Michael Rosenthal

Berto becomes latest to question Ortiz’s heart

Andre Berto joined the legions who have questioned Victor Ortiz’s courage when he took a shot at his April 16 opponent at a news conference Wednesday in New York that kicked off the promotion.

The fight, part of a split-attraction with the Amir Khan-Paul McCloskey fight on April 16 in the UK, will take place in Mashantucket, Conn.

“Victor Ortiz is a young exciting fighter who is stepping up the plate,” Ortiz said. “He is young and he has speed, but people who have seen me grow in front of the HBO cameras have seen the way I handle adversity. People saw the way Victor Ortiz handled adversity the first time he tasted it.”

Of course, the WBC welterweight titleholder was referring to Ortiz’s brutal fight against Marcos Maidana in June 2009 in which Ortiz decided to stop fighting in the sixth round and then questioned his own commitment to the sport.

Ortiz is 4-0-1 since the Maidana fight but no one will let him forget it. And he seems to be fed up.

“Andre Berto is no chump,” he said. “But now I’m hungry. I’m tired of people saying that I have no heart or no balls. At the end of the day, I’m not scared of getting in the ring or challenging anyone. On April 16 I’m taking the title home.”

We’ll see.

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