Mayweather vs. Ortiz looms

By Francis Walker
Updated: September 13, 2011

NEW YORK, NY—(BASN)The fight that everyone is talking about is just days away. Former undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather returns to the ring since his scintillating decision win over Sugar Shane Mosley 15 months ago. Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) challenges Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) for the WBC welterweight title on Saturday, September 17, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

“Star Power: Mayweather vs. Ortiz” will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 PM/ET. Also on the card, unbeaten WBC super welterweight champion Saul Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KOs) defends against Alfonso Gomez (23-4-1, 12 KOs) in the headline attraction at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) challenges Pablo Cesar Cano (22-0, 17 KOs) for the vacant WBC junior welterweight championship.

While a lot of people are picking Mayweather to beat Ortiz, it has been a long time since “Money May” has been in an intriguing fight. Let’s face it Mosley had no chance at defeating Floyd. Ricky Hatton, huge ticket-seller, was never considered an elite boxing prodigy. Juan Manuel Marquez was two weight divisions above his natural fighting weight of 135. Oscar De La Hoya, though still good at the time, wasn’t in Mayweather’s league.

“These fighters go into survival mode,” Mayweather said during a recent conference call. “Once they’re down on the scorecard or once they feel they have no chance of winning, they go into survival mode. Mosley did the same thing. Marquez did the same thing. These guys go into survival mode. Hatton was a little different. Hatton came to fight, and so, I get knock-outs if a guy comes to fight and put it all on the line, but once you get to the pinnacle, you get to Floyd Mayweather-you get to elite level, the guys-they go into survival mode.”

If Mayweather above everyone else, why are so many people interested in Ortiz’ opportunity to fight him? Ortiz is much younger, hungrier, and knows how to make his opponents fight an undisciplined fight. Ortiz is an aggressive southpaw – something Mayweather hasn’t seen too much of in recent years. Ortiz doesn’t throw a lot of jabs and he fights with ferocious fury. Just ask Andre Berto how much fire Oritz fights with. It was Berto who Ortiz went to war with to emerge victorious as the WBC 147-pound champion in April.

“Everything will be discovered and told September 17th, when a man’s career ends and a new man’s begins,” Ortiz said. “Let me clarify for you. Victor Ortiz will begin his throne, his reign and his throne, and I’m going to bring a cane for a good friend. Make sure his back ain’t hurting too much or something.”

Ortiz will be making the first defense of his title against Mayweather in what is the biggest fight of his professional career. Ortiz will have youth on his side as the 24 year-old from Ventura, CA, is nearly10 years Floyd’s junior.

Ortiz strongly believes that he will be far different than anyone Floyd has ever faced and promises victory.

“Forty-one of his fighters, he fought the same way every fight,” Ortiz added. “Every single fight except the analysts are too blind to see that he actually fights the same way every fight. Now, I don’t really care what he’s got to bring, you know, he’s done. The moment they mentioned Victor Ortiz versus Mayweather, he was done – period!”

Mayweather has braced himself for the challenge.

“This has been the longest training camp thus far because we wanted to make sure that we was ready all around the board for a guy that’s 10 years younger,” Mayweather said. [He's] strong, and got good speed. So we will be ready and that’s why we held training a lot longer this fight.”

Ortiz will give a brave and gallant effort. He may even ruffle a few of Floyd’s feathers, but Mayweather is the ultimate in-ring technician by today’s standards.He is the best fighter in the world and is expected to defeat Ortiz. But anything can happen in the sport of the unexpected.

“I feel like anybody-I mean anything can happen any given night,” Mayweather stated. “Anything can happen any given Saturday. Anything can happen, but, like I always said, if a fighter beats me, I want him to do it the fair and honest way because I’ve done it the fair and honest way for 16 years. No matter how much Floyd brags or boasts, no matter how much he talks about his money, when it’s all said and done, I’m fair. I’m fair.”

Ortiz knows this all too well. In June 2009, Ortiz was expected to defeat Marcos Rene Maidana for the WBA junior welterweight championship. It appeared Ortiz would stop Maidana in the opening round following a hard knockdown, but Maidana rose from the canvas to floor Ortiz almost instantly.

The two fighters exchanged several knockdowns during what many considered a duo performance the late Arturo Gatti would have loved. However, during a moment of drama and action to last a lifetime, Ortiz displayed weakness. Ortiz, having been dropped twice in the sixth round, quit.

Since then, people have labeled Ortiz a quitter. The boxing circles lost faith in young Victor, but since the Maidana fight, Ortiz, through his promotional team at Golden Boy Promotions, carefully reconstructed his image as one of boxing’s biggest stars by posting a six-bout unbeaten streak: Berto, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson Vivian Harris, and Antonio Diaz.

“I want the actual Floyd Mayweather to show up,” Ortiz concluded. “I don’t need a Mayweather that’s lost speed or lost power or lost age. He’s got that beautiful mouth of his that just never stops; so, in doing so, I want the best Floyd that’s out there.”

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