Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz: Breaking Down the Fight
For the first time in several years "the powers that be" in boxing have managed to submit a major PPV fight with deserved concerns and intrigue, outside of the names and past glory of each fighter.
Straying from the formula of the last five to six years, which has seen promoters capitalize on fans' perpetual nature to be fooled by names and disregard current ability (Pacquiao-Mosley, Mayweather-Marquez and now Pacquiao-Marquez), when Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz square off on September 17th there will be two live fighters, both with questions to be answered, that could finally give fans their $59.99 worth.
Besides the drab storylines of Victor Ortiz as "the young, hungry fighter" and Floyd Mayweather starring as the "storied old champ," there are real plots and questions that will be answered on fight night and their results will go a long way in determining the winner of this fight and the landscape of the boxing scene for years to come.
How Will the Layoff Affect Floyd Mayweather?
On September 17th, Floyd Mayweather will be making his official return to the ring, ending what has been a 16-month hiatus from the sport.
His age, 34, combined with this sabbatical from the sport have raised the question, is Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally beatable?
For those who worry about how much of an affect the layoff will impose on Mayweather, his 21-month layoff against Juan Manuel Marquez should ease those, where despite some admitted ring rust, Mayweather dominated for 12 rounds.
For his take, Mayweather told reporters, "The layoff won't hurt me. It helps me. I get mentally stronger, knowing even more about the sport. I'm staying sharp without getting beat up in there."
It's an interesting take as many have pointed to Ortiz's age as a major advantage in the fight, but looking at Mayweather's record, he doesn't have the wear and tear of your average 34-year-old fighter, as his defensive style and layoffs have seemed to keep Father Time at bay.
However, few fighters rely on reflexes and quick-twitch movement as much as Mayweather and if age or his layoff deteriorates those assets even the slightest bit, Mayweather becomes a much different fighter.
Possibly even beatable.
Can Victor Ortiz Keep from Becoming Discouraged?
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There will undoubtedly come a time in the fight where Floyd Mayweather's skill and talent will have its reign of dominance in the fight. How Ortiz will respond to that will determine the fight.
For all the praise Ortiz gained from the Berto fight, the main question that hung over him prior to that fight can still be raised.
If Mayweather takes control of the fight, will Ortiz show the mental toughness he displayed against Berto or will he mentally give in like he has done in the past?
And for someone who has displayed a willingness to give up or quit mentally when things become difficult, Mayweather is not the greatest opponent to fight. Not only has Mayweather beaten his opponents psychically, but probably more than any fighter in recent years, Mayweather mentally destroys his opponent, leaving them angry, dazed and confused.
Ricky Hatton is a prime example of a fighter who mentally broke down against Mayweather and was later destroyed physically.
Ortiz will look to apply the same pressure techniques that Hatton attempted, but failed to do so successfully. As the fight continued Hatton, down on the cards and frustrated, began to swing widely leaving him susceptible to the knockout.
In order to win, Ortiz will have to remain mentally stable and focused.
This will be a great test for him.
Will Mayweather's Desire To Stand Toe to Toe Come Back To Haunt Him?
If you've watched any interviews or heard any soundbites from Floyd Mayweather, you've most likely heard his intentions to stand right in front of Victor Ortiz and bring the fight to him in a similar fashion to the way he fought Shane Mosley.
It was interesting to watch Mayweather stand toe to toe with Mosley, as if he had something to prove, even after the debacle which was Round 2 of that fight. But after the big second round for Mosley, Mayweather continued to stand in the pocket and dominated the remainder of the fight in one of the best offensive performances of the later part of his career.
But while Floyd looked great for the majority of the fight, there is no question that not using his great foot movement at least puts him more in harm's way than his stick-and-move formula of the past and eliminates one of the biggest potential challenges for Ortiz—finding Mayweather.
Regardless of the reason why he has changed his style—tired of fan criticism, old legs or an desire to "outperform" rival Manny Pacquiao—this new and more exciting Floyd Mayweather should deliver a more interesting and fan-friendly product.
Whether that results in the continuance of a perfect record remains to be seen.
Just How Good Is Victor Ortiz?
For a 24-year-old fighter, we've seen a lot of ups and downs in his career.
The ups: being touted as the next "big thing" by Golden Boy Promotions, starting his career, for all intents and purposes, undefeated and most recently, beating Andre Berto in a Fight of the Year candidate and placing himself into the pool of "big-time" fighters.
The downs: quitting against, at the time, a relatively unknown Marcos Maidana and then fighting to a draw against Lamont Peterson.
So tasked with the most difficult of all challenges, the biggest question to observers and even Ortiz himself, is just how good is the 24-year-old champion?
Yes, we saw him put on a strong performance against Berto, but that seems to be a tailor-made fight against an opponent who is more difficult to miss than hit. We've yet to see Ortiz beat a top-level boxer, as he prepares for the best in the sport.
That doesn't spell good news for Vicious.