LEDYARD, Conn. – Victor Ortiz rode three knockdowns to a stunning upset victory over previously unbeaten Andre Berto in a World Boxing Council welterweight title fight in the MGM Grand at the Foxwoods Resort Casino 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.
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.
On Saturday night, Berto (27-1) was nearly knocked out in Round 1. Ortiz came out firing combinations from the bell, stunning Berto with a right hand followed by a left hook that put the champion 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.
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. Ortiz continued to stalk Berto in Round 4. Berto kept waving at his opponent to keep coming forward, and Ortiz was happy to oblige.
Berto, 27, came alive in Round 6 and was pummeling Ortiz.
He 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 to end the round.
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.
Ortiz clearly had the better of it in Round 11.
Ortiz, 24, now has a six-fight winning streak. He hasn't lost since June of 2009, when he was knocked out in the sixth round by Marcus Maidana.