Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Las Vegas (August 31) - As we near the September 17 mega-event "STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz" emanating from both the boxing capital of the world, Las Vegas, and the celebrity capital of the world, Los Angeles, the connection between the squared circle and the silver screen comes even more into focus. This fight card is called "STAR POWER" and the eight fighters featured on the HBO Pay-Per-View® televised event carry on the proud tradition of fighters rubbing elbows with Hollywood's elite, romancing stunning starlets and flashing smiles that can make female fans' knees buckle.
Atop the bill is Mayweather, who rocketed to A-list celebrity status when he competed on ABC's Dancing With The Stars in 2007. Claiming rapper and actor 50 Cent as one of his closest friends, Mayweather's fights regular draw ringside observers that include the likes of big name stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Puffy Combs, Denzel Washington as well as top dollar athletes in Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. You name them, he pulls them.
Headlining the L.A. portion of the show is Canelo Alvarez, who was at one time engaged to model/actress/sports reporter Marisol Gonzalez. Alvarez's opponent is Alfonso Gomez who rose to fame with Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard by his side on the inaugural season of NBC's The Contender and, playing in the hip-hop/rock band Hy3rid, has straddled the fence between boxing and the entertainment industry ever since.
Canelo brings the added element of pop-idol-like appeal among female fight fans; crossing over to sex symbol status like no boxer has since Oscar De La Hoya (who just happens to be the promoter of "STAR POWER"). Once in a generation, if that, a fighter comes along who makes the girls shriek like something out of Beatles concert. Alvarez possesses that quality.
However, Canelo is far from the only fighter on this card with a fan base that includes the fairer sex. Mayweather's sparkling smile has caught the eye of the ladies since he rose to fame in his late teens, Ortiz has drawn comparisons to De La Hoya himself because of his good looks and the fighters who will open the pay-per-view broadcast, Jessie Vargas and Josesito Lopez, both have Latino heartthrob potential.
Any of these fighters might look natural with starlets on their arms, which would mean they'd be carrying on a proud tradition that goes all the way back to 19th century heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan, who famously dated voluptuous chorus girl Ann Livingston. Other heavyweight champs made it more official: Jack Dempsey married movie star Estelle Taylor, Max Schmeling wed actress Anny Ondra and more recently, Mike Tyson was briefly, and tempestuously, married to actress Robin Givens. The latest boxing/Hollywood heavyweight couple featured Wladimir Klitschko and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere, who ended their two-year relationship just a few months ago.
Such romances aren't limited only to the heavyweight fighters. Two of the most notable boxer-celebrity unions in history involved middleweight champs: Marcel Cerdan with French singer and cultural icon Edith Piaf and Gorilla Jones with actress and sex symbol Mae West.
For all of the star fighters who've romanced in Hollywood circles, countless more have "bromanced" in those circles. Former light heavyweight champ Jose Torres was best friends with Ryan O'Neal (who starred in the 1979 boxing movie The Main Event). Sugar Ray Leonard palled around with many of Hollywood's heavy hitters and famously told Michael J. Fox, before anyone else, that he intended to come out of retirement and fight Marvin Hagler. Tyson is now an actor of sorts himself, appearing in The Hangover and The Hangover 2, but long before that, he ran with many of the biggest names in television, film and music. In fact, his friendship with Tupac Shakur was the subject of a 2010 documentary entitled One Night In Vegas.
The connections between the worlds of boxing and entertainment are numerous, and they will be on display again when "STAR POWER" spans the distance from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Many of Tinseltown's top draws will be seated ringside at both MGM Grand and STAPLES Center. So much so that the ring announcers at the venues will likely spend as much time introducing the celebrities as they do the fighters.
HBO analyst Larry Merchant has famously referred to boxing as "the theater of the unexpected." What is not unexpected is that boxing will provide great theater, and attract the most famous names and faces from the celebrity world.
“He's got that beautiful mouth of his that never stops.”
That was Vicious Victor Ortiz, speaking Wednesday on a media conference call, and answering a question as to whether he watched both his and Floyd Mayweather's portions of the HBO 24/7 program which first aired Saturday night.
Naturally, people were wondering whether Ortiz, who was abandoned by both his mother and father, saw the X-rated verbal bashing of Floyd Sr. by his undefeated son.
All I can say is, that if WBC welterweight champ Ortiz can duck and dodge Mayweather's shots the way he avoided directly answering this inquiry, he will do well in the ring in Las Vegas against Mr. Forty One And Zero on Sept. 17.
The final answer was no, he didn't watch Floyd's diatribe in which Mayweather called his father “a cab driver” as a pro boxer and “a bum” as a trainer.
But what made it thought-provoking was the different ways the brash, 24 year old, looking at a $2.5 million paynight and essentially with nothing to lose except his green and gold title belt, responded.
Skipping the Mayweather segment, Ortiz said, allowed him to avoid “negative stuff coming my way.”
Instead of watching Mayweather's flapping lips, the conqueror of then unbeaten Andre Berto said, he “enjoyed my day...watched the sun set...was outside lounging...looking at some big waves.”
Then, Ortiz tossed in some humor to his stream of consciousness on the topic.
