On his toughness and his chin:
“I just think that with this victory, it’s just time to give me some just due in terms of my physicality and my punching power and in terms of my toughness. I’m not just a slick fighter who is just slippery in terms of picking and poking to a victory. We earned this victory tonight, just like we earned every victory in this tournament.
“I think that I should get more credit in the categories that keep coming up in terms of toughness and in terms of my chin. We fought some of the biggest punchers in the division throughout the last two and a half years, and I’ve given as much as I’ve taken.
“So, overall, the victory was a solid victory and we should get some credit in those areas that keep coming up. We’ve been proving ourselves time and time again.”
On the notion that he could be named Fighter of The Year:
“I heard some rumblings about that before the fight. Obviously, that’s not something that I can focus on before this fight. But if that comes true, that’s unbelievable. That’s unbelievable.
“You know, I didn’t set out to do that when the year starts. You just put your head into it and you put in the work. If we can get that award on top of everything else that we’ve won tonight, then that would just be an unbelievable year.”
VICTOR ORTIZ-ANDRE BERTO TO UNDERGO OLYMPIC-STYLE RANDOM DRUG TESTING
Prior to his past two victories over RING No. 10-rated welterweight Shane Mosley and RING No. 3-rated Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in May of last year and in September, No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) mandated that his opponents undergo Olympic-style random drug testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Mayweather scored a unanimous-decision victory over Mosley, and a fourth-round stoppage that dethroned Ortiz as WBC beltholder.
On Saturday, during a round table at Caesar’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., with reporters touting their Showtime-televised rematch with Ortiz on Feb. 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, RING No. 4-rated Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) and his promoter, Lou DiBella, announced that Berto and Ortiz are attempting to undergo random drug testing under the same protocols as USADA, although theirs will be implemented by a different group organization.
“There’s an initiative being done by [former Nevada State Athletic Commission ringside physicians] Margaret Goodman and Flip Homansky and some others that made this more affordable and done in the same exact way, so we’re exploring that,” said DiBella.
“And assuming that it’s what we believe that it is, we’ll being doing it with that group because it’s affordable, and it also makes a statement to future meaningful fights that it’s now affordable and can be done in a cost-effective manner and there’s really no economic impediment to doing it.”
The 28-year-old Berto dethroned Jan Zaveck as IBF welterweight titleholder by fifth-round knockout in September, stopping Zaveck for the first time in Zaveck’s career.
The victory helped Berto to rebound from losing his WBC belt to the 24-year-old Ortiz 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.
Against Ortiz, Berto complained of a lack of stamina, and was hospitalized with dehydration afterward. Berto credited a new relationship with controversial BALCO founder, Victor Conte, for re-energizing his workouts in prepraration for Zaveck. After examining Berto’s blood samples, Conte found that the fighter to be overtrained and severely anemic.
The presence of Conte, however, aroused suspicion in the camp of Ortiz, whose manager, Rolando Arellano, told RingTV.com tha he will “demand Olympic-style drug testing” before a deal is reached.
Now, it appears that Arellano’s wishes will be realized, as will those of the Berto camp.
“It would be the same protocol as USADA, with complete medical professionals handling it. We’re working on those details now, and there were no issues with it. We wanted it, Ortiz had no problem with it, [Ortiz's promoter] Golden Boy had no problem with it, and so it’s not an issue,” said DiBella.
“It’s very expensive if you do it with USADA, but it’s a fraction of that if we do it through this initiative that Margaret and Flip are proposing. We haven’t done a deal yet as to which officials will actually do the testing, but the testing will be Olympic style. It will be USADA testing. It will be testing of blood and urine. I feel that we need it across the board. I think that it should happen, period.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Phil McCarten, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org