Lem Satterfield

HBO mulls doubleheader featuring Ortiz-Berto II, Alexander-Malignaggi


HBO has shown interest in a rematch between former southpaw WBC welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz and IBF counterpart Andre Berto, ranked Nos. 3 and 4 in their division by THE RING, as well as an accompanying welterweight matchup featuring former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander and former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi.

The work-in-progress was confirmed by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who said the bouts would be televised from a site to be determined, potentially on Jan. 28.

The 28-year-old Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) dethroned Jan Zaveck (31-2, 18 KOs) as IBF welterweight titleholder by fifth-round knockout in September, stopping Zaveck for the first time in his career.

The victory helped Berto rebound from losing his WBC belt to Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in April, a unanimous decision during which the winner was dropped in the second and sixth rounds, and Berto was floored in the first and sixth. 

Ortiz didn’t hold on to the belt for long, though, losing it to Floyd Mayweathr Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) by fourth round knockout on Sept. 17.

Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Garcia, confirmed on Friday that he had been informed on Thursday by Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arrelano, that a rematch with Berto was being pursued.

“Nothing is done yet, but that’s what we’re working on and that’s what is being discussed,” said Schaefer. “We are having conversations about putting this double-header together.”

The 24-year-old Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) has climbed into the welterweight division and acquired the WBC’s No. 1 spot in the wake of the loss by Ortiz to Mayweather.

Alexander lost his WBC junior welterweight title following an 11th-round technical decision loss to Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) in January, but bounced back with a 10-round decision win over hard-hitting RING No. 5-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs) in June.

 Alexander still is ranked No. 4 as a junior welterweight by THE RING, having yet to fight in the welterweight division.

Since losing by 11th-round knockout to WBA/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) in May of last year, Maliignaggi (30-4, 6 KOs) has won three straight welterweight bouts, one of them by knockout.

Malignaggi, who turns 31 on Nov. 23, is coming off a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision on Oct. 1 over Orlando Lora (28-2-1, 19 KOs).


Photo copyright Fightwireimages.com

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com


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