“After ending the (Mayweather's 41-0 mark) streak, it's on my to do list,” Ortiz said.
“Me, I don't care...Floyd who?”
"I don't think he is as good as he thinks he is or how good you guys think he is. He is just a careful boxer."
Make no mistake, Ortiz is very much a mental fighter. If he needed a cerebreal boost to shock Berto, he got it when Berto repeatedly demeaned him including when they were face to face.
Ortiz comes across as a fighter who has to tear down his opponent in order to build himself to a maximum effort, something like Muhammad Ali, who denounced foes before a bout and then overpraised them afterwards.
Journalists keep running at the same question in different ways and that was why will Ortiz be the magic man who can do what Mayweather's previous foes could not.
I liked Ortiz's glib answers.
“Those 41 other fighters (actually 40 since Floyd fought Jose Luis Castillo twice), well, none of them were me,” Ortiz said. “So someone is in trouble.”
Giving emotional support to Ortiz's grandiose dream was promoter Oscar de la Hoya. He couldn't beat Mayweather but he stated the obvious, that he thinks that his Golden Boy wunderkind will accomplish the mighty feat.
“Victor is a smart guy, he is going to do what he has to do to win the fight,” de la Hoya said. “Put it this way, there is no doubt in my mind that he is going to win.
“He's got 24 year old legs...he moves like a cat....people will be very shocked.”
As for his situation, having struck it moderately rich and standing on the verge of becoming a millionaire after being dumped by his parents, that was summed up by Ortiz when he spoke to a hometown reporter from Garden City, Kansas, where he survived some rough years.
Ortiz was talking about HBO 24/7 footage which showed scenes from the place where he lived before relocating to Oxnard and then to Ventura on the Southern California coast.
“I walked around home (dreaming of) a better tomorrow...It's all kind of nuts, it is all kind of unreal.”
To hear Ortiz tell it, his whipping of Mayweather will just be the beginning of major accomplishments in the ring.
“I will go on,” Ortiz said, “to taking over the division, then taking over the world.”
That's what Ortiz is shooting for.
Shocking Mayweather, shocking the world, that's just one battle.
Mayweather's got that mouth that never stops.
Vicious Victor Ortiz has that beautiful optimism that never stops.
You know what, this kid has earned it, cockeyed or not.
Only one thing really seems impossible and that is rooting against this beautiful dreamer.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Earlier tonight the first episode of HBO’s 24/7: Mayweather-Ortiz aired and the segment wasn’t without its share of dramatics. The acclaimed series will be taking a look inside of the lives of undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. and WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz as they prepare for their September 17th clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While this episode did have some positive moments, including a closer look at Ortiz’s blue-collar team and the strong bond that the 24-year old champion has with his younger brother Temo, things ended on a bit of a sour note.
The scene shifted to Floyd’s gym and the cameras picked up on a bit of a mild debate that was taking place between Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Jr. Things soon became heated between the two men, who have had a very strained relationship over the years.
Floyd Jr. could be seen stating that his team was running fine and that his camp was going to remain ‘undefeated’. Hearing that, Floyd Sr. reminded his boy who exactly it was that was molded him into a fighter from the get-go.
“You’re undefeated but you started with your Daddy,” said Senior.
Floyd then motioned to his current trainer and Uncle Roger, pointing out that it was him who was responsible for his success as a professional. Roger took over the duties of training Floyd after his father was locked up in prison for drug trafficking in 1992.
The two men continued to trade verbal barbs, with ‘Money’ even demanding that his father be removed from the gym.
“Aint nobody ask you to come here! Get the fuck out of my gym!” Floyd would bark. Moments later Floyd Sr. would return fire, begging his son “Come put me out of her punk!”
Definitely a ridiculous scene and you hate to see family get into it like that. Still bothered by the whole ordeal even after his father had left the building, Floyd left the audiences with one last sound byte.
“Like I said before, Roger Mayweather made the Mayweather name and I took it to the next level. And when it’s all said and done there are only two Mayweathers who count; Roger Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather.”
The sight of Joe Louis’ head dangling off the ring apron, right leg draped over the bottom rope, after his career-ending confrontation with Rocky Marciano, still ranks among the great cautionary tales for fighters who cling too long to the rapture of money and fame, against the greater will of their physical limitations.
Roy Jones found out, crumbled by a single punch from Antonio Tarver.
Oscar De La Hoya found out, left to quit on his stool in his last fight, against Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather, the 34-year-old boxing sensation from Grand Rapids, has reached the point in his career at which he, too, could be playing fast and loose with his 41-0 record, leaving the biggest question of Sept. 17 -- Is this the night Mayweather gets old before our eyes? -- for him and 24-year-old Victor Ortiz to resolve.
Age remains boxing’s one ageless question, and Mayweather-Ortiz are merely the latest to test it.
Fighters train their bodies and minds to overcome people who intend them harm. Some become so convinced in their continuing aptitude that they do the harm themselves.
