The 28-year-old Berto (28-1, 22 knockouts) announced that he has vacated his IBF belt in favor of the shot at revenge against Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs), who dethroned Berto as WBC titleholder by unanimous decision in April on HBO.
Berto had rebounded from his loss to Ortiz by dethroning Jan Zaveck as IBF titleholder by fifth-round knockout in September, stopping Zaveck for the first time in his career, also on HBO.
Ortiz, meanwhile, lost that WBC crown following a fourth-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., THE RING’s No. 2-rated pound-for-pound boxer, in September on HBO Pay Per View.
Showtime purchased the Berto-Ortiz rematch for $2.25 million, according to ESPN.com, which cited a source involved in the fight. HBO’s offer was $2.15 million.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com