Looks like Berto-Bailey is close to a go

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
4:59
PM ET
Andre Berto strolled in the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night and the place started buzzing. I thought Mike Tyson had come into the building. But no, it was the welterweight titlist from Florida. He was in the city trying to hash out plans for his next bout.

Berto would like another crack at Victor Ortiz. He wants that monkey off his back, and many around him thought Ortiz fought over his head when the two clashed back in April. Ortiz won a UD12 on that night, and Berto is wanting to exact revenge. Problem is, Ortiz is having a swell time enjoying his time off post-Mayweather bout. He made a sweet payday and for a guy who at times is sort of iffy on whether he likes the sport -- and the media spotlight from cynics like me that comes with the territory -- and well, let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't glove up for a year. That's just a guess, though..

So, IBF champ Berto (age 28; 28-1) is left with a mandatory defense against mad bomber Randall Bailey. Me, I think that's a slugfest waiting to happen, a fan-friendly tangle that wouldn't go past four, either way. But the fight needs a TV home, and Bailey (42-7 with 36 KOs, has been stopped three times) isn't in the "it crowd."

Suits, buy the fight, put it on, blame me if it sucks. Hey, could it suck worse than the Omar Narvaez disaster last weekend? Not in a trillion years. I'm still waiting for an enterprising attorney to set up a class-action suit, to force the Argentine to pony up his purse to pay off consumers who bought a ticket expecting him to truly try and win against Nonito Donaire.

New York might get another card of note, if Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin comes off for St. Paddy's day in NYC. The Brit Macklin (28-3) is rated No. 4 by both the WBA and WBO, and comes off a disputed loss (SD) to Felix Sturm in June. Martinez would prefer to test coddled Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but Team Martinez think Junior doesn't want any part of that tangle. he will be scouting JCCJr when the son of the legend fights hefty underdog Peter Manfredo on Nov. 19 in Texas.

Berto, Martinez and Macklin are all promoted by NY's Lou DiBella.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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