At that point, the opponent virtually is incidental, though destined to become defined by that single moment. Frankie Randall practically would be forgotten by now, if not for becoming the first man to beat Julio Cesar Chavez. Gene Fullmer, a solid middleweight champion, always gets a disproportionate status boost from being the only man to twice defeat a past-his-prime Sugar Ray Robinson.
The pursuit of big fights demands that the most famous figures risk themselves against the best challengers around, deep into their careers. They usually reap their biggest paydays only after a career forged through years in the sport, when the wear and tear take their greatest toll. The body is at its most deteriorated state when the paychecks reach their most inflated size.
So they fight the big fights, over and over again.
And all too often, they hang around too long, if only one fight too long.
With which opponent do you most identify Marvin Hagler? How about Michael Spinks?
If you answered Sugar Ray Leonard and/or Mike Tyson, it’s a most unfortunate reflection on two great careers.
Mayweather, after fighting Ortiz, almost certainly will not be able to cram in another fight before turning 35 on Feb. 24, 2012. Historically, most fighters who hang on too long start to show deterioration before that age. Today’s fighters are somewhat better preserved because they don’t compete as often, although 35 is still a very advanced age for someone to be undefeated, rarely challenged and showing few signs of decline.
Mayweather has promised to stand mid-ring and fight Ortiz. In truth, his appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" was the last anyone has seen of the twinkle-toed Mayweather. He has transformed from perimeter dancer to a stand-down fighter.
Such a tactical change often is viewed as a fighter with diminished mobility. In ring-speak, such a fighter has lost his legs.
"It’s not that," Mayweather said. "I’m just versatile. Versatile fighter. If I have to move on a guy, of course, that’s what I’m going to do. Of course, I’m not in the sport to take no abuse."
The willingness to engage has made Mayweather fights somewhat more interesting in recent years, although it also resulted in Shane Mosley landing a shot that wobbled him last year. The inability to avoid punches also can be a sign of age.
"Am I upset about that still?" Mayweather said. "You know, it’s over with now, but was I upset, dealing with the shot? I wasn’t tripping. I just said, ‘It comes with the territory.’ "
Roger Mayweather said his nephew could fight another "three or four years" on skills alone, even if he did begin to deteriorate physically. Then again, Roger Mayweather, who trains his nephew, lost 13 times as a pro.
Floyd Mayweather, who coyly refuses to disclose the few things he knows he doesn’t do as well as he used to, is loathe to take a loss. His harshest critics say he’s too cautious, and that’s why he hasn’t fought Pacquiao. Mayweather steadfastly says he wants the fight.
Some fighters never slip. Marciano was 49-0 and, if anything, retired too early, at 32. Carlos Monzon was on a multi-year win streak when he retired with the middleweight title at 34. Archie Moore never really had a losing streak in a brilliant light heavyweight reign before retiring at 46, the same age at which Bernard Hopkins bounced back from some late-career losses to become the current light heavyweight champion.
Those fighters who did slip often were in unpreventable positions. Would anyone have advised Alexis Arguello not to fight Aaron Pryor, or Willie Pep not to fight Sandy Saddler, or Joe Frazier not to fight again after his win over Muhammad Ali in their first meeting, thereby depriving boxing of some of its most historic events?
Would anyone advise Mayweather not to risk fighting Pacquiao, even if the end result could be a similar analysis, years from now, that he hung on one fight too long?
The best any fighter can hope for is to maximize his earnings potential, win his biggest fights, get out healthy and hope he doesn’t overstay his welcome too much.
On Sept. 17, and each time he steps into the ring thereafter, part of the intrigue will be discovering whether Mayweather has overstayed his.
Some great fighters who took a disproportionate number of late-career losses, with the ages at which their declines began to show in their win-loss records, records as of those birthdays, and records after those birthdays:
Muhammad Ali, 36
Before: 55-2, with losses only in his epic first bout with Joe Frazier and to Ken Norton when he fought through a broken jaw.
After: 1-3, split two fights with a youthful Leon Spinks, suffered his only stoppage loss against Larry Holmes, and was decisioned by Trevor Berbick.
Alexis Arguello, 30
Before: 70-5 and beat some of the sport’s biggest stars while cleaning out three weight divisions from featherweight to lightweight.
After: 7-3, including 5-3 in his final eight fights, although two of the losses were in his historic fights with Aaron Pryor, who handed him two of his three stoppage losses. Final loss came after a brief comeback at age 42.
Henry Armstrong, 28
Before: 110-13-8 and the only boxer in history to hold world championships in three weight divisions simultaneously, from featherweight (126 pounds) to welterweight (147).
After: 40-8-2, beginning with a loss to Fritzie Zivic in his last title fight, which was a rematch of another Armstrong loss in his previous fight.
Tony Canzoneri, 23
Before: 93-14-8, with championship reigns in two weight divisions after turning pro at age 16.
After: 44-10-2, including a loss to Wesley Ramey in Grand Rapids, after which he briefly regained the lightweight title. Career ended at age 30 with his only knockout loss, to Al “Bummy” Davis.
Julio Cesar Chavez, 31
Before: 87-0 and universal acclaim as pound-for-pound king.
After: 20-6-2, with a couple of decisions he might not have deserved, and four stoppage losses. Retired after four rounds against someone named Grover Wiley in his final fight, at age 43.
