Posts Tagged ‘Victor Ortiz’

After long layoff, Victor Ortiz ready to get back to boxing against Luis Collazo

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Losses to Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez derailed Victor Ortiz's rise, but he's back with a vengeance after 19 months (Grant Hindsley/AP

Losses to Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez derailed Victor Ortiz’s rise, but he’s ready to get back in the ring. (Grant Hindsley/AP)

NEW YORK — Three years ago Victor Ortiz was on top of the boxing world, a welterweight champion barreling towards a showdown with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. He was young, good looking with a compelling back story, a true star on the rise.

Today, Ortiz is something else entirely.

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2014
  • Quick jabs: Victor Ortiz eyes Freddie Roach, Gabriel Rosado’s rise, more

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    Former welterweight champ Victor Ortiz (above), who is coming off back-to-back knockout losses, could be pairing with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Victor Ortiz, who parted ways with longtime trainer Danny Garcia after last June’s loss to Josesito Lopez, has reached out to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Roach says he will meet with Ortiz once the former welterweight titleholder recovers from the broken jaw he suffered against Lopez.

    • With Emanuel Steward battling a serious illness, Wladimir Klitschko will begin training camp for his Nov. 10 heavyweight title defense against Mariusz Wach without a chief cornerman. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says that Klitschko is hoping Steward will be able to join camp in late October and work his corner for the fight.

    • A dark horse candidate to face super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward: Denis Grachev, who will face Lucian Bute in November. Grachev (12-0) is coming off a stunning knockout win over top prospect Ismayl Sillakh last April. If Grachev beats Bute, he will likely become a very appealing possibility for Ward.

    • I still think Kelly Pavlik is the most realistic big-name opponent for Ward.

    • Miguel Cotto picked a dangerous tune-up opponent in Austin Trout. Trout isn’t exciting — his win over Delvin Rodriguez in June was as dull as it was decisive — but he is slick and savvy in the ring. If Trout isn’t overwhelmed by the moment, he has a great chance at an upset.

    • What a wasted year this has been for Gary Russell Jr. For Andre Dirrell, too.

    • While Cornelius Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title defense against Andre Berto isn’t done yet, I’m told it’s very close to being finalized for Nov. 24 on HBO. On paper, Berto, who has not fought in over a year after testing positive for a banned substance during training for his scheduled rematch against Victor Ortiz, would appear to be a big favorite. But Berto will be moving up in weight to face Bundrage, whose aggressive, awkward style could give Berto problems.

    • The winner of Berto-Bundrage will be obligated to defend the title against Gabriel Rosado, who earned the position of mandatory challenger with a knockout win over Charles Whittaker last Friday. A year ago, high-profile opponents would have done everything they could to avoid Rosado. But because Rosado’s profile has risen considerably on the heels of three straight knockout wins on NBC Sports Network — wins that have sparked interest from the better paying premium networks — expect him to get that shot early next year.

    • I like Main Events plan to focus on moving fighters up the IBF rankings. The IBF is regarded as the most respectable of the sanctioning bodies, which is to say if a fighter is ranked No. 1, he is going to get his title shot.

    • Ricky Hatton has sold more than 18,000 tickets to his comeback fight in November — and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet. Incredible.

    • Roy Jones-Kimbo Slice? Pass. Pass, pass, pass.

    • Thoughts and prayers are with the family of former heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders, who according to police was shot and killed while celebrating a family member’s 21st birthday party in Cape Town, South Africa. Sanders was 46.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 25, 2012
  • Ortiz’s career suffers another blow after bowing out against Lopez

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    Josesito Lopez

    Josesito Lopez (right) broke Victor Ortiz’s jaw in his stunning upset Saturday. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    In eight years as a professional, Victor Ortiz has had some, shall we say, questionable moments. He quit against Marcos Maidana in 2009 and humiliated himself with a leaping head butt in a loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2011. Now this: On Saturday night, Ortiz stopped his fight against Josesito Lopez after the ninth round, complaining of a broken jaw.

