Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are writing four weekly blog posts for HBO leading into their fight Sept. 17 in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View. Mayweather is challenging for Ortiz's WBC welterweight title. Here's Mayweather's first entry:
What was it like and how did it feel when you won your first championship?
There is no better feeling than winning, but winning a world title is indescribable. I would know because I have won all of my fights and am a six-time world champion in five weight classes.
I won my first championship over a decade ago. Everyone knows boxing is in my blood and I wanted a title shot as soon as I turned pro in ‘96, but I had to wait for that opportunity until October 3, 1998 when I fought Genaro Hernandez for the WBC Super Featherweight title. I was young and hungry.
The fight was in Las Vegas and Hernandez was undefeated in the weight class at this time. It was a good fight, but when Hernandez threw in the towel in 8th round, I knew that the word “champion” would always be attached to my name. That was Hernandez’s last professional fight. It’s sad to say that Hernandez passed away this past year at age 45. I respected him as a man and as a fighter. He gave me my first opportunity to win a world title. He will be missed and may he rest in peace.
I was a young professional and rising star who fought anyone they asked me to fight to help me get to where I am today. That fight was a key moment for me and helped me set my path to the rest of my championships and the boxing greatness I have achieved in my career. I continue that same motto today as I have always been willing and ready to face the best opposition available for me to fight. On September 17, I am facing a hungry, strong champion in Victor Ortiz.
Ortiz is a world class fighter and the current welterweight champion, but I am the best. I am back in the gym training 24/7 and am excited to fight on September 17. So tune in to HBO Pay-Per-View and be part of another Mayweather experience. Ortiz better be ready because I will be. I am very blessed to have the career I have in boxing.