Oscar De La Hoya, 26
Before: 29-0, en route to undisputed status as the highest-earning fighter in history.
After: 10-6, including 8-6 in his last 14 fights, with losses to Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Felix Trinidad and two to Shane Mosley.
Jack Dempsey, 29
Before: 60-4-9 and retired as heavyweight champion after just nine years as a pro.
After: 1-2 after launching a comeback at age 31 against new champion Gene Tunney, who won both fights by decision, sandwiched around a Dempsey win over Jack Sharkey.
Roberto Duran, 29
Before: 71-1, including eight years as lightweight champion and two knockout wins over his only conqueror, Esteban DeJesus.
After: 32-15, beginning with a victory over Sugar Ray Leonard. In the rematch, Duran said “No mas,” and his career went into decline, though he did briefly hold the middleweight title.
Joe Frazier, 29
Before: 29-0 and defeated Muhammad Ali in their epic first fight at Madison Square Garden.
After: 3-4-1, beginning with the first of two destructive knockout losses to George Foreman, and including two more fights with Ali, one of them the debilitating “Thrilla in Manila.”
Emile Griffith, 29
Before: 52-7 and the reigning middleweight champion after two welterweight reigns.
After: 33-17-2, including 1-6 in title fights. Lost his last three fights at age 39.
Larry Holmes, 35
Before: 45-0 and within four victories of matching Rocky Marciano’s record for victories by an undefeated heavyweight champion.
After: 24-6, starting with three victories that got him within one of Marciano, then consecutive losses to Michael Spinks twice, and Mike Tyson. Won his last four fights, the final one at age 52.
Evander Holyfield, 37
Before: 36-3-1, including 28-0 to begin his career, with title reigns at cruiserweight and heavyweight, two wins over Tyson, and an epic trilogy with Riddick Bowe.
After: 8-7-1, lost heavyweight title to Lennox Lewis, won one bid for a paper championship, lost several others, still fighting at age 48.
Jack Johnson, 43
Before: 53-6-7 during a historic heavyweight championship reign in which he crossed the color barrier.
After: 2-5 after a 1923 comeback, at age 45, following a three-year layoff. Before the comeback, Johnson had not fought a title bout in eight years, and few legitimate opponents afterward.
Roy Jones, 35
Before: 48-1 with few close bouts and the only loss via disqualification in a fight he was winning.
After: 5-7, with four violent knockout losses. Classic example of a speed-based fighter whose core skills were exposed when his athleticism slipped. Money problems have him still fighting, at 42.
Jake LaMotta, 29
Before: 77-14-3, including a middleweight title reign and five of his six fights with Sugar Ray Robinson, one of them a victory.
After: 6-5-1, beginning with a successful middleweight defense against Laurent Dauthuille in Detroit. Stopped in 13 rounds by Robinson in next fight and was finished as a legitimate contender. Three of four career stoppage losses came during this period.
Sugar Ray Leonard, 31
Before: 34-1 with title reigns in three weight divisions and wins over Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran, the latter avenging an earlier defeat.
After: 2-2-1 after the Hagler win, beginning with a victory over Donny LaLonde. Lucky to get a spurious draw with Hearns, beat Duran long past their primes, then lost to Terry Norris and Hector Camacho.
Joe Louis, 36
Before: 58-1 and set the all-time record with 25 consecutive heavyweight title defenses.
After: 8-2, beginning with a 15-round decision loss to Ezzard Charles in his last title fight. After stringing together eight wins, lost his final bout on a disturbing knockout by champion-in-waiting Rocky Marciano.
Willie Pep, 26
Before: 134-1-1 and almost six years as reigning featherweight champion.
After: 95-10, beginning with his first loss to Sandy Saddler in their historic series, which was the undoing of Pep.
Sugar Ray Robinson, 30
Before: 123-1-2, with five wins over his only conqueror (Jake LaMotta), as he built a career widely acclaimed as the greatest in boxing history.
After: 50-18-4, including five straight wins to run his record to 128-1-2, after which he lost his middleweight title to Randy Turpin. He would regain the title three more times but his invincibility had vanished.
Sandy Saddler, 25
Before: 125-8-2, including title reigns twice at featherweight and once at junior lightweight, and one of boxing’s most memorable rivalries against Willie Pep.
After: 19-8, during which he regained the featherweight title from an aged Pep in their fourth fight (he was 3-1 in their series). He kept the title until he retired but lost seven over-the-weight, non-title bouts in the interim.
Michael Spinks, 31
Before: 31-0 and became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship.
After: 0-1 after finally deciding to fight Mike Tyson. In 91 seconds, his reluctance was explained conclusively, and Spinks was finished as a fighter.
Mike Tyson, 30
Before: 44-1, unified the heavyweight title, lost only to Buster Douglas, served a rape sentence, and became one of the most recognizable figures alive.
After: 6-5, beginning with a successful title defense, after which he lost twice to Evander Holyfield. Last title bid, vs. Lennox Lewis, was an execution.
Mickey Walker, 30
Before: 75-10 with lengthy title reigns at welterweight and middleweight, and an unsuccessful bid at light heavyweight.
