Victor Ortiz was considered a disgrace by some after he quit against Marcos Maidana only two years ago. Now he holds a major world title and will earn millions when he fights Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 17.
Yes, things can change quickly in boxing.
Rolando Arellano, Ortiz’s manager, was ecstatic about the announcement Tuesday morning that the fight would take place and how far his fighter has come in a short time.
“We’re absolutely overwhelmed,” he said from Garden City, Kansas, where Ortiz was due to be honored for his sensational victory over Andre Berto in April that earned him the WBC welterweight title. “We’re honored to have an opportunity to fight such a great champion.
“I think Floyd Mayweather is displaying the utmost courage by taking on one of the most-threatening fighters at 147 pounds.”
Arellano said he never doubted that Ortiz would rise to the top.
“I always saw a hidden jewel that a lot of people didn’t see,” he said. “I can’t blame them. They only had few fights to judge him on. It came to a point in his career, though, that he said, ‘You know what? Enough is enough. I’m going to show the world who I am.’
“He did that against Andre Berto. And bingo! Here we are fighting a pound-for-pound champion.”
Arellano wouldn’t discuss the terms of the fighters’ agreement but allowed that Ortiz was happy to give up the lion’s share of profits to Mayweather.
“Let’s put it this way,” Arellano said. “We didn’t care what gloves they wore. We didn’t care whose name came first [on promotional material]. We didn’t care who walked into the ring first.
“We understand that Floyd Mayweather will be making all the money. We just wanted an opportunity to take over the pound-for-pound kingdom. We have that opportunity.”
And if Ortiz should win?
“We built a platform for Victor to become champion,” Arellano said. “Now we want to build a platform for him to become a brand and carry that for a long time. Mayweather is 34. Oscar [De La Hoya] is gone. [Bernard] Hopkins is incredible but he can’t fight forever.
“We think we’re the next ones. Finally, Victor can truly be the next Oscar De La Hoya in terms of generating revenue.”