In an abbreviated rematch of one of 2011's best fights, Andre Berto survived a second-round knockdown to stop Victor Ortiz in the fourth round of their welterweight rematch Saturday at the StubHub Center. It was sweet revenge for Berto, whose career had gone into a tailspin following his decision loss to Ortiz in their first bout.
There was little action in the opening round, except for an accidental clash of heads that opened a cut above Ortiz's hairline, but in the second round, southpaw Ortiz (31-6-1, 24 KOs) floored Berto (32-4, 24 KOs) with a straight left to the head.
"He knocked me down but didn't hurt me," Berto said. "I knew it was time to play catchup."
Berto looked unsteady in the uneventful third, but he regrouped and connected with a beautiful right uppercut in the fourth that sent Ortiz crashing to the canvas. Badly hurt, Ortiz struggled to his feet, only to be quickly toppled again by Berto's follow-up barrage.
Ortiz barely beat referee Jack Reiss' second count, and when asked if he wanted to continue, the dazed Ortiz didn't answer. Reiss immediately called a halt at 1:14 of the round.
"This was the most satisfying win of my career," Berto said.
The victory was Berto's first outing since he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather on Sept. 12, 2015, in Mayweather's farewell fight. The win over Ortiz advanced Berto's record to 31-4 (24 KOs) and rejuvenated his sagging career.
"He hit me with a punch I didn't see coming," said Ortiz, who has lost four of his past six fights. Nonetheless, the fighter from Ventura, California, indicated that he would be back after a vacation.
• The StubHub Center lived up to its reputation as an epicenter for action-packed fights. In the chief supporting bout, Thomas Williams Jr. of Laurel, Maryland, stopped Edwin Rodriguez of Worcester, Massachusetts, at the 2:59 mark of the second round of a free-swinging light heavyweight brawl.
Rodriguez (28-2, 19 KOs) pinned Williams on the ropes early in the second and hammered him with right hands, but Williams rallied to floor Rodriguez with a stunning right-left combination. Referee Wayne Hedgpeth called a halt without a count.
The victory earned Williams (20-1, 14 KOs) a shot at WBC light heavyweight titleholder Adonis Stevenson.
• In another bout, undefeated Mexican featherweight slugger Jorge Lara (28-0) jumped on three-division former champ Fernando Montiel in the first round and knocked him down four times before referee Ray Corona stopped the fight at the 1:37 mark.
The devastating loss will likely end the 37-year-old Montiel's career, which began in 1996 and saw him win titles at flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight for an overall record of 54-6-2 (32 KOs).