After: 19-10-4, including a draw with Jack Sharkey in a heavyweight title bid, in his first fight after turning 30. He never won another title fight.
Pernell Whitaker, 33
Before: 39-1-1, with a decision loss to Jose Luis Ramirez that ranks among the worst in title-fight history, and a draw with Julio Cesar Chavez that many believed Whitaker won.
After: 1-3, with one no-contest, a streak that began with Whitaker’s final win, vs. Diosbelys Hurtado. The loss to Oscar De La Hoya was disputed but the ones to Felix Trinidad and nondescript Carlos Bojorquez weren’t. Whitaker had a victory overturned by a positive drug test during this time.
Last night on HBO, 24/7 the build up award winning show for Victor Ortiz vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. ran it’s first episode. The episode showed the struggle that Victor Ortiz and family had to face while growing up. It’s bad enough when one parent walks out of your life, but in this case both parents walked out of Victor and his siblings life. These kids were straight up abandoned.
One can not help but to feel that a lot of Ortiz’s fire in the ring is mainly fueled by what occured to him and his siblings. But if you ask Victor about that past now, Victor will look you dead in the face and lock into you and tell you that it’s made him and his siblings stronger, Much stronger. Here we have a kid who like any other kid just wanted to have a normal life that consists of having a mother and a father around, usually in most households these days, kids only get one. Victor and his brother and sister had none. His opponent on the other hand, had both. Sure his father may have been locked up for a few years as lil Floyd was trying to find himself, but the reality of it all is that Floyd Sr. still tried to get back into his sons life. You can’t blame a man for trying.
Now many defenders will go on and say that we are on the outside looking in so we do not have the entire scoop on what it really is like in Floyd Jr. and Sr.’s relationship. That is very true, but on the flipside of that, there is a time and place for everything. No family is perfect, heck I myself have gotten into arguments against my own mother, father, brother, and sisters, but I never have or will take it to the level that Floyd Jr. took it to last night. You can hear the pain in Floyd Sr.’s voice as it cracked from time to time last night, it was wrong for Floyd Jr. or anyone to go there with their own mother and father. Especially towards your father the man responsible for teaching you everything that you know in the profession in which you chose. Or maybe this profession chose you, whatever the case it was very, very wrong. One could only imagine the level that Jr. would have taken it to had the cameras not been rolling. Ouch..
Floyd’s followers will say that Floyd is keeping it real, that the man is just trying to get us all talking, to sell tickets, to make a more hated villain out of himself. Well if you buy that then I have a piece of real estate land in the middle of the desert that has perfect weather year round the temperature stays at about 80 degrees that I would like to sell to you. Come on man, don’t sell out for the sake of selling out.
Friday, August 26, 2011
ThyBlackMan.com) Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr (41-0, 25 KO’s) will be stepping into the ring for the first time in sixteen months on September 17 when he faces World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion Victor “Vicious” Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO’s). The pair will face off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In the lead up to the fight very little attention has been paid to Ortiz. All the media hype has been on Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even the press conferences designed to raise public awareness of the match between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Ortiz, have instead focused on when and if Floyd Mayweather Jr will ever fight Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather himself has not shown a great deal of interest in Ortiz.
Ortiz for his part is still attempting to live down his loss on June 27, 2009 to the Argentinean power puncher Marcos Maidana. In that fight, which may have been the defining moment of his career, Ortiz quit after being battered by Maidana. Afterwards Ortiz spoke of retiring. Since that time Ortiz, who is still only 24 years old, defeated former champions Vivian Harris and Nate Campbell and pulled off a huge upset by defeating the highly touted Andre Berto.
Ortiz was like a man on a mission in the Berto fight in his attempt to prove that he is not a quitter. He showed a lot of heart in climbing off the canvas twice to win a twelve round decision.
It is not always a bad thing for a fighter to lose early in his career. Many fighters have gone on to pugilistic greatness after an early loss. In Ortiz’s case it seems as though he had an epiphany and a rededication his career after the loss to Maidana. Oriz was only 22 years old when he lost to Maidana and young fighters have the ability to bounce back.
At this point Ortiz is brimming over with a new found confidence that appears to be genuine. He has grown by leaps and bounds sine the Maidana fight. He will not be a pushover for Floyd Mayweather Jr. He is a young, strong, aggressive southpaw, who is still eager to redeem himself in the eyes of his fans.
Floyd Mayweather Jr has been installed as a heavy favorite by the odds makers, but odds makers have been wrong in the past. Floyd is 34 years old and has been relatively inactive over the past few years. He stays active in the gym, but that is not the same as being tested in the ring. Floyd had two fights in 2007, none in 2008, fought once in 2009 and once in 2010.
Not even the great Floyd Mayweather Jr can continue in the twilight of his career to be inactive for such long periods of time. Sugar Ray Robinson, who is generally acknowledged by boxing historians to be the greatest fighter of all time, chose to retire at the age of 32. Of course everyone knew that he would return and he made a comeback a couple of years later. He eventually won the middleweight title again but after the extended period of inactivity he was never close to the fighter he had been. Robinson started losing as many fights as he won. This was the same fighter who had gone ninety fights without a loss during the height of his career.