    In fairness, getting hit on a busted jaw is probably excruciatingly painful and Lopez, a tough, rugged 140-pounder who moved up in weight and took this fight on short notice after Andre Berto dropped out, was hitting Ortiz on the chin all night. The Showtime commentators suggested Ortiz broke his jaw in the ninth round, but earlier in the fight cameras showed Ortiz pulling cornerman Danny Garcia close in between rounds and whispering something the microphones could not pick up, which is often a sign that there is something physically wrong with the fighter that he doesn’t want repeated on the broadcast.

    I don’t think I would be willing to go out and take sledgehammer shots on my jaw after breaking it. But I’m not looking at a multimillion dollar payday and a high-profile title shot against Saul Alvarez if I won, either.

    That’s what Ortiz lost when he chose not to continue. Granted, the broken jaw would have prevented Ortiz from being ready to face Alvarez in September anyway. But the fight would have been made at some point, and if Ortiz had prevailed despite the injury — he was leading on all three judges cards at the time of the stoppage — chances are it would be even bigger.

    Instead, Ortiz will once again be faced with questions about whether he has the heart to be an elite fighter. Yes, a broken jaw is painful. But Muhammad Ali broke his jaw during a fight with Ken Norton and fought the rest of the way. Vitali Klitschko’s face was split open by Lennox Lewis and he fought until the ringside doctors told him he could not. All great fighters face adversity; it’s how they overcome it that makes them great.

    Ortiz will be back. He’s young and popular and his career will continue. But it seems unlikely he will ever live up to his enormous early potential. Ortiz has tremendous power but he doesn’t box very well and he comes to the ring looking more like a body builder than a boxer, which at times appears to hinder his movement. The fact that he had so much trouble with Lopez, a good but certainly not great fighter, suggests some changes need to be made.

    As for Alvarez, well, he might as well put an ad out for an opponent on Craigslist. Fights with Paul Williams and James Kirkland have already been scrapped, and now Ortiz is out of the mix. There are options for him out there — Gabriel Rosado, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout are probably at the top of the list — but they won’t generate anywhere near the buzz. And with HBO set to broadcast Julio Cesar Chavez-Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15th, the fight will likely force Alvarez’s date to be moved or taken off pay per view.

    Lopez is not a realistic candidate for Alvarez — that’s just way too big of a weight to make — but he now has some serious options as well. There will likely be a rematch with Ortiz, and Lopez now joins a crowded group of exciting fighters between 140 and 147 pounds that should make for many action-packed matchups in the future.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jun 23, 2012
  • Andre Berto tests positive for steroids, rematch with Victor Ortiz called off

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    Andre Berto (right) lost a split decision to Victor Ortiz (left) in one of 2011′s best fights. (AP)

    Former welterweight titleholder Andre Berto has tested positive for a banned substance and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has called off the fighter’s rematch with Victor Ortiz.

    The positive test, which was administered by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency, was confirmed in Berto’s A and B samples.

    The banned substance was norandrosterone, a metabolite made of nandrolone and an anabolic steroid which can stimulate muscle growth. Traces of nandrolone can be found in supplements. Last January, Berto ruptured his left bicep, forcing the fight to be postponed until June.

    Before the fight was officially cancelled, Showtime had already started looking at possible replacement candidates for Berto.

    After learning of the positive test, Ortiz’s camp released a statement denying any use of a banned substance and questioning the laboratory that took the tests.

    “At the present time, I cannot explain the positive drug test, which was provided as part of a voluntary anti-doping program in which I agreed to participate,” Berto said in the statement. “I know that I have never used any steroids or other banned substances, and I am investigating all possible causes of the positive test with my attorney Howard Jacobs. I have never cheated, and all of my success has come from hard work and dedication.”

    Victor Conte, the convicted steroids distributor who had been working with Berto as a nutritionist, distanced himself from the positive result on Twitter.

    “Andre Berto’s postive test for nandrolone has absolutely nothing to do with me or any supplements I provided,” Conte said. “[It’s] likely trace contamination. Andre has admitted to taking supplements other than what I provided without my knowledge. Apparently, something was contaminated. Nandrolone is known as the ‘kiss of death’ steroid. [It] stays in [the] body from minimum of six months up to 18 months. No athlete uses it to cheat. Hundreds of Olympic athletes have testing positive for traces of nandrolone. I do not believe any of them injected it with intent to cheat.”

