worst night ever as a professional.
The Ortiz-Berto slugfest capped a seven bout card that thrilled the assembled. In fact the only boos heard from the crowd all night were when Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather was shown at ringside on the theater’s big screens by HBO’s cameras.
In the first bout of the night, middleweight J’Leon Love of Dearborn Heights MI, defeated J.C. Peterson of Fort Myers Florida, by second round TKO. Love improved to 6-0 with five KOs, while Peterson falls to 1-11.
Welterweight Joseph Elegele of Winter Haven Florida scored a first-round knockdown on a slashing right hand to the face of Angel Fernandez of Gary, Indiana. Other than a quick exchange in the first few seconds of the bout Elegele looked sharp and was in complete control of the fight. A heavy body shot to the mid-section of Hernandez ended things at 2:54 of round two. Elegele improved to 12-0 with 10 KOs , while Hernandez dropped to 14-10 with 11 KOs.
In the most frightening moment of the night, welterweight Thomas “The French” DuLorme stopped Harrison Cuello by second round TKO. Dulorme was all over Cuello in round one, but most of the blows were partially blocked by Cuello’s gloves and shoulders. Dulorme crashed a hard overhand right against the head of Cuello that sent him down to start the second. Moments later, another huge shot from Dulorme sent Cuello to the canvas in such a grotesque manner that ringside Dr. Michael Schwartz was up the stairs and into the ring milliseconds after the bout was waved off at 1:27 of round number two by referee Johnny Callas. A stretcher was brought to the ring immediately but it was clear that Cuello came to and was not at all willing to leave that ring except under his own power. After several tense moments and some struggling against paramedics and the ringside physician, Cuello was allowed to stand which elicited a relieved round of applause from the crowd. Cuello went down the steps to the casino floor on unsteady legs with security at his side and heads home to the Bronx at 20-16-3 with 15 KOs. Dulorme heads home to Puerto Rico, now at 11-0 with 10 KOs having left the Connecticut crowd with a taste of the punching power he brings to the welterweight class.
Unbeaten New Haven, CT, bantamweight Luis Rosa Jr. scored a fifth round TKO over Joseliz Cepeda of Newark, NJ in a heated contest featuring two unbeaten fighters. After a very cautious first round, peppered with several heated exchanges, Luis Rosa took control in round number two with an impressive two-fisted body attack. Rosa was the busier fighter throughout and in the fifth he dug a left hook under the ribs of Cepeda that put him down. Cepeda beat the count and was allowed to continue, but Rosa quickly pursued him into his own corner where Rosa stopped him at 1:12 of round five after another hard body shot. Rosa is now 6-0 with 5 KOs and Cepeda drops to 4-1.
Junior middleweight DeAndre Latimore defeated Dennis Sharpe by unanimous decision in an eight round junior middleweight contest. Latimore landed booming shots to the head of Sharpe throuighout the bout and looked as though he could end things if he put some of his punches together, landed more than one punch at a time and went to the body instead of incessant headhunting. Latimore finished strong in the eighth using both hands and slamming the head of Sharpe repeatedly, bloodying his nose with a hard uppercut. Latimore walks away with a unanimous decision win, improving 22-3 with 17 KOs, while Sharpe falls to 17-7-3 with 1 KOs.
In a female heavyweight contest Sonya Lamonakis of New York city, overcame a 62 pound weight disadvantage to Gigi Jackson, of Columbus Ohio, and won a four round unanimous decision. Lamonakis used a hard overhand right to take the steam out of the aggressive Jackson, who used her weight advantage as best she could in trying to make the bout a sloppy, physical contest. Judges Clark Sammartino and Glen Feldman both saw the fight as 39-37 for Lamonakis while judge Steve Weisfeld saw Lamonakis win by a score of 40-36. The four-time NY Golden Glove Champ, Lamonakis improved to 5-0 with 1 knockout while Jackson dropped to 2-2.
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com