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ANDRE BERTO BEGINS LIGHT TRAINING FOR REMATCH WITH VICTOR ORTIZ ON JUNE 23
Trainer Tony Morgan said Andre Berto already has begun light training at Goossen's Gym in Van Nuys, Calif., for his rematch of former welterweight beltholders with Victor Ortiz that will take place on Showtime on June 23.
Morgan said that Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) has "been recovering really well" over the course of his rehabilitation of a ruptured left biceps that was suffered during a sparring session on Jan. 30, forcing the postponement of his schedued Feb. 11 return bout with Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs).
"Andre's done a little bit, but nothing full-blown yet. He's been shaking out a little bit," said Morgan of Berto, who has been working with Ricky Funez at Goossen's. "He'll probably do a little more work there, and then we'll start training in Miami, Fla., probably in April."
Berto's first fight with Ortiz, last April, featured two knockdowns by each fighter before Berto lost his WBC belt by a unanimous decision.
Ortiz was subsequently dethroned after a fourth-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, the same month during which Berto rebounded by beating IBF welterweight titleholder Jan Zaveck by fifth-round knockout.
Berto gave up the IBF belt to face Ortiz in a non-title fight.
DEVON ALEXANDER WANTS WINNER OF ORTIZ-BERTO II
Still frustrated as a result of the postponement of the scheduled rematch, Ortiz's camp has indicated that it would move on in the event that Berto is not physically ready to fight on June 23.
"My position and Victor's position is that we would need to move on. I can not stall Victor's career based on waiting for Andre Berto," said Ortiz's manager, Rolando Arellano.
"There was a rematch clause, and that rematch has to happen in a certain amount of time, but I can't put this poor kid's livelihood on hold to see or not see whether or not someone else is going to get better,"
Would former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander, be a consideration in a matchup of southpaw welterweights?
"Anyone who makes a lot of good sense, and Devon Alexander would be one because we want to fight the best of the best, and our division is hot," said Arellano. "They're all great fighters, and once they start bumping each other off, that will determine who the next great pay per view guy will be."
Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) is coming off last month's one-sided, unanimous decision in his welterweight debut over Marcos Maidana, who scored a sixth-round knockout over Ortiz in June of 2009 during which Ortiz was dropped twice and Maidana, three times.
In victory, Alexander rebounded from a series of lackluster performances, having lost his WBC junior welterweight belt following an 11th-round technical decision loss to Bradley in January of last year, and escaped with a 10-round decision win over Lucas Matthysse in June.
Prior to facing Bradley, Alexander won a disputed decision over former titleholder Andriy Kotelnik in August of 2009, and blamed extreme weight loss for the efforts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse.
Alexander's trainer, Kevin Cunningham, has said that he wants the Ortiz-Berto II winner.
"I think that an Alexander-Ortiz fight would be feasible if the Ortiz-Berto fight doesn't happen. Devon would be available in late July," Cunningham said of Alexander, who suffered a cut over his right eye against Maidana. "If a fight with Victor Ortiz could be made, that would be a huge fight, and we would love to make that fight."
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Phil McCarten, Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org