There is no doubt that win, lose or draw, WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz is among the most exciting fighters in the sport heading into the defense of his belt against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO Pay Per View at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
One of the things that makes the 24-year-old’s contests so riveting is the propensity for Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) to put his opponents on the canvas.
In what could be a remarkable statistic, it appears that Ortiz may have scored knockdowns against his rivals in all but two or three of his professional fights, according research done by Gordon Marino, who covers boxing for The Wall Street Journal and has been an opinion columnist for The New York Times.
“I knew that it was something like 98 percent of his opponents who have touched the canvas and that he would have knocked down in his fights,” said Ortiz’s manager Rolando Arrellano.
“I also know that in at least one of his fights, the opponent touched the canvas and they didn’t call it a knockdown.”
One fight that did not contain any knockdowns was a first-round technical draw against Marvin Cordova in January of 2007 that appeared on ShoBox, according to Marino, who is also a professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.
Mike Arnaoutis did not hit the canvas during his second round knockout loss to Ortiz in March of 2009. Marino still is looking into the results of Ortiz’s second career fight, a four-round unanimous decision over Alejandro Nungaray in July of 2004.
In one of Ortiz’s most exciting fights, a sixth-round knockout loss to Marcos Maidana (30-2, 27 KOs), Ortiz was floored twice but scored three knockdowns against his opponent in June of 2009.
Ortiz scored a third-round knockdown in his next fight, a seventh-round stoppage of Antonio Diaz in Dec. of 2009.
Ortiz’s next two victories, by 10th-round knockout and unanimous decision, respectively, over Hector Alatore and ex-titleholder Nate Campbell featured knockdowns in the 10th and first rounds in February and May of last year.
Next, there was a third-round knockout of former beltholder Vivian Harris that featured three knockdowns in September of last year.
After that came a draw with Lamont Peterson, whom Ortiz dropped twice in the third round in December of last year.
In his last fight, Ortiz dethroned current IBF beltholder Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) as WBC titleholder in a clash during which both fighters were floored twice.
After Berto went down in the first round, Ortiz hit the canvas in the second, and both fighters were dropped in the sixth — Ortiz first, and Berto, second.
If you ask Arrellano, the 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) will also hit the canvas.
“Oh yeah, Mayweather’s going to become another knockdown statistic. The essence of the story is that Victor has been one of the most exciting fighters at and one of the hardest hitters at 140, or 147 pounds that boxing has seen in the last 30 years,” said Arrellano.
“All of the old timers and people who have been around who truly understand the history of boxing have concurred with me on that.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com