Mayweather vs. Ortiz – The Real Intrigue Essay

All I gotta say is one thing …”

Floyd Mayweather Jr leans forward. He’s talking to HBO’s Max Kellerman and sitting directly across from his next opponent Victor Ortiz.

“…what I always tell them…”

The cocky smirk makes the days thousandth appearance and the Mayweather haters brace themselves for what’s coming next.

They put 41 in front of me …”

Mayweather leisurely leans back as if surveying his kingdom.

“…and 41 came up short.”

On cue comes that million dollar smile that his fans love and his haters hate. In addition to hating what and how he said it, the haters seethingly despise the truth of what he just said.

This Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada – Floyd “Money” Mayweather (W 41, L 0) will face off against the young and hungry “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29 W, 2 L & D 2)

This is one of Mayweather’s most interesting fights in a long time. It’s interesting because of who he’s fighting … well, more to the point, there are certain traits that make the fighter he’s mixing it up with intriguing.

Let’s look at the major factors that have boxing fans chatting:

  • Ortiz is younger, bigger, stronger and hungrier.
  • Mayweather has been out of the ring for almost a year and a half – AND he’s 34 years old.

Benny “Big Dog” Henderson Jr, Senior Writer for and the host of Big Dog Radio, as usual sums it up well:

“You have a younger, much more hungry fighter in Victor Ortiz, but you have a seasoned much more experienced veteran in Floyd Mayweather. Ortiz is the naturally bigger guy as well as a southpaw, with Mayweather fighting the better opposition.”

Benny is spot on. Ortiz is young; he’s only 24 years old (Floyd is 34, which is old in the sport of boxing). Victor is bigger than Floyd, he’s in his physical ass-kicking prime, and he is a tough, hard-hitting fighter.

Also, there’s a theory out there that Floyd struggles against Southpaws.

The Big Dog goes on to say that:

Mayweather is coming off a layoff, along with all this hoopla surrounding him with his life out of boxing. Ortiz is coming off the biggest win of his career and should have a nothing to lose everything to gain attitude.”

The layoff has everyone speculating. Floyd’s been out of the ring for almost a year and half (since May 2010). He’s 34 years old now, does he still have it? Has he lost a step? And IF Floyd has lost a step can Ortiz be effective where all the others have failed? Will Ortiz be at all successful even against a somewhat diminished Mayweather?

Fellow Bleacher Report contributor James Foley has a fantastic article: Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz: 10 Bold Predictions – well worth a read. Foley says:

I do think there’s a way for Ortiz to be effective and successful, however a lot of that hinges on my suspicion that Mayweather may have lost a step. That’s pure speculation of course, but what worries me is that in the last three years he’s only been up against Marquez and Mosley, two older fighters who Floyd could [run] circles around. Being in there against a guy with size, speed, and a powerful punch is going to be a challenge and a great barometer for how much Floyd’s got left. His inactivity makes me leery because fighters tend to grow old overnight.

It’s that last line “fighters tend to grow old overnight” that has both the Mayweather fans and haters in need of a handkerchief. The haters need it to wipe the drool off their chins and the fans need it to wipe the sweat off their brows.

Is Floyd “aging” as a boxer? In Money-May’s last fight against Mosley (May 2010) we saw him get seriously rocked by Sugar Shane. What if Shane was 24 years old and was physically capable of following up on that almost devastating blow? Would Floyd have hit the canvas?

Ortiz wont miss those opportunities. Vicious Victor is dangerous.

Does the possibility exists that Victor could knock out Floyd?

HBO’s Jim Lampley put things into a sobering perspective:

In every fight he has had in recent memory, Victor Ortiz has knocked his opponent down.

Henderson mentioned earlier how Ortiz is coming off the biggest and greatest win of his career. It was a particularly special kind of win for the young warrior. The type of win that puts a fighter in a special mindset and in a special ‘zone’.

Clearly Ortiz is powerful. Clearly Ortiz is hungry and clearly Victor Ortiz is dangerous.

How will this all end?

The Big Dog says:

I do not root for Mayweather, but you cannot discount his talents, and all though Ortiz is the hungrier of the two, experience can starve the inexperienced. I feel that Mayweather with his defense will keep him out of trouble, and if Ortiz cannot keep his cool and not be too aggressive, Victor could possibly wear down in the later rounds and Floyd could rack up a late round TKO. Not a one hitter quitter, Ortiz has the power, but Floyd has the talent. Mayweather keeps the streak alive, with a UD or late round TKO.

I’ll take it a step further.

Floyd Mayweather is boxing’s version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He is THE most talented, gifted and blessed boxer fighting today. There is simply no equal to Floyd in his skill, in his discipline, and in his practice of the art and craft of the Sweet Science. There is no one that comes close to him in his natural abilities and in his God-given physical and mental genius in that squared circle.

Here’s how the fight unfolds:

Rounds 1, 2 and 3 we’ll see pretty much what we saw with Mayweather vs. Zab Judah, i.e. we’ll see Floyd somewhat uncomfortable in dealing with a Southpaw and with toughness. We’ll see a bit of what we saw with round 1 and 2 of Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley, which is Floyd dealing with power. We’ll see a new element too of Mayweather dealing with a young, energetic fighter. We’ll see Floyd taking some shots, but all the while studying his prey.

Round 4:

“…what I always tell them…”

Mayweather will shut Victor Ortiz down.

They put 41 in front of me …”

The rest of the fight will look almost easy. It will look like a grown man toying with a child.  It will look like every single Mayweather victory.

“…and 41 came up short.”

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