THREE QUICK HITS
Got three points/rants… I’m gonna keep it short and to the point.
1. Victor Ortiz-Floyd Mayweather. Didn’t want to buy into the hype but I think Ortiz is a very live dog. This is why (imo). If Marquez, Judah, and Hatton were able to land clean shots on Floyd and an old Mosley was able to rock him in their fight, then Ortiz has a very good chance to wobble, hurt, and KO him. I still see Floyd winning by decision simply cuz Victor doesn’t have the experience but he still has a very good puncher’s chance. Did I buy into the hype?
2. Joe Cortez is gonna ref the fight? The entire Marcos Maidana-Amir Khan fight I was yelling at the TV for Cortez to get the f__k out of the way!!! He better not be the deciding factor in this fight…
3. This is a bit off topic but just wondering, what’s the status on Nonito Donaire’s contract? I think he’s fighting in New York in October. WTF is that? Yeah that makes sense. Promote him on the other side of the country where he's not well known and not a home name.
Hope you enjoy the upcoming fights. Have a good one. — Peter, Houston, Texas
I’m going to sure as hell try to enjoy the show(s) tomorrow night, Peter. I’m under the weather and I’ll be working my ass off on press row, but if the fights are competitive and hard fought, I’ll enjoy them. I’ll answer your quick hits in order
1. You definitely bought into the hype but sometimes “the hype” is real. Ortiz’s power is real, and I think the young man proved that he’s more than hype in his last fight. And you make a good point about Mayweather not being untouchable. I see the fight much the way you do.
2. I was also disappointed to hear that Cortez got the Mayweather-Ortiz assignment. He’s so damn involved in the fights and he won’t allow any grappling at all, which clinch masters (which Mayweather is) take advantage of. They can just grab and hold at any point during the fight and know that Cortez will jump between the fighters. He was frustrating during the Khan-Maidana fight and just plain ridiculous during the Mayweather-Hatton fight. I can’t even watch Mayweather-Hatton because he’s so involved with the constant talking, warning, breaking, and smacking of the fighter’s arms and elbows. Now, Cortez was OK during the Brandon Rios-Miguel Acosta fight. He did allow Bam Bam to do his thing inside, but I think part of the reason is because Acosta didn’t grab and hold too much. I don’t know. I hate to say it but I think Cortez will be a factor in this fight. I think Team Mayweather insisted on Cortez being the referee.
3. Donaire has signed a multi-year, multi-fight deal with Top Rank. From what I heard, Arum wanted Donaire to fight at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., but Golden Boy Promotions, which has a business relationship with AEG (the company that owns Staples Center, HDC, etc.) objected to it because Donaire’s date was too close to their Hopkins-Dawson PPV on Oct. 15 at Staples. So Arum took the Filipino Flash to NYC. My question is why can’t anybody promote Donaire in the Bay Area, where he lives and grew up?
PASSING THE TORCH?
I’m surprised that I have not read any comparisons between Ortiz-Mayweather and Ray Leonard-Terry Norris. I’m not too familiar with Norris, but I know he was a formidable fighter and decade younger than Leonard when they fought. Mayweather, like Leonard, is a supremely skilled boxer in his mid-thirties coming off a long layoff. While Mayweather is not coming down in weight like Leonard, the 1991 title bout provides an interesting framework to analyze the Ortiz-Mayweather fight.
How do you think the long layoff will affect Mayweather? I think the layoff, and his recent opposition, will leave Mayweather a little rusty in the early rounds against the younger and bigger fighter. His recent opposition has generally been older fighters past their prime.
I predict that Ortiz will knock Mayweather down once in the early rounds, perhaps with an uppercut, and taking the first half of the fight. Unlike Mayweather’s recent opposition, Ortiz can still pull the trigger and do it with authority. I expect Mayweather to make the necessary adjustments to control the second half of the fight. Ortiz will win rounds by being the busier fighter throughout the fight, and Mayweather will win rounds by potshotting, leading the fight to be close on the scorecards.
Mayweather’s superior boxing skills and ring IQ should be enough to carry him to victory, but the fact that Ortiz has carried his power up to welterweight and is fairly fast makes me think that he has a legitimate shot at handing Mayweather his first defeat. If Junior turns old overnight, it would not surprise me to see his face busted and bloodied up in defeat.
Your thoughts. — Jaime, South City
If I thought Ortiz was anything close to the force of nature that Norris had become by early 1991 or that Mayweather had faded as much as Leonard had by the time that fight was made I would be predicting a one-sided Ortiz victory. If you don’t already know, Norris was far-and-away my favorite fighter during the first half of the 1990s. I had no doubt that he would trounce Leonard, who was my boyhood idol. In fact, I was so sure Norris would punish Leonard over 12 rounds — and dreaded it — that I didn’t watch it and I still haven’t seen more than a few clips of that fight to this day. (Same deal with Holmes-Ali and Joppy-Duran. I can’t stomach watching my heroes being mistreated and humiliated in the ring.)
Anyway, I see similarities between the two bouts (and no, you’re not the only fan who’s made the comparison). However, although Norris was 24 and had slightly less bouts than Ortiz does now, he was more mature and tested. Norris faced better fighters than Ortiz has to this point. Seven fighters he faced either held or would go on to hold major titles, including killers like Julian Jackson and John Mugabi and naturally bigger men, such as Quincy Taylor and Steve Little.
I see the fight transpiring the way you do, with Ortiz hurting Mayweather at some point but the wily vet surviving and out-pointing him in a competitive fight. I am by no means counting Ortiz out. He’s got a good shot. I don’t think Mayweather will suffer from any ring rust, but if he does “get old” overnight, as we know can happen in the ring, well, he’ll be in a world of s__t. And that will be one DVD that I wear out. LOL.