ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Six weeks after Andre Berto lost a decision and his welterweight belt to Victor Ortiz in their four-knockdown (two apiece) slugfest in April, Berto lashed out at him on Twitter.
In a series of remarks, Berto accused Ortiz of using performance-enhancing drugs to help him in his victory.
"Let me clear the air now!! You're right there is a reason why Ortiz had so much energy, a reason he could take my heavy shots and keep ticking," Berto wrote.
In another post, he wrote, "There is a reason why he came into the ring 165 pounds. I know people close to him and his camp and I know exactly what he was taking. It wasn't Flintstone vitamins!! But it is what it is. I should of beat him anyways, but it wasn't me that night. Ortiz wasn't him either."
Berto (28-1, 22 KOs), of course, had no proof and Ortiz has never been linked to any illegal substances, so it came off as simply a case of sour grapes -- even though these kinds of accusations can damage a reputation. Berto later tried to apologize via Twitter by saying he was only joking, but it sure didn't come off that way.
As they get ready for their much-anticipated rematch Feb. 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in Showtime's first major fight of 2012, there should be no cries of foul play. Both fighters will subject themselves to random blood and urine testing throughout their training camps. It will be administered by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, which focuses primarily on testing in boxing and mixed martial arts.
Berto asked for the testing provision in the contract, and Ortiz said he accepted without hesitation.
"We've just got to make sure everything is a level field of play," Berto said during a roundtable discussion with boxing writers before Saturday's Andre Ward-Carl Froch Super Six World Boxing Classic final. "I'm gonna work hard and he's gonna work hard. And we're going to just make sure everything is the same level field."
Berto has the support of his promoter, Lou DiBella, who has long been an advocate of more rigorous random testing.
"It will be testing of blood and urine," DiBella said. "I feel we need it across the board. I think that it should happen, period."
Ortiz went through random testing at the insistence of Floyd Mayweather Jr. before their Sept. 17 fight, so he said it's no big deal to do it again.
"Getting blamed for usage of illegal enhancement drugs, that was uncalled for because I don't do that kind of stuff," Ortiz said a half-hour after Berto's media session ended. "Definitely, I'm all for [testing]. No problem. We have nothing to hide. It's good."
Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) said his experience leading up to the Mayweather fight was fine.
"It was just another day. They take your blood. You use the bathroom quite a bit," Ortiz said.
Then he made light of the situation.
"The only different thing is that there are people looking at you when you use the bathroom. I had to get used to it. It was kind of like, I'm trying to concentrate and [the sample collector] is looking at me.
"I'd be talking to him," said a laughing Ortiz, "saying, 'How's it going?'"