Victor Ortiz vs. Robert Guerrero: Latest Comments and Training VideosAugust 19, 2021
Former world champions Victor Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) and Robert Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) will get another chance to shine in the spotlight on Saturday night when they square off on the undercard of the welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Both Ortiz and Guerrero are well past their primes and haven't seen much action recently, but they are promising to put on a show for fans.
"The one thing is you know Victor Ortiz comes to fight, and I come to fight all the time, so it’s gonna be a great fight," Guerrero said, per RingTV.com's Dan Rafael.
Guerrero, 38, is far removed from his glory days in the early 2010s when he won the lightweight and welterweight titles. After losing the 147-pound title to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, Guerrero remained a contender for several years but couldn't pick up any new hardware. He retired in 2017 after a string of losses but has since returned to the sport and picked up three wins in a row. The most recent was a decision victory over Gerald Thomas in September 2019.
Ortiz, 34, has been away from the ring even longer than Guerrero. His last fight was against Devon Alexander in February 2018, which ended in a draw. In September of that year, Ortiz turned himself in on forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible digital penetration charges, which led to promoters cancelling a planned bout against John Molina.
Last year, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office dropped the case against Ortiz because prosecutors found they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, per Megan Diskin of the Ventura County Star.
Ortiz is a powerful puncher who likes to go after his opponents. It worked well for him on his run-up to winning the WBC welterweight title against Andre Berto in 2011, but he's had mixed results since then. He's lost four times since capturing the 147-pound title, all of them by stoppage. Recent training videos show Ortiz has done well to keep in shape, but his defense will need to be sharp against a seasoned veteran in Guerrero.
While Ortiz says he plans to give fans "the toe-to-toe battle they're expecting," per BoxingScene.com, Guerrero might try to avoid turning the contest into the kind of brawls that made him a fan favorite at 147 pounds. He wants to go back to what worked earlier in his career, per Rafael:
"My career at the lighter weights I was a boxer-puncher, stayed behind the jab, working, slipping (punches), on my toes. The higher [in weight] I got I just wanted to slug and slug and slug and try to walk the big guys down, but that only gets you so far at that world class level, especially when you’re a little guy coming up.
"I was able to really go back [during the layoff] and assess myself, start working on my toes and boxing."
It's a sound strategy for an aging boxer going up against a younger opponent. Considering the long layoffs for both of them, this matchup could start off slow and be decided by whichever fighter has the better technique and stamina in the later rounds.