HARD LOOK AT MAYWEATHER FOE VICTOR ORTIZ
IS VICTOR REALLY A VICIOUS OR LIMITED FIGHTER?New York, NY- Victor Ortiz (27-2-2 22 KOs), the newly crowned WBC welterweight (147 lb.) champion is set to engage in the most meaningful bout of his career on September 17th when he faces off against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0 25 KOs). But while Ortiz has many solid attributes, he has also shown a few of his flaws. What remains unknown is how good Ortiz really is, or can be. With a resume scattered with disappointments, lackluster performances, big victories, soft touches and quality opponents, it’s hard to get a good feel for Ortiz as a fighter. Does he really have the goods or is he simply a big puncher with just enough skill to look good against certain fighters? Looking back at his past might provide some clues, but either way, we’ll find out soon enough.
GOLDEN BOY 2.0 PRODUCTION HALTED FOR REDESIGN
Ortiz’s bout against Marcos Maidana (30-2 27 KOs) was a thriller in 2009 and had fans on edge the entire way though. Ortiz blasted and dropped Maidana and received reciprocity until the bout abruptly ended at the request of a dejected Ortiz nearing the end of the fight. He quit and justified the act, stating that he was too young to take, “all of this punishment”. The fall out for Ortiz was not good. Many asked, how could a prizefighter posses such a faint amount of fortitude and quit based on a baseless threshold for punishment? He didn’t have a broken bone. There were no torn muscles or ligaments. So, what was he thinking? Promoter, Oscar De La Hoya had suddenly been tasked with rebounding the career of a rising star that suffered what was essentially a mental breakdown.
COMEBACK TRAIL DIDN’T SHOW A LOT OF GREATNESS
Following his loss to Maidana, Ortiz fought twice against some spoon fed, soft competition and then looked to get back into the spotlight with some marquee names. But when he faced Nate Campbell (34-8-1 25 KOs) in 2010 he looked less aggressive than he had in previous bouts and was criticized for not taking it to the aging former lightweight (135) champion as expected. He managed to come away with the victory via decision and suddenly appeared game for more world-class opponents. In his next bout with Vivian Harris (29-6-1 19 KOs), he made quick work of the former Jr. welterweight (140) champ and stopped him in just three rounds. Harris and Campbell were both past their primes, but they gave Victor the needed confidence to move forward with his career.
DID PETERSON FIGHT REVEAL ANYTHING
Lamont Peterson (28-1-1 14 KOs) was his next match up and his opponent did well, giving Ortiz all he could handle for twelve frames despite being dropped early. It looked as though Peterson, who had only one loss prior, was a live dog despite failing to prove much in the loaded division. Peterson was able to figure out Ortiz out in the second half of the fight and had he been a bigger puncher could have won. So Ortiz didn’t give us many answers in facing Peterson except that was is entertaining a still a player in the division. But while the bout ended in a draw and didn’t help Ortiz shine, it did set the stage for him to really show out in his next bout.
WAS BERTO SIMPLY OVERDUE TO FLOP?
Despite his natural talent, Andre Berto has never been extremely impressive as a welterweight. He managed to steer clear of the abundant competition in his division. Paul Williams, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley had all been available during Berto’s reign as champion but for one reason or another, no matches materialized. Berto’s resume was more about staying undefeated than a penchant for tough challenges. This is likely the reason he took a challenge from Ortiz who had been campaigning in a division below him. In another exciting drama filled match, Ortiz and Berto both took knock downs and gave an impressive showing for boxing fans worldwide. But one can make the argument that Berto was a bit overrated and a protected fighter who simply gambled on Ortiz despite being destined to lose the second he stepped up his competition anyway.
“TIME WILL TELL” WITHMAYWEATHER FIGHT
Victor Ortiz can’t be judged by a couple of fights so only time will tell what he’s really made of. He certainly has been in with some solid and dangerous opponents who clearly failed to entirely break him down. If not for his meltdown against Maidana, and the few blemishes on his record, he really might be the next heir to Oscar De La Hoya already. But his next bout is a dangerous road to travel if he isn’t truly game to push himself to the limit. If Lamont Peterson took Ortiz deep, then Floyd Mayweather might make easy work of his younger opponent. But what he takes from the experience will truly leave a lasting impression on the rest of his career, especially if he shocks us all.