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On May 18, 2012
  • Victor Ortiz completes Los Angeles marathon in personal-best time

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    Victor Ortiz (left), who ran the L.A. Marathon on Sunday in a personal-best time, fights a return bout with Andre Berto (right) on June 23. (AP)

    Victor Ortiz returned to action Sunday for the first time since September’s knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather — but it wasn’t in the prize ring.

    The former WBC welterweight champion completed the Los Angeles Marathon in a personal-best three hours, 27 minutes, finishing among the top third of an estimated 30,000 starters.

    “It was such great fun running with all these world class marathoners,” Ortiz said. “I know that made me run better than ever. In many ways it couldn’t be any more different that boxing. I mean nobody is punching you in the nose, the gut, the kidneys and on the chin and up the side of your head.

    “But in other ways doing this very much relates to boxing. Conditioning the lungs, the legs and building endurance. That’s why all fighters do road work. But 26-plus miles is something else.”

    The Ventura, Calif., native is scheduled to face Andre Berto on June 23 in a rematch of last year’s crowd-pleasing title fight, a split-decision win for Ortiz. That triumph vaulted Ortiz into a pay-per-view showdown with Mayweather in September, when he lost his title on a fourth-round knockout.

    “I won’t say going 12 three-minute championship rounds is easy,” Ortiz said. “Anything but. But Berto must know how prepared I’ll be when he hears I ran this well three months before our fight. I’m very happy.”

    Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, also participated but injured his knee and said he’ll require surgery.

    “Victor would have finished even faster if he didn’t lay back with me during the early miles,” Arellano said. “When I insisted go get it and don’t worry about me, he took off like he had rockets in his shoes.”

    Arellano did finish the race eventually.

    “Rolando is a bulldog,” Ortiz said. “He finished the marathon hurt knee and all … in eight hours.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On Mar 19, 2012
  • Ortiz, Berto reach terms on rematch

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    Victor Ortiz, left, beat Andre Berto last April for the WBC welterweight championship. (AP)

    Former welterweight titleholders Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto, who faced off in a thrilling slugfest last April, have agreed to terms on a rematch, an industry source told SI.com. While the exact date and location have not been determined, the fight will be televised by Showtime.

    In the first fight, Ortiz (29-3-2) outpointed Berto (28-1) in a Fight of the Year candidate that earned Ortiz an alphabet title and served as a springboard for his fight against Floyd Mayweather in September. That same month Berto rebounded from the loss by winning another alphabet title in an impressive fifth round technical knockout of Jan Zaveck. He later vacated the title, choosing to pursue a more lucrative fight with Ortiz than face the mandatory challenger, Randall Bailey.

    While Berto-Ortiz II has been anticipated for some time, that Showtime swooped in to pick it up is a surprise. The first fight was televised by HBO, which has a long history with both fighters. Sources say both sides were not pleased with HBO’s initial offer, which was significantly less than what the network offered for the first fight.

    By buying Berto-Ortiz II, Showtime — which named former Golden Boy Promotions attorney Stephen Espinoza to replace HBO-bound Ken Hershman earlier this month — makes a strong statement about its willingness to be a serious competitor to HBO. With very few quality matchups looming in the first quarter of 2012, Showtime may have picked up the most significant fight.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 25, 2011
  • Roundtable: Manny Pacquiao’s next fight?

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    A surprisingly rocky performance by Manny Pacquiao (right) on Saturday represents the latest twist in the long road to a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. (AP)

    Who should Manny Pacquiao fight next and why?

    CHRIS MANNIX: Marquez. For starters, he earned it. Marquez has lost two of his three fights to Pacquiao and you can make an argument that he won all three. In fact, the only thing decided on Saturday was that nothing was decided.

