Floyd Mayweather has been sidelined nearly 12 months and Manny Pacquiao is facing a fighter in Shane Mosley, who appears to be out of the mix to challenge for a 147-pound title. It's got to be frustrating for boxing fans, especially with so many worthy young challengers for boxing's pound-for-pound best floating around 140 and 147 pounds. More fighters stepped forward this weekend.
Amir Khan, 25, improved his standing by downing Paul McCloskey via six round technical decision. Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto also added their names to the list.
That's right, Berto (27-1) lost but made himself a very attractive fighter by first taking the Ortiz fight then standing and banging with "Vicious" Victor for 12 rounds. Ortiz (29-2-2, 20 KOs) finally delivered on the promise both Top Rank Promotions, and his current promoter Golden Boy had for him when they touted the Mexican-American as the next Oscar de La Hoya.
Ortiz put a beating on Berto, knocking him down two times and outlanding the formerly unbeaten Haitian 281-147. He also went for the kill throughout landing 266 power shots. That's been a problem in the past for Ortiz, who's taken his foot off the gas pedal in several fight. He stood in the pocket, ate some huge shots from Berto, went down twice, but never wilted.
An unusually nice kid for a boxer, Ortiz is tiring of the Marcos Maidana questions.
"Should I come down there and smack you with this green belt? I'm totally messing with you," joked Ortiz.
"That was my past, it was a learning experience. I took it for what it was worth. I went to war. People say I gave up. I didn't give up," Ortiz said. "The fight was stopped on my behalf. Life goes on and I woke up to another day, and check it out (lifting his new WBC welterweight championship belt)."
Ortiz will always hear about that loss. After this win over Berto, he was playing a new tune.
"Maidana was never in my class. I never gave him respect, especially for not giving me a rematch. 147 lbs. is where I'm king. I want to thank Andre Berto for the opportunity. He is a real champion," said Ortiz.
In the ring, Berto said he wasn't right for the fight. There were points during the match, that he looked like he hadn't trained properly for the fight. Lou DiBella, his promoter, hinted at some injury issues as well.
"He proved himself to be a great young champion and he has the heart of a lion. There is a possible break in his third metacarpal bone in his right hand and he has bruising behind his head and a possible concussion, so he's on the way to the hospital getting checked out."
Both DiBella and Golden Boy's Richard Schafer indicated they'd look at a rematch.
Since it appears Pacquiao and Mayweather will avoid each forever how about stepping in the ring with some of these guys?
1. Amir Khan
2. Marcos Maidana
3. Juan Manuel Marquez
4. Victor Ortiz
5. Andre Berto
6. Timothy Bradley
7. Devon Alexander
8. Lamont Peterson
Quotes via Fight News