After watching the first three episodes of 24/7: Mayweather vs. Ortiz, Victor Ortiz just may be television's worst personality. A future Charles Barkley of boxing he is not.
What Ortiz is, however, is a 24-year-old fighter with a lot of ability and big dreams. On September 17th, "Vicious" will have the chance to take the next step as a superstar by handing Floyd Mayweather his first career loss.
Win or lose, we have not heard the last from Victor Ortiz. Here are five fighters HBO's newest "star" should face after Mayweather.
If Victor Ortiz pulls the upset over Floyd Mayweather, a fight against Manny Pacquiao is next in line. If Ortiz loses, he will likely be doomed to the category of “Mayweather, Pacquiao and everyone else” in the welterweight division. Regardless, what a fight it would be.
Both men come forward relentlessly and are high-volume punchers. Neither seems to care much for defense, and both are fairly easy to hit if you can catch up to them. A bout between the two would be an absolute war, and would likely be stopped before the final bell.
Unless the Mayweather fight finally happens, who else in the division could challenge Pacquiao’s dominance?
Victor Ortiz versus Marcos Maidana was Fight of the Year material. Still, it continues to be the lone legitimate blemish on Ortiz’ impressive resume.
A war that conjured memories of Tommy “The Hit Man” Hearns versus “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler gave an anticlimactic ending that doesn't do the fight justice. After five combined knock downs (three by the hands of Ortiz, two by Maidana) Ortiz mundanely accepted the referee's judgement that his cuts were too bad to continue. Worse than losing the fight, the ending brought Ortiz’ heart into question.
Many good fighters have lost to men less skilled than them. The truly great ones (Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Lennox Lewis to name a few) come back to avenge their loss in convincing fashion.
If Ortiz wants to be considered on that level, he has to avenge the one true loss on his record.
Victor Ortiz came into his own by bumping up to the welterweight division. Another jump to middleweight to fight the undisputed champion, Victor Ortiz, would only enhance his legacy.
Ortiz would face a five-inch reach disadvantage by bumping up in weight class. However, much of Martinez’ strategy is based upon being the smaller fighter. He holds his hands down, sometimes below his waste, to lure a taller fighter, such as Paul Williams or Kelly Pavlik, into throwing a jab he can counter.
Victor Ortiz barely knows how to spell the word “jab.” It would be interesting to see how these different styles clashed in the ring, and whose strategy would prevail.
Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz just might be the next faces of boxing. Floyd Mayweather is 34 years old, Manny Pacquiao supposedly has five fights left before he continues in politics, and “Sugar” Shane Mosley is at about past the point of retirement.
Still, the exciting (in the ring, that is) young fighters managed to miss each other as they were coming up in the junior welterweight division. With Ortiz’ success at welterweight, it is unlikely he will go back to junior. Khan, however, will soon reach the point of a new challenge, and will need to bump up to the sport’s most competitive division.
Paul Williams is still suffering from the embarrassment of being knocked out by Sergio Martinez in their rematch. Just as Victor Ortiz revitalized his career by defeating a star in Andre Berto, Williams needs the same spark.
If Ortiz does consider fighting middleweights, expect Williams to be the first to lend his services. A taller fighter who is not afraid to mix it up inside, this fight would be along the lines of the first Martinez matchup.
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