    I’ve been craving a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown as much as anyone, but simply brooming Marquez aside would be insulting. Besides, Pacquiao-Marquez IV would generate a huge buzz and would invariably lead to a close, competitive, action-packed fight. Moreover, I get the feeling Pacquiao needs another fight with Marquez. Not because he needs closure but because Mayweather presents most of the same style problems of Marquez, along with a host of others. It’s a risk, but I say do Marquez first, then hope for a crack at Mayweather.

    RICHARD O’BRIEN: I had no quarrel with Pacquiao’s getting the decision against Marquez last Saturday night. The fight was close, and Marquez, as well-schooled and focused a fighter as any in the game today, showed he knows exactly how to fight Manny. But he never pressed the issue and he certainly did not close out the show. Should they fight a fourth time? Sure. But not just yet.

    Manny’s less-than-spectacular form against Marquez no doubt has lots of observers now giving him a lot less of a chance against Mayweather (whom Chris observes in this week’s SI is essentially a bigger, faster, stronger, younger Marquez). But that’s still the fight that boxing needs. Pacquiao has to know that his time is running short, as is Mayweather’s. And, no, Manny has no obligation to beat Marquez “more convincingly” before moving on.

    Freddie Roach may be a little more concerned than he was before at the prospect of facing Floyd, but the idea that the 32-year-old Pac-Man needs a tune-up at this point, seems misguided. It may indeed prove to be the case that Mayweather is too complete and too slick for Pacquiao, but Manny has wanted this bout for years and if his flawed showing against Marquez makes him suddenly more attractive to Mayweather, well, that’s one good thing for Manny to come out of this weekend.

    BRYAN ARMEN GRAHAM: Sure, Pacquiao should fight Marquez. Even Roach said so, and he hates the fight. But since when has what happens in boxing been about should? Now is not the time for an attack of conscience when Mayweather-Pacquaio is as close to coming off as ever. While any boxing purist would love to see Pacquiao-Marquez IV — a modern-day answer to the Willie Pep-Sandy Saddler quadrilogy — I’d be happy to wait until November 2012 for it. And I know I’m not alone.

    Pacquiao hadn’t been seriously challenged since his previous fight with Marquez in 2008, a credit both to his meteoric spike in talent under Roach and expert matchmaking by Top Rank’s Bruce Trampler and Brad “Abdul” Goodman. But Marquez’s savvy counterpunching and meticulous ring generalship exposed a vulnerability that likely had Mayweather licking his chops.

    Can Manny beat Floyd? It’s possible, but it won’t be easy. Pacquiao will need to recommit himself 100 percent to boxing to solve the biggest obstacle of his professional career — a challenge that may very well define him. That means no politics. No endorsements. No singing. No distractions. Maybe pass on Jimmy Kimmel this time. If he can return to the place he was before the Oscar De La Hoya fight that launched him to global susperstardom, Pacquiao may be able to fill out the holes in his game that Mayweather will be itching to exploit. If not, then Saturday’s fight was merely the beginning of the end.


  • Published On Nov 14, 2011
  • Mayweather, 50 Cent appear on ’106 & Park’

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    Floyd Mayweather appeared on BET’s 106 & Park on Wednesday and ratcheted up the pressure on Manny Pacquiao to submit to completely random urine and blood testing so the world’s two best pound-for-pound fighters can finally meet in the ring.

    Mayweather brushed off a question about the controversial ending to his Sept. 17 fight with Victor Ortiz — saying “it is what it is” — before quickly calling out Pacquiao.

    “We’re looking for Pacquiao,” Mayweather said. “We want Pacquiao to take the test. We just want to give the fans and the people around the world what they want to see.”

    When 106 & Park co-host Rocsi asked why Mayweather believes Pacquiao is being helped by performance-enhancing drugs, Mayweather quickly corrected her.

    “I never said that Pacquiao was on anything,” Mayweather said. “It’s just that it’s not natural for any athlete to come from 106 all the way to 154, all natural, and compete with the best fighters. I never said Pacquiao was taking anything. I’m the face of boxing, and I’m just trying to clean the sport up.”

    When asked what disputes were keeping the fight from being made, Mayweather circled back to a familiar talking point.

