Victor Ortiz discusses his upbringing, the role boxing played in his development and the importance of his boxing team in the second of his weekly blog posts provided by HBO, whose pay-per-view arm will televise Ortiz’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 17.
I do not have a family per se. When I was younger, I grew up in foster care with my brother and sister. It was really a struggle, and knowing that there were people out there with tight-knit families really made my childhood an unfortunate one. My siblings and I always stuck together, but it never seemed like things were going to turn around for us. When I was young I started to really get into boxing, and it was a great way for me to do something fun that I loved and that I was good at. It allowed me to get out some of my struggles in my childhood through a sport so that I didn’t have to resort to other forms of violence. And it’s such a mental game that it really helped me mature and see that although my life up to that point wasn’t so great it was in my control to change that destiny.
Then, when I started winning amateur fights, I realized that I might really have some potential in the boxing world. I immediately knew that boxing could really be the way for me to turn my life around and the lives of my brother and sister. At the end of the day, although we might not have a full family, holding on to the ones you love is the most important thing in the world. That’s where my team comes in. My team is the best team in the world. We are a close unit, and we are inspired by each other — from my manager Rolando Arellano, my head coach Danny Garcia, assistant coach Mario Aguiniga and strength and conditioning coach Joe Janik. In many ways they are like the family that I never had. They support me through my wins, my losses, my personal issues and all else concerning my life and my goal to become the best boxer in the world.
Growing up I never really understood what it was like to rely on other people because I had nobody to really look up to. I think that helps me in the ring because it’s not only a fight between you and your opponent but also versus yourself. You have to stay focused and take hits and find your spots to attack. No matter how individual a match is though, it’s my team that brings me to the next level with the training and preparation. WE ARE THE DREAM TEAM OF BOXING
“STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz”is scheduled for Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET.
HBO’s Emmy Award-winning all-access series “24/7” premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts at 10 p.m. PT / ET on Saturday, Aug. 27. The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight showdown.