by Jesse Ian Lardies
The 2011 calendar year for Oxnard, California’s Victor Ortiz featured nearly equal measures of success and failure. After upending the undefeated title reign of 28-year-old Andre Berto (and participating in one of the years’ best action fights), “Vicious” Victor Ortiz was able to parlay that success into a career high payday against PPV kingpin, Floyd Mayweather. This progression was brutally highlighted by the spectacular fashion in which he was knocked from consciousness on a stage before millions of viewers.
After gaining an effective 14 pound weight advantage the night of the Mayweather fight, Victor’s offence was negated by the educated fists and general defensive wizardry of the true pound for pound champion. To an educated eye it was obvious that Ortiz was having tremendous difficulty adjusting to the elusive stratagem systematically employed by Mayweather.
As the one-sided trouncin progressed, Victor’s frustrations manifested themselves in the form of several intentional head-butts (Ortiz later admitted in a Youtube interview that he was intentionally trying to break the unbeaten fighter’s nose); the fifth and final cranial infraction being the one that prompted both referee Joe Cortez to deduct a point, and for “Money” Mayweather to exact his own retribution in the form of a two punch game-changer.
After failing to beat referee Cortez’ ten count, Victor Ortiz retained his trademark ‘exuberant lost surfer’ look along with a new 2.5 million dollar smile. Not the indicative look of a fighter guilty of nefarious dealings as some would suggest, but perhaps the visage of someone who just bypassed the months of anxiety no doubt associated with facing someone of Floyd’s caliber. Besides – It’s only to be expected of someone whose youth and inexperience cost him in the biggest opportunity of his life; all of his nerves instantly dissolved into a giant paycheck and subsequent extended vacation in France.
Success begets success, however, and in an earlier attempt to broaden his range, the former light welterweight belt holder traveled north to the welterweight division to take on then undefeated defending champion, Andre Berto. The contest was interesting early as both fighters dropped each other two times a piece with Berto tasting canvas in the first, only to return the favor in round two – both fighters then downed each other in their celebrated round-of-the-year class sixth round.
Like Victor Ortiz, the aforementioned Andre Berto will get his chance at redemption over his sole conqueror more than one year after their first exciting first encounter took place. The contest will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angles, California. A noteworthy sub-plot to this scenario is also the same reason this fight was so long in the making; a training injury suffered by the Winter Haven resident (an injury often associated with performance enhancing drug abuse) served to postpone this highly anticipated rematch. This is ironic because shortly after dropping the decision victory to the Mexican-American, Andre Berto jumped to his social networking account and sent out several tweets intimating that possible PED use by Ortiz could be the reason he was practically dominated in the latter half of their headline-grabbing first battle.
Whether Victor Ortiz learned any lessons in his defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather remains to be seen. Andre Berto seems sure that he’s gleaned enough through adversity to alter his fate in the return bout. On June the 23’rd we will see which fighter can put together the more complete performance and hopefully add another tremendous showing to the collective boxing consciousness.
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