Floyd Mayweather Jr fight with Ortiz will be used as a barometer not only by Floyd Mayweather Jr, but also by all of his potential opponents who are waiting in the wings for a big money fight.
Written By BoxingGuru
There’s not much buzz over the showdown between WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz who puts his title on the line against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 17.
That’s the word from Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission who told the Daily Inquirer “I’m not hearing much about Mayweather-Ortiz. Hopefully the buzz will pick up soon.”
Ortiz who has a record of 29-2-2 with 22 knockouts won the title with a twelve round unanimous decision in an action-packed battle with Andre Berto last April 16.
Mayweather, on the other hand, last fought on May 1, 2010 when he won a comfortable unanimous decision over former three-division champion Shane Mosley who was also subsequently badly beaten by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao who won a lopsided twelve round decision.
Pacquiao, in an interview telecast on the top-rated KO Boxing show of multi-titled promoter Peter Maniatis in Australia said “there is a big possibility that by next year there will be a fight between me and Mayweather . I think the fight will push through.”
Asked how much he wanted the Mayweather fight as the culmination of his illustrious career, Pacquiao said “ actually I am satisfied with my achievements in boxing. If he fights me I’m okay. I’m ready to fight him. If not, nothing to worry because I don’t really need him in my career.”
Discussing his trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12, Pacquiao conceded “it’s a hard fight and I have to train hard. But I’ve been fighting Marquez twice so I know his style and I will study his style” in preparation for the fight at a catch-weight of 144 pounds.
Pacquiao said “I expect the best Marquez on that night and I know he will train hard for this fight so I will prepare for that.”
The “Fighter of the Decade” and congressman from the province of Sarangani told Maniatis “I’m not going to stay long in boxing and after a couple of fights I will stop and focus on serving the people.”
Monday, August 22, 2011
In less than a month undefeated welterweight and at worst the third best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, Floyd Mayweather 41-0 (25), will meet hard punching southpaw Victor Ortiz 29-2-2 (22). And as par for the course Mayweather will be lauded and excoriated for agreeing to fight Ortiz while Manny Pacquiao is out there and willing to meet him under the normal contractual obligations that have stipulated major fights for years. And regardless of whose side you come down on as to why Mayweather and Pacquiao have yet to meet in the ring, the fight is probably a year overdue and many boxing observers are starting to care less and less if it ever happens as time goes by. Not that that will hurt the interest in it once they do agree to fight if that ever happens.
Give Mayweather credit, he's achieved his goal of wanting to be relevant, and he his. Floyd's navigated his career to the point that almost anything he says or does is news in the boxing community. As most know this column has been highly critical of Mayweather the fighter, but never the manager. As a fighter I have almost as many questions about him as I do answers pertaining to his greatness. Although he's certainly one of the greatest of his era, it's just that I'm not sure how much weight that carries historically being that he's never really fought the best of his generation when they were at or near the top of their skills.
However, I can't be critical of Mayweather for fighting Ortiz. No, I don't expect Victor to score the upset some would love for him to do. And most likely after the third round Mayweather will have relieved Ortiz's guns of their bullets and Floyd will coast to a comfortable decision victory controlling the action most of the way. That being said, if Mayweather isn't going to fight Pacquiao, then who? Compared to Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley, Mayweather's last two opponents, Ortiz, although not as accomplished or skilled as either, is more formidable and dangerous. Marquez was too old and small for Mayweather and Mosley was too rusty and old. Marquez didn't have the power or confidence to hurt Mayweather even if Floyd stood directly in front of him with his hands down and dared him to. Mosley landed a lottery punch in the second round and looked to age by the minute as the fight progressed after landing his big right hand. On the other hand Ortiz is young being he's just 24 years old. He's also an aggressive southpaw who can really punch and knows his only prayer to beat Mayweather is to let his hands go and throw punches in waves.
Ortiz is 5-1-1 in his last seven bouts and some may look at that as a negative. But he scored the most impressive win of his career in his last fight over the then undefeated WBC welterweight title holder Andre Berto. And when is the last time Mayweather faced a strong aggressive welterweight in his prime who could really punch? It wasn't Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya or Shane Mosley. That's for sure. Ortiz has had six of his last seven opponents on the canvas win, lose or draw. That's not accidental power, especially since those knockdowns were against upper-tier fighters in all but one fight. Granted, it'll all come down to whether or not Ortiz can deliver his power against Mayweather. If history is any indicator, that doesn't bode well for Ortiz. Maywether is a truly great defensive fighter and Ortiz has grown frustrated during some bouts when things weren't going his way. And Floyd's the last fighter in the world Ortiz could show even the slightest bit of doubt or trepidation against.
Again, it's hard to build a case that sees Ortiz really getting to Mayweather, let alone beating him. But at least he has something in his arsenal that gives him a prayer. Maybe not a wing and a prayer, but at least a prayer. And that is it's very easy to assume that if an ancient Mosley who couldn't get out of his own way the night he fought Mayweather, could come within a punch from putting him down, then it's plausible that Ortiz could really hurt Mayweather and get him out. Of course that's not likely, but it's possible. And that's something that couldn't be said of either Marquez or Mosley heading into their bout with Mayweather.
