In one of 2011's most anticipated matchups, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KO) makes his long-awaited comeback versus "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 21 KO) in a 12-round bout for Ortiz's WBC welterweight title.
September 17 is the date, and the momentum is behind Ortiz, who is coming off a "fight of the year" candidate versus previously unbeaten Welterweight Champion Andre Berto.
Mayweather hasn't fought since defeating Shane Mosley in May, 2010. A series of domestic violence cases have kept him outside of the ring, but it should have no effect come fight night.
With the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy bout scheduled for November, fans can use these five reasons to buy the PPV that comes first.
It’s been a long time since Mayweather has fought someone in their prime, and although Ortiz isn't in it just yet, he isn't out of it, and that counts for something that many of Mayweather's previous opponents didn't have an advantage in.
The risk of taking on someone of Mayweather's caliber will help him no matter what, because he is only 24 and has a lot of years in boxing ahead of him. It's always fun to see someone progress as a fighter, and this will be a big moment for the 2008 ESPN prospect of the year.
In six years, Ortiz may be one of the few active boxers that can say he fought Mayweather, and that makes this a special fight in the career of the Mexican-American.
Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya and Carlos Baldomir were all on their way out when they went face-to-face with Mayweather, and it was a good excuse for their mostly lackluster performances.
With speed, agility and all the things that make the five-division champion as great as he is, Mayweather could easily make the case for being the best boxer in the world. He was recently removed from Ring Magazine's pound-for-pound rankings.
Ortiz is developing his skills exponentially, and it showed in the Berto fight. A win over Mayweather could easily equal a "fighter of the year" award for him.
It’s always exciting when a fighter who has never tasted defeat steps into the ring, no matter how good or bad they are. Most of the time, it means a fighter isn’t fighting top-level opponents, but in Mayweather's case, it's a rare combination of skill and determination that goes unmatched and unseen for decades at a time.
For a lot of fans, they tune in to a boxing match featuring Mayweather because they want to see him get beat, but it hasn’t happened yet. That doesn’t mean it can’t, and as long as it doesn't, people will always want to see him fight. A fighter can only lose for the first time once, and that is something nobody should miss should it happen to Mayweather.
At 41-0, Mayweather puts himself in an elite class of undefeated champions like Rocky Marciano (49-0), Joe Calzaghe (46-0) and Ricardo Lopez (51-0). He has done it fighting most of the best fighters in the super-featherweight, lightweight and welterweight classes, and he’s been dominant throughout his 15-year professional career.
Unfortunately for some undefeated fighters, their defining moment is the first time they lose. Could this be Mayweather's defining moment? Could it be his last?
Although Mayweather has only had one knockout in the last five years, many of his opponents haven’t been there to get hit, and he isn’t one to force the action. Ortiz is.
The one man “Money May” did knock out was Ricky Hatton, and the “Hitman’s” style played right into his hands. His come-forward brawling attack left him open for counter shots, and that's just what he got in the 10th round in the form of a left hook, getting knocked out and defeated for the first time in his career.
Ortiz has the ability to brawl and box, and he faced adversity more than once, getting knocked down in both of his fights with Marcos Maidana and Berto. His only legitimate loss was when he refused to continue in the fight with Maidana after being cut and knocked down by the fighter from Argentina. His other loss is by disqualification.
Ortiz has nothing to worry about in terms of where his record stands, because he already has been beaten more than once, and that makes him all the more dangerous and fearless of going after his opponent. It also leaves him open, and a ring technician like Mayweather will pick up on it quick.
Expect to not only see the boxer-puncher style of Ortiz but of Mayweather as well. It could result in a knockout on either side, and that's something both are capable of delivering.
It seems like many fighters are beginning to fight outside of their weight class in the search of the big-money bouts, especially the lightweight and light-welterweight fighters.
The welterweight division is where many of the stars are, including Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley. Ortiz is also included in the stars of the division, and he is possibly the most exciting fighter after Pacquiao.
Mayweather’s toughest opponent in recent memory was Juan Manuel Marquez, and that fight was a mismatch from the time it was announced. Jumping up 10 lbs. in weight, Marquez was knocked down and dominated for 12 rounds in one of Mayweather’s finest and most dominating performances against one of his best opponents.
Mayweather will find out early that Ortiz isn’t going to have the same problems other fighters have jumping up and down in weight, and this will make both boxers step up their game even further.
In Ortiz’s last bout versus Berto, he traded knockdowns with the former WBC welterweight champion in the first six rounds of the bout.
Berto was dropped three times, two of which were ruled official knockdowns, while Ortiz was dropped once in the second and once in the sixth.
In a 2009 bout versus hard-punching Marcos Maidana, Ortiz traded five knockdowns with the welterweight contender before calling it quits in round six. It was a setback, but one well worth taking because of the improvements he has made since then, both mentally and physically.
If Mayweather is prepared to fight back, get ready for some fireworks. Don't be surprised to see both fighters hit the canvas in this fight.
Neither boxer is going to win this fight easily, and they will have to go through some dangerous situations to be victorious.