Redemption for Victor Ortiz

By Teron Briggs: On June 7th, 2009 Victor Ortiz after having gotten out to a blazing fast start, knocking down his opponent Marcos Maidana three times in the first two rounds, lost control of the bout and received the kind of beating that made him decide he didn’t want to engage in a fight anymore. A boxer gets praised for going out on his shield; he receives a scarlet letter for committing the cardinal sin of quitting. Victor Ortiz a highly touted, undefeated prospect, who at the ripe old age of 22 had just headlined the Staples Center, was now considered a boxing fraud.

(Fast Forward Almost 2 Years Later)

Ortiz entered his fight against WBC Champ Andre Berto with only one legitimate loss in 28 fights; with 22 wins coming by way of knockout, undefeated in his last 6 fights, yet still a 3.5 to1 underdog. If you asked most boxing experts and fans you would be hard pressed to find 1 in 35 people who would’ve picked him to win. He entered the bout viewed as a stepping-stone for Berto to establish himself as the number three guy behind Pacquaio and Mayweather in the division. Oh, how wrong they were. Ortiz was more determined and focused then anyone could imagine. He came to the ring with a chip the size of Floyd Mayweather’s ego on his shoulder and throwing punches with the murderous intentions of Manny Pacquiao. Berto believed that Ortiz had a “little speed and a little power” but was “limited” and most importantly, didn’t have as strong of a will to win as he did. Few people realized the boxer who had quit 2 years prior, had grown into a full-fledged fighter.

It was evident by looking at the physique of Ortiz that he hadn’t cut any corners in training for what was undoubtedly the most important bout of his career. Ortiz started out of the gate fierce, like he had done many times previously, knocking down his opponent in the 1st round. His above average combination of speed and power simply over-matched his foe early on. However, Berto possessed too much skill and heart to be dismissed easily. He used his lighting fast hands as well as nothing less than sheer determination to battle himself back into the fight, badly hurting Ortiz in the sixth round, the same one he had previously quit in. There was no quit in Ortiz this night though. He was prepared to take it as well as he dished it. Undeterred, he floored Berto later in the round and fought his way to a 12 round unanimous decision victory, as the champion struggled to finish upright. “Vicious” Victor Ortiz at 24 years old had earned his proverbially boxing stripes, overcoming adversity to come out victorious. He had gotten up from the canvas not once, but twice to win an exciting slugfest that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best fights in 2011. On April 16th, 2011 the newly crowned WBC Welterweight had gotten his redemption, by literally fighting for it.

Article posted on 19.04.2011

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