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Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. “Vicious” Victor Ortiz
John J. Raspanti
Betting Odds - 5 Dimes
Total Rounds over 11.5 -180
Under 11.5 Rounds +158
Back in the ring after 16 months of employing his lawyers, Floyd Mayweather squares off against WBC welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz September 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight dubbed “Star Power” is an intriguing match-up, pitting the sport's former number one pound- for- pound fighter against a younger and hungrier champion. Ortiz (29-2, 22 KOs) perceives Mayweather as a living and breathing lottery ticket. One knockout shot on the moneyman’s chin, and he collects all the millions. Mayweather figures that knocking out Ortiz will be like robbing a bank without an alarm-quick, smooth, and easy.
Regardless of what Mayweather thinks, Ortiz's talent is undeniable. Graced with a “Golden Boy” smile, punching power, and a life story that inspires, Ortiz was an instant media darling. He won 24 of his first 25 fights and looked like the second coming of a guy named Oscar until he lost for the second time in his professional career.
That loss though was a stunner. Locked in a war he was winning, with tough Marcos Maidana, Ortiz committed the cardinal sin of boxing.
His whining after the fight created the image of a “Golden Baby." After licking his wounds, Ortiz returned to the ring and won his next five fights after the Maidana debacle. Winning or not, his victories were hardly fitting of a fighter with the nickname of “Vicious.”
Vicious Victor had morphed into vacant Vic.
In April, Ortiz challenged welterweight champion Andre Berto. Sick and tired of being the whipping boy of some boxing fans and writers, Ortiz trained diligently. Aware of his underdog status (roughly 4-1) Ortiz’s confidence never wavered.
Had he found something?
Apparently, he had.
Ortiz brought passion and determination into the ring that night, battling Berto from pillar to post. He floored the champion twice, and survived his own time on the canvas, winning a unanimous decision victory and thus restoring his reputation.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather last laced up his gloves in May of 2010 against Shane Mosley. He had one fight in 2009 and none in 2008. Fighting infrequently is risky for an older boxer, even one with so much natural ability. Mayweather is a young 34, but a slight drop-off in reflexes could prove deadly. Can the 24 year-old Ortiz do the same thing as a 38 year-old did in Mayweather's last fight?
That is, connect with a solid punch on his chin?
Can you say upset?
Mayweather hears all the slights and whispers. He’s motivated by money, but his pride is as deeply layered as his superb defense. Recent history also suggests that Ortiz’s southpaw style could be problematical for Mayweather.
Ortiz’s aggressiveness plays right into the hands of Mayweather’s uncanny ability to counter punch. His right carries some pop, and since he likes to lead with it, the punch could be very effective. Mayweather might use his lead right like Muhammad Ali did against George Foreman thirty seven years ago, stinging the young fighter early, and keep him off balance. Though he’s Ortiz's senior by ten years, Mayweather still has the faster hands. Ortiz’s power could be the great equalizer-if he manages to catch Matchweather.
Mayweather vs. Ortiz should be an entertaining fight especially in the early going. Ortiz will force Mayweather to up his game to keep the energetic youngster off him. The money man recently told the boxing press that he’s planning on staying in the pocket with Ortiz and rumbling. Is this another case of Mayweather shoveling the proverbial malarkey? This boxing scribe says yes and no. The former five-time champion has first hand knowledge of what Ortiz can do having been at ringside last April for the Berto fight. He noted Ortiz’s power and courage, and his vulnerabilities. Ortiz’s defense was shaky at times. He left himself open for counters, which is Mayweather's bread and butter. It’s no surprise Mayweather was smiling so much during the fight.
Ortiz has nothing to lose and everything to gain while Mayweather has everything to lose on September 17.
However, he will not lose.