Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Holds Barred: Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz, Kristal Hart, Maidana-Morales Fight of Year Recap

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz about their fight coming up on Saturday, April 16, and recaps the surprisingly delightful and brutal battle between Marcos Maidana and Erik Morales on April 9.
Many observers expected a one-sided affair, and even a brutal beatdown, when slugger Marcos Maidana took on the aging but classical Mexican veteran Erik Morales in a junior welterweight fight on April 9 in Las Vegas. But as their battle ensued, it not only proved to be highly competitive, but riveting and dramatic as it advanced from round to round. With his right eye cut in the first round and then swollen shut, Morales managed to fight on and stay in the fight until almost the end. While Maidana, now 30-2 with 27 KOs, won a majority decision over Morales, now 51-7 with 35 KOs, this war was a genuine fight of the year candidate. We analyze the context of this fight, how it looked going in like another example of the kinds of fights which have stripped boxing of any credibility, and how it ended up becoming one of the most compelling if brutal fights of recent memory. And we compare it to the main events on the major mixed martial arts cards this past weekend.
This coming Saturday, April 16, there is yet another fight which could turn out to be a surprise to the skeptics and cynics, who are usually correct in their (and our) assessments of professional boxing. Unbeaten WBC welterweight Andre Berto (27-0. 21 KOs) will fight Victor Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KOs), who is moving up from the junior welterweight division. This fight will take place at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and be shown live in the U.S. on HBO.
While Berto is the favorite, Ortiz, who once was touted by his promoters, Golden Boy Promotions, as the next big thing, is not happy with being viewed as an opponent. His loss to Maidana and draw with Lamont Peterson have removed him from consideration as an elite fighter, and that may serve as motivation for him to attempt to make a statement in what some consider a showcase fight for Berto. But Berto is highly confident as well, which may make for another week of a surprisingly competitive and thrilling main event in the major card in boxing.
We spoke with both Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz at the kickoff news conference for this fight in New York. We also spoke with Kristal Hart, who hosts The Kristal Hart Show in New York on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, about what to expect in this fight.
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