The fight has been officially announced with attendent press conferences and 24/7 tapings and is now less than a week away. Floyd Mayweather will be coming out of his latest retirement to challenge Vicious Victor Ortiz for the WBC welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday, September 17th.
Apparently Mayweather has a residency at the MGM Grand since his last 5 fights spread over these past 5 years have been fought there starting with his hotly contested win over Oscar de la Hoya in 2007. He skipped the previous 5 years at the MGN Grand after his hotly contested win there over Jose Luis Castillo in the first fight, so maybe he has a numerology thing goin, but wait, there’s more.
- Mayweather vs De La Hoya
Mayweather’s last 5 fights will have also been promoted by Golden Boy, so he has definitely settled into the comfy confines of scheduling in his advancing years. He’s become the proverbial “house” fighter after a career of consecutive WBC belts, flitting in and out of retirements and fights on personal necessity.
Ortiz won the WBC title from Mayweather stablemate Andre Berto, outboxing, outworking, and outslugging the surprisingly game Berto who looked tired and out on his feet at times but couldn’t be stopped. Then Ortiz shocked the boxing world by announcing via Twitter that he would be fighting Floyd Mayweather who promptly shot down that idea as foolish in a fluster of twitterings that pass as the fighters’ press releases these days.
Then lo and behold, a month later the big announcement that the fight’s on, so Vicious Victor wins the opening salvo, but wait, you just had to know, there’s more.
Mayweather as most know is highly compromised legally, facing down more than a half dozen criminal and civil lawsuits in what may prove to be the meltdown of his career. He has pulled out of fights before and now he’s back needing a new cash infusion, so what happens in the ring?
The usual suspects will run off on the sublime boxing skills of Mayweather, dismissing any chance by the 24 year old Ortiz as too raw, too crude, too inexperienced to properly match up against the highly credentialed Mayweather.
This of course ignores the rich history of aging all time greats being beat by lessor fighters too many times to be counted. Stuff happens, and sometimes it happens for well known reasons that are ignored or glossed over.
The talented Victor Ortiz was heavily promoted by Golden Boy as the new star in the making. Things then came unstuck when he was matched against the huge hitting Marcos Maidana in an entertaining slugfest that saw them swap knock downs until Ortiz pulled the plug. Howls of outrage followed with no shortage of insultive suggestions regarding what Ortiz could do with himself.
Since that time, he’s been sucessfully matched against light hitting, top boxer types, Nate Campbell, Vivian Harris, Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto, all but former champ Harris being Ring ranked. Ortiz pretty much had his way with them though he was most unfortunate to only secure a draw against Peterson who was knocked down twice. Again Ortiz took criticism for backing off and not going for the kill, but that’s the typical unsupported bias through boxing history used against sluggers when they sucessfully use their boxing skills instead of slugging. We seldom see boxers criticized for knocking out opponents, so go figure the average boxing critic if you dare.
But guess what folks, Mayweather is the tip of the top boxer types who has proven to be a featherduster since he moved to welter. He needed an assist from the turnbuckle to finish off the game Ricky Hatton, a fluke accident rarely seen and not likely to happen again in his career.
Ortiz is still a developing fighter, so it’s hard to gauge his realistic chances, but he has the raw size, strength, and talent to win the fight against the 34 yr old Mayweather who may be losing his focus. Ortiz has at least made the first part of his dream come true, a signed fight with Floyd Mayweather who ain’t the easiest guy to get a pen to.
The short of it is that the 24 year old Ortiz is in ascendency whereas Mayweather may or may not be in decline, but now is when their career timelines intersect. Does Ortiz have the heart and skill to finish what Sugar Shane Mosley started? Will Mayweather be distracted by legal woes and handicapped by ring rust or will he outclass the kid at every turn? Has Ortiz’s recent stint at modeling underwear gone to his head?
Or my favorite Mayweather question: Any controversial reffing or judging decisions?
I know this, Mayweather was rocked harder than he had ever been rocked by Shane Mosley who has modest power at the weight. He showed great instincts to not only survive, but have Mosley on the back foot by round’s end.
Can he do it again?
The southpaw Ortiz was a very powerful junior welter, so he’s a dangerous fight for anyone, but maybe team Mayweather see the typical flaws of a young gungho fighter still trying to please everyone yet pleasing no one yet. Ortiz has shown he can be put down on a regular basis, so if Mayweather can put Ortiz down, could be he could showboat his way to victory with no further effort.
In an special Golden Boy promotional co-PPV arrangement, unbeaten Mexican sensation Saul Canelo Alvarez will be making his WBC defense of his light middle title against Alfonso Gomez in what should be a breezer. Is this the setup for Mayweather’s challenge to his old WBC belt that he never defended, a battle of undefeateds against Alvarez?
Here they are looking rather chummy as they keep their options hot:
Canelo y Money
It’s up to the fighters now. Could well be the kind of fight you’ll remember for the rest of your life or one of the worst, so let’s hope for the best and leave the worst for later.