BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Former WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz was at Friday’s weighin at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, not as a competitor but as an observer.
Ortiz has been away from boxing for the past several months, recovering from a broken jaw suffered in his ninth-round TKO loss to Josesito Lopez in June.
“I have boxing on hold, not by choice, it’s one of those things where I actually have to step away from it,” said the 25-year-old Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 knockouts), of Ventura, Calif. “It’s not the greatest feeling; it sucks, that’s what I live for.”
Ortiz was upset by recent reports that his jaw injury wasn’t healing properly and required a second surgery.
“The night I broke my jaw is the only time I had surgery,” said Ortiz in clear speech. “I don’t know where people get their sources from but I think people need to kind of relax a little bit, ease up out of people’s business. I already had my surgery, my jaw feels good. I can actually open it and yawn now, I can eat. A few weeks ago I was still hurting, every time I yawned I had to hold it shut. I’m pretty happy that I can actually open.”
Ortiz says that his hiatus will allow him to pursue other ventures, such as the movie he will star in entitled “AWOL 72”.
Ortiz said he will play the lead character, a marine, but isn’t exactly sure when filming will begin. “It’s going to be something fun. It’s a pretty big film, it will be in theaters,” said Ortiz.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.