During the past few years Mayweather hasn't been overwhelming and his success has been in part due to the fact that he was fighting guys who couldn't exploit his somewhat eroding skills. Remember, he only throws one or two punches at a time and really hasn't had to use his legs much in his last few fights. If Ortiz comes at him, which in reality is the only way he can fight Mayweather, then Floyd will have to open up and probably even have to use his legs. Who knows what they have left? Maybe he hasn't lost much, or perhaps he's only capable of fighting in spurts and will be in peril if he has to use his legs in trying to move away and set Ortiz up. Most forget that neither Marquez nor Mosley pressed Mayweather in his last two fights, nor did they force him to move or break off the exchanges. On paper before the fight Victor Ortiz is more likely to make Floyd do both. And that's why Mayweather's choice of Ortiz to fight before or instead of Pacquiao isn't as bad as him fighting Marquez and Mosley when he did. Not to mention if Mayweather decisively beats Ortiz, he'll be back on top of the boxing world in the eyes of many fans and observers.
Friday, August 19, 2011
WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz and manager Rolando Arrellano told RingTV.com on Friday that the fighter did not have a back injury. He he simply experienced soreness and took Thursday off from training to receive a massage and to otherwise recuperate.
"It was just that we're working extremely hard and we've been in camp for about six weeks," said Arrellano. "So Victor's sore because of the intense training, and he gets massages and that's it. Yet all of a sudden it turns into a back injury to create a sense of panic? It's just B.S."
"The coach [trainer Danny Garcia] gave him a day off so that he can get him a massage and to rest. Somehow it was leaked out of our camp that he had a back injury. Victor has got no back injury. This fight is not in jeopardy and Victor is in the gym today [Friday] and working out and sparring."
The 24-year-old Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 knockouts) is preparing for his title defense against Floyd Mayweather. Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) on Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arrelano said that Ortiz received massage on an area "just above his butt."
"What happens is that every once in a while, muscles inflame. And that's going to come with the sport, whether it is baseball, football or whatever, from doing the same s-- over and over again," said Arrellano. "We're working really hard and the young man gets sore every once in a while because of the intensity of the physical training and the running and the sparring. So they're monitoring his performances so that the coaches know how hard to push him."
Ortiz acknowledged having experienced some tightness in his lower back.
"I was a little sore, but that just comes with the territory, man. After two months in training camp, I don't think that anybody's body is up to par, especially in one training session," said Ortiz. "The only thing is that coach Danny Garcia, I just told him that I was kind of fatigued and tired and they usually don't give me a day off. So I was like, 'Come on guys, let's at least have just one day off.' I think that just taking one day to get a massage and everything and to be pampered for a day doesn't hurt anyone."
Ortiz took the title by a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Andre Berto (27-1, 21 KOs), who went down in the first and sixth rounds of a fight-of-the-year candidate. Ortiz was knocked down in the second and sixth rounds.
"I've been in training camp for the past two months already because I realize that fighting Floyd Mayweather is a big fight. But he don't scare me at all. Not for a second," said Ortiz. "So, yeah, I took my day off and today is another day of training. So as far as that goes, nothing's changed. Nothing's going on and Mayweather's going down."
On Thursday rumors hit the net that WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz was the victim of a back injury, one that caused him to momentarily break his training preparation for his September 17th date against Floyd Mayweather Jr. But Ortiz was quick to point out that he had nothing more than a little bit of pain in his back and that he simply took the day off of training after being told to do so by his trainer Danny Garcia.
Speaking to RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield, Ortiz is was adamant that he was simply looking for a small break after having pushed his body so hard for nearly eight weeks already.
"I was a little sore, but that just comes with the territory, man,” Ortiz told Satterfield. “After two months in training camp, I don't think that anybody's body is up to par, especially in one training session. The only thing is that coach Danny Garcia, I just told him that I was kind of fatigued and tired. I think that just taking one day to get a massage and everything and to be pampered for a day doesn't hurt anyone."
By the time the fight rolls around, Ortiz will have put in likely the hardest camp of his career for what figures to be his stiffest test as a professional. He is an 8-1 underdog heading into his date against Mayweather, set to take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, yet he has been speaking with high confidence throughout the buildup of the fight.
"I've been in training camp for the past two months already because I realize that fighting Floyd Mayweather is a big fight. But he don't scare me at all. Not for a second. So, yeah, I took my day off and today is another day of training. So as far as that goes, nothing's changed. Nothing's going on and Mayweather's going down,” Ortiz stated boldly.
There hasn’t been as much news coming from Ortiz’s camp as compared to Floyd’s but the 24-year old is scheduled for an open media workout on Tuesday, August 30th in Venture, California.
Undefeated pound for pound great Floyd Mayweather, currently preparing for his September 17th bout with WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz, has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind.
So much so in fact that Mayweather's freely shared opinions have landed him in trouble several times in the past, one of the more recent being the ongoing defamation lawsuit brought against him by fellow fighter Manny Pacquiao.
