Boxing odds and expert predictions are unanimous on this one – “Vicious” Victor Ortiz will suffer his third career defeat in 33 fights at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr., a fine crafty pugilist who is undefeated in 41 fights and held multiple titles in five weight divisions before his initial, self-imposed hiatus after the Dela Hoya fight.
Analysts and bookmakers peg Mayweather’s overall superiority in boxing skills, defense, high ring acumen and experience as the fighter’s essential assets against the very hungry and driven lad from Garden City, Kansas.
Looking at the big picture, it is almost certain that Ortiz has little to no chance of beating Mayweather. But boxing can indeed pull a lot of rabbits out of that hat and come fight night, Ortiz just might pull a few things here and there and do the unpredictable. Allow this writer to go against the grain and cite some reasons why Ortiz will win.
Hunger. After throwing in the towel to the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana a couple of years back, many thought Ortiz committed a career suicide. He even had to endure the boxing world’s unrelenting criticism even after registering a four-fight win streak and drawing with former WBO interim light welterweight champ Lamont Peterson after the Maidana fight.
Many still doubted his heart coming in to his first fight as a welter against then undefeated and former world champion Andre Berto. But after surviving and winning a clash that featured knockdowns from both sides, Ortiz got himself some converts. Expect Ortiz to be hungry and determined to finally erase all questions by taking it to Mayweather. And beating him.
Punch output. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, no doubt about that. But defense will not win you rounds. Offense does. And Ortiz can certainly use that fact to his advantage. Applying pressure and constantly throwing those bombs at a high rate to keep Mayweather on the defensive will give Ortiz the points.
Mayweather heavily relies on the judges’ scorecards to win and he constantly builds his buffer at the early stages of the fight. If Ortiz can increase the volume of his punches and keeps Mayweather busy defending himself, Ortiz can build the lead.
Power. Mayweather’s last knockout win was in 2007 when he blitzed a rushing Ricky Hatton in the 10th round of their welterweight fight. Ortiz scored three stoppages in his last six fights, two of which occurred last year. If this is about power, Ortiz certainly has the upper hand.
A big one from the young gun will certainly spell trouble for Mayweather. Shane Mosley was able to hurt Mayweather in the 2nd round of their welterweight matchup more than a year ago. There is no question that Ortiz can do the same. Only this time, Ortiz needs to capitalize on that opening if and when he hurts Mayweather.
Youth. Age is always a factor, although there are some glaring exceptions. But there is no debate as to who Father Time favors between the two. Mayweather is 34 years old while Ortiz is 24, an obvious 10-year gap. If Mayweather suffers a slight decline come fight night, people may not see it. But slight can be fatal inside the ring.
Pressure. The pressure is on for both fighters, but Mayweather certainly feels a lot more of it than his youthful counterpart. Pressure to keep himself undefeated, pressure to best Manny Pacquiao without fighting him, and pressure of preserving his persona despite legal battles awaiting him outside the squared circle. All these can lay heavy on Mayweather’s mind and might disrupt his mental calm and toughness the moment he touches gloves with Ortiz.
Many predict a Mayweather victory, but Ortiz certainly has the tools to pull an upset and take his opponent’s precious “0”.
Photo credits: Fighthub TV
For boxing news and views that matter to Filipinos worldwide, Filipino Boxing Journal