Ortiz upsets Berto for title in unanimous decision
Victor Ortiz got some advice from Manny Pacquiao before his title fight against unbeaten Andre Berto.
''Manny told me to stick to my game plan,'' Ortiz said.
Ortiz listened to boxing's biggest star and the result was three knockdowns in an upset victory over Berto in a World Boxing Council welterweight title fight Saturday night.
Ortiz (29-2-2) won a unanimous decision despite having a point taken away for hitting behind the head. The three judges scored it 114-112, 114-111 and 115-110.
''That wasn't me in there tonight,'' Berto said, adding that he hurt his right thumb in the second round at the MGM Grand at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Berto had made five successful title defenses since he took the WBC welterweight crown in June 2008, when he knocked out Miguel Rodriguez in the seventh round.
Berto (27-1) was nearly knocked out in the first round against Ortiz, who came out firing combinations from the bell, stunning the champion with a right hand followed by a left hook that put him on the canvas.
With Berto clearly dazed, Ortiz tried to finish his rival off. He produced another knockdown, but Berto made it out of the round.
''I noticed he was vulnerable on the inside,'' Ortiz said. ''Part of my game plan was to smother his shots and overwhelm him.''
Ortiz appeared to be in command in Round 2, when out of nowhere, Berto connected with a short right hand that sent Ortiz backpedaling. He didn't go down, but took a brief count from referee Michael Ortega.
The brisk pace continued in Round 3 with Ortiz continuing to apply the pressure. The 24-year-old Ortiz continued to stalk Berto in Round 4. Berto kept waving at his opponent to keep coming forward, and Ortiz was happy to oblige.
''I wasn't surprised the way he tore into me,'' Berto said. ''I knew he would come out the way he did.''
The 27-year-old Berto turned it around in the sixth round and knocked Ortiz down with a right hand. But just seconds before the round ended, Ortiz flattened Berto with a left hook. Berto got up with no trouble just before the bell sounded.
''That was a beauty of a right hand he hit me with and it was a heck of a round,'' Ortiz said. ''I'd vote it the round of the year.''
After three uneventful rounds, Berto landed a good right to begin Round 10. Ortiz, who had been warned earlier about hitting in the back of the head, had a point taken away by Ortega. That seemed to motivate him, and he finished the round with a solid combination.
The crowd gave both fighters a standing ovation when the bout ended.
''I would rather have won than just be in an exciting fight,'' a dejected Berto said.
Ortiz now has a six-fight winning streak. He hasn't lost since June 2009, when he was knocked out in the sixth round by Marcus Maidana.
''I think this is where I'm going to stay now at 147 pounds,'' Ortiz said. ''I'm the king here. ''I'm the king of the welterweights.''