The suit alleges that Mayweather's repeatedly voiced suspicions over Pacquiao's use of performance enhancing drugs has damaged the Filipino's image.
With that obviously not in mind, speaking from his Las Vegas gym on August 17th, according to the LA Times, Mayweather said:
I don't care how much money is negotiated...Look at how these guys end up punch-drunk in this sport. I'm sorry, but all of a sudden a guy at 25 becomes a great fighter? I want to be on a level playing field with this guy. We're fighting at the highest level, talking about the biggest fight ever. You should have the greatest testing too.
The fighter he is referring to is of course Manny Pacquiao.
His comment about Pacquiao becoming a great fighter after the age of 25 however seems a little misguided, not to mention probably unwise in regards to the defamation case.
By the age of 25 Pacquiao was already a two weight world champion, and had beaten Marco Antonio Barrera for the first time.
He had also put on around 19lbs since his debut by this time. From then to his weight today of around 145lbs Pacquiao has gained another 20lbs, and in a similar time frame.
Pacquiao's success before and after the age of 25 non-withstanding, Mayweather is well within his rights to demand extra testing should be believe it necessary, just as Pacquiao has the right to either agree or refuse.
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While Mayweather isn't shy about sharing his suspicions in public however, he apparently isn't so keen on standing by them in the courts.
To date he has refused no less than 24 court dates proposed by Pacquiao's lawyer Daniel Petrocelli.
The reason Mayweather gave for not being able to make the dates was that he is currently in training for his September 17th bout with Victor Ortiz. While this might be partially true, Mayweather has also been pictured attending parties at several nightclubs during the same time period.
This being the case, it would seem the last thing he should be doing is continuing to mention what he thinks of Pacquiao's success.
The fact that Mayweather seemingly refuses to engage Pacquiao in the courts also seems to suggest that as long as the lawsuit stands, any potential fight between the pair is going to be very difficult to make.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011
After seeing his local team thrashed at Wembley Stadium last April, Bolton boxer Amir Khan would be forgiven if he didn't fancy staging the defining fight of his career take place at the home of English football.
But despite looking on as Stoke hammered the Trotters 5-0 in last season's FA Cup semi-final, Khan is still very keen to face Floyd Mayweather Jr at Wembley in what would be one of the biggest boxing events to ever take place in the UK.
The Bolton fighter looks destined to meet the man regarded, alongside Khan's gym mate Manny Pacquiao, as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet in 2012 and will be hoping he doesn't take a battering like Owen Coyle's men.
However, with no disrespect to Bolton, or even Stoke for that matter, Khan is at the pinnacle of his sport and while he would be the underdog, he has grown into a fighter who won't be totally outclassed on the biggest of stages.
After easily dispatching of IBF champion Zab Judah last week, Khan is targeting one more fight in the light-welterweight division in December before making the step up to welterweight and preparing himself for a super-fight with Mayweather.
The American is keen to fight in the UK after growing an admiration for boxing fans on these shores when he fought Ricky Hatton back in 2007.
Hatton, always a fan favourite, took a huge crowd over to Las Vegas for what was a huge money-spinning bout for both fighters and Mayweather reckons he could create similar interest and sell out the 90,000-seater stadium if he was to face Khan.
As he has ruled out ever meeting his training partner Pacquiao, Khan certainly won't turn down the chance to face the undefeated Mayweather in what would be without doubt the biggest fight of his career.
"I think every young fighter wants to fight the best out there and in this era Floyd is the best along with Manny Pacquiao," Khan told Sky Sports News.
"I can't fight Manny because we train together and we're good friends but Floyd is a possibility, Floyd is a fight that - in the next 12 months - could happen.
"And to bring that fight to the UK - Floyd has said that he would want to fight in Wembley Stadium - what a huge fight that would be. I'm sure with someone like Floyd and myself, it would be a sell-out."
There's still a long way to go before the match-up can take place with Khan due out in December again and Mayweather facing Victor Ortiz in September, but both fighters seem keen to get the mouth-watering clash signed.
Khan has admitted he will succumb to Mayweather's stringent drug testing demands that stopped the American taking on Pacquiao in the past.
And rightly so as he would be foolish to let such a little request scupper the chance to earn not only the fight of his career, but also the biggest pay day.
The British fighter accepts his days as a light-welterweight are numbered and is planning the move up to welterweight to continue his ambition to be the best pound-for-pound fighter.
"I think there's only one more fight (for me) in this division, because it is so hard for me to get fights at 140 pounds. So we'll take this one fight, then we'll move to 147lbs where there are more challengers.
"We are going in the right direction, I've got (trainer) Freddie (Roach) and my team who are advising me, I just want to keep active and stay busy."
The road to Wembley begins in December for Khan as he cannot afford a slip-up if he is to earn his dream date with Mayweather.
An impressive showing in his last outing at light-welterweight and a comfortable warm-up at welterweight will set the Bolton man up perfectly.
And while Mayweather would still rightly be a red-hot favourite to claim glory should they meet, Khan will no doubt seek solace in the fact that Wembley has seen its fair amount of upsets over the years – albeit in a different sport.