    “We’re just trying to do random blood and random urine tests,” he said. “I took the test. I’m not just picking on one fighter. Ortiz took the test. [Shane] Mosley took the test. All I’m asking Pacquaio to do is take the test so we can make it happen.”

    Mayweather was later joined on set by rapper/best friend 50 Cent, who was there to promote his new energy drink and book.


  • Published On Nov 03, 2011
  • Ortiz embarrasses self with conference call

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    Victor Ortiz is taking aim at a rematch with Floyd Mayweather when he should be eyeing a return bout with Andre Berto. (Barry Sweet/ZUMAPRESS.com)

    When a fighter loses in a controversial manner, some sour grapes are to be expected. When those gripes are delivered at a post-fight press conference they are, to most, understandable. When they are delivered via conference call more than a week later they are, to everyone, embarrassing.

    On Monday, Victor Ortiz — along with his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya and manager, Rolando Arellano — held a call to discuss his Sept. 17 knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather. And it didn’t take long for the call to spin out of control.

    Some of the (low)lights:

    • Ortiz claimed that his head butt of Mayweather — as overt, unsportsmanlike and illegal a shot as you will see in boxing — was prompted by Mayweather’s incessant elbowing, something Ortiz says he had repeatedly warned referee Joe Cortez about before the fight. “He released the elbow on me,” said Ortiz. “I released the head butt.”

    • De La Hoya, whose feuding with Mayweather has escalated in recent months, claimed that none of his past opponents would have delivered the kind of cheap shots that Mayweather knocked Ortiz out with. “Not even a [Ricardo] Mayorga would have done that,” De La Hoya said. “Not even a Fernando Vargas. That’s a new technique that must be taught in boxing.”

    • Despite losing eight of the nine rounds scored by the three judges — and being shut out on many ringside media cards as well — Ortiz claimed he was in control of the fight. “I was dictating,” Ortiz said.

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  • Published On Sep 26, 2011
  • Roundtable: Legacy of Mayweather-Ortiz?

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    Floyd Mayweather (left) appeared to be cruising to victory Saturday against Victor Ortiz before his controversial fourth-round knockout. (AP)

    What is the legacy of Floyd Mayweather’s controversial victory over Victor Ortiz?

    CHRIS MANNIX: This will stick to Mayweather for a while, as the taken-out-of-context video of him dropping Ortiz with that sickening, undefended combination will soon go viral. But let’s look at the full breadth of the exchange, shall we? Ortiz had hugged him. He kissed him. He tapped gloves with him. Then he hugged him again, the final act of affection coming after referee Joe Cortez had said “let’s go.” At what point does the conversation shift from what Mayweather did to what Ortiz didn’t do? It’s no coincidence that when great fighters offer an apology, it comes in the form of one arm extended with the other coiled and prepared to parry an incoming shot. Mayweather’s actions make a good highlight and his polarizing personality makes him easy to criticize. But this incident was more about Ortiz than Mayweather, about what happens when an inexperienced fighter looking to be friends meets a world class fighter looking to win.

    RICHARD O’BRIEN: Stanley Ketchel, the great middleweight champion of the early 1900s, whose nickname was The Michigan Assassin, was hardly known as a strict observer of the ring niceties. But on Sept. 7, 1908 in Vernon, Calif., when he squared off against Billy Papke, whom he’d beaten just three months before, Ketchel stepped to the middle of the ring and extended his gloves to shake hands. That’s when Papke punched him right in the throat. Ketchel never recovered, going down five times in the first round and several more times before the fight was stopped in the 14th. Since then, Ketchel’s name has been indelibly linked to boxing’s fundamental edict: “Protect yourself at all times.”

    Now that phrase will also forever evoke the smiling, and decidedly unprotected, face of Victor Ortiz, a far more amiable soul than Ketchel. Seemingly more intent on apologizing for his head butt of Mayweather than with getting on with the fight, Ortiz got his response from Floyd in the form of a quick left hook and a batting-practice home run of a straight right that put Victor down and out.

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  • Published On Sep 19, 2011


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