WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz and manager Rolando Arrellano told RingTV.com on Friday that the fighter did not have a back injury. He simply experienced soreness and took Thursday off from training to receive a massage and to otherwise recuperate.
“It was just that we’re working extremely hard and we’ve been in camp for about six weeks,” said Arrellano. “So Victor’s sore because of the intense training, and he gets massages and that’s it. Yet all of a sudden it turns into a back injury to create a sense of panic? It’s just B.S.”
“The coach [trainer Danny Garcia] gave him a day off so that he can get him a massage and to rest. Somehow it was leaked out of our camp that he had a back injury. Victor has got no back injury. This fight is not in jeopardy and Victor is in the gym today [Friday] and working out and sparring.”
The 24-year-old Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 knockouts) is preparing for his title defense against Floyd Mayweather. Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) on Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Arrelano said that Ortiz received massage on an area “just above his butt.”
“What happens is that every once in a while, muscles inflame. And that’s going to come with the sport, whether it is baseball, football or whatever, from doing the same s– over and over again,” said Arrellano. “We’re working really hard and the young man gets sore every once in a while because of the intensity of the physical training and the running and the sparring. So they’re monitoring his performances so that the coaches know how hard to push him.”
Ortiz acknowledged having experienced some tightness in his lower back.
“I was a little sore, but that just comes with the territory, man. After two months in training camp, I don’t think that anybody’s body is up to par, especially in one training session,” said Ortiz. “The only thing is that coach Danny Garcia, I just told him that I was kind of fatigued and tired and they usually don’t give me a day off. So I was like, ‘Come on guys, let’s at least have just one day off.’ I think that just taking one day to get a massage and everything and to be pampered for a day doesn’t hurt anyone.”
Ortiz took the title by a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Andre Berto (27-1, 21 KOs), who went down in the first and sixth rounds of a fight-of-the-year candidate. Ortiz was knocked down in the second and sixth rounds.
“I’ve been in training camp for the past two months already because I realize that fighting Floyd Mayweather is a big fight. But he don’t scare me at all. Not for a second,” said Ortiz. “So, yeah, I took my day off and today is another day of training. So as far as that goes, nothing’s changed. Nothing’s going on and Mayweather’s going down.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org