Mayweather vs Ortiz: Simple tune-up or dangerous fight for Floyd?

By Joseph Herron: The sport of boxing is always better off when the best fighters take on the most worthy opposition available…especially when one of these match-ups includes Floyd Mayweather.

Since Floyd publicly announced his fight with Vicious Victor Ortiz, there has been quite a bit of debate as to whether or not the Garden City, Kansas native is indeed a worthy opponent.

The Vicious one is coming off of his most impressive performance to date and is the current WBC Welterweight Champion. As a result, the 24 year old fighter is as confident as any in boxing and truly believes that he can win a scrap with Mayweather.

His fight with Andre Berto not only showed us that Victor indeed has heart and mental toughness, but it also proved what his handlers felt all along; that Ortiz belonged in the welterweight division.

Although Ortiz has a great knock-out ratio and has hurt every opponent he has faced, even in loss, most boxing pundits have dismissed him as a simple tune-up for an eventual super-bout with universally recognized pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao.

Is a fight with Victor Ortiz simply a tune-up for Floyd, or is this a more dangerous fight than most realize?

Although a fight of this caliber may be a tad premature for the young Hispanic fighter, Ortiz is very confident and matches up well against a defensive counter puncher who fights out of the orthodox stance.

Any fighter who traditionally fights with the Michigan defensive style of rolling the shoulders usually has stylistic problems against a southpaw, due to the fact that the defensive fighter rolls away from his opponent’s offensive punches. When fighting a left handed opponent, the defensive counter-puncher usually finds himself rolling into the backhand of a southpaw fighter.

For a fighter like Mayweather who usually doesn’t watch fight tape to prepare, this could present some problems early in the fight, as was displayed in May’s fight with Zab Judah.

Also, for a defensive fighter, an effective aggressor will always make life uncomfortable in the ring. A fighter who depends on creating distance like Floyd doesn’t prefer to be pushed against the ropes, especially against a bigger and stronger fighter, as was displayed in May’s fight with Jose Luis Castillo.

Ortiz is also a legitimate puncher. Floyd hasn’t fought a fighter with this kind of offensive prowess since Diego Corrales back in 2001. Although he took Chico to school, Mayweather was 24 at the time and not 34. He also wasn’t coming off of a considerably long period of inactivity.

Even though PBF has never shown the ill effects of his age or inactivity, when analyzing the match-up with Ortiz, these variables have to be taken into consideration.

Although Ortiz answered his detractors with an impressive victory over former undefeated champion Andre Berto, he still has a lot to prove to most boxing pundits.

Victor still hasn’t convinced his naysayers that he can perform against a fighter with an equally iron will. There are lingering critics who still aren’t convinced that the Victor Ortiz who crumbled mentally against tough Argentine Marcos Maidana has left the building.

What is also alarming is the amount of punishment Ortiz took when facing a wide punching opponent like Maidana.

If the brick handed junior welterweight can land a high percentage of shots against the young Kansas fighter, Mayweather will have tee time for 12 rounds, right? Perhaps.

Maidana had the Vicious one on his heels for a good portion of the fight, and although Mayweather has deceptive power, it’s not a given that he possesses the kind of power that will keep Ortiz honest for 12 rounds.

There are a considerable amount of “what ifs” concerning this match-up, but one thing is certain, if this fight indeed is fulfilled, Floyd Mayweather will deserve a lot more respect than most are willing to give him.

Article posted on 17.06.2011

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