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Victor Ortiz Is Starting To Demand Respect

Glax0r's Photo Glax0r 09 Jul 2011

Victor Ortiz is starting to demand respect
The 24-year-old WBC welterweight champion faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 17 in Las Vegas and is in a position to make a huge wave in the sport

By Bill Dwyre
July 8, 2011, 4:15 p.m.

Welterweight boxer Victor Ortiz is barely beginning his run of fame and fortune and already there's a book title just waiting for him: "From Living in Trailers to Flying on Lear Jets."

Ortiz is the current World Boxing Council champion, having knocked the title out of Andre Berto's able hands in April. He is only 24, just beginning to prompt nods of recognition in the fancy suites at HBO and Showtime and is already in position to make a huge wave in the sport.

When he beat Berto, Ortiz seemed to become perfect fodder for Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s next step. Which is: 1) Get a decent warmup fight before actually taking on Manny Pacquiao; or 2) Get a comfortable-feeling fight that guarantees a nice payday and allows you to leave the impression that you actually want to fight Pacquiao.

So Ortiz and Mayweather Jr. will fight Sept. 17 in Las Vegas, and the boxing world will do what the boxing world always does — spend all its time talking about whether Pacquiao, finally, will be next. The thought that Ortiz actually might win will be little discussed.

The designated opponent in these matchups, in this case Ortiz, can react one of two ways. He can go through the phony promotional motions and dream of the fancy paycheck he will soon be able to see through swollen eyes. Or, he can get fighting mad about the lack of respect he is receiving.

The latter is Ortiz's current stance, and it is especially irksome to him now, because he is the champion, not Mayweather. Yet Mayweather is not only an unbeaten legend, but also is holding the boxing world hostage as it remains hopeful of seeing the only true mega-fight currently possible.

It shouldn't be hard to get Ortiz fighting mad. Until recently, life in general had taken care of that.

He is the middle son of Mexican immigrant parents. Dad was a truck driver and mom was a cook at a homeless shelter. He was born and raised in Garden City, Kan., with older sister Carmen and younger brother Temo. When he was 7, his mother, Manuela, left for another man. Six years later, his father, Victor, took off too.

"I can still remember it," says Temo. "We came home from school one day and my mother was gone. That was it. Just gone."

According to Temo, dad Victor would also be gone for weeks and months at a time, and eventually left for good when he was 11 and Victor Jr. was 13.

"I call my brother Junior," Temo says, "but nobody else can or will."

Dad, according to both Temo and Victor, was an alcoholic who beat them up frequently and stayed around long enough to introduce Victor to boxing.

"There was a kid named Lalo who beat up Victor pretty good," Temo recalls. "That made my dad very angry, so he took Victor to the gym."

Victor kept at it through more than 100 amateur fights. Carmen got pregnant when she was 15, but the three tried somehow to stay together, sometimes living in neighbors' barns. They relied greatly on the parents of friends for food and shelter.

"It was scary," Temo says. "You were always thinking about what was next, what was your next meal."

Victor says, "I was like a stray dog."

He says that sometimes, they would use crowbars to break into their old house, boarded up by Social Services.

"My parents also had an old trailer," he says, "and we would go there, and try to break in. But it was 10-12 miles away. I'd just run up there, anyway."

When he was 14, Victor got a job at Burger King and would call his brother and sister when leftovers were available.

Dilly's Photo Dilly 09 Jul 2011

I just hope Ortiz comes into the fight like he did against Berto and less like he did against Peterson.

9secondko's Photo 9secondko 09 Jul 2011

Demanding respect is one thing.

It's where you ask for it, regardless of whether it is deserved.

Commanding respect is where it is paid to you regardless of what you ask for on the basis of who you are and what you've done.

Ortiz has certainly demanded respect. We've heard his words.

It's the other part that's at issue thus far.

The_Ikon's Photo The_Ikon 09 Jul 2011

daprofessor, on Jul 9 2011, 05:57 PM, said:

kind of hard not to root for this kid. u guys clowned him on his video.....but from where he came....he's living the life now. i know he's a huge underdog...but i'll be rooting for him.

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I'm backing him to succeed in life and boxing riches..  but against Money it's going to be a bad night at the office...

He has a great made for tv movie, life's story...

scrapper272000's Photo scrapper272000 10 Jul 2011

Ortiz has had it tough no doubt, but represents the sport with class, which is refreshing.

May will most likely win a boring decision and do no damage, however he has slipped quite a bit, let's not forget he was one punch away from being KO'd by a past his prime Mosley....another x lightweight, Ortiz is a natural welter.

Ortiz is far more technically sound than Shane, more than a decade younger and naturally bigger so he will be able to shove Mayweather all over the ring.

I am not saying I think he will win but the Mayweather of the last several years is not the Mayweather from the early 2000's.

Ortiz is no punk and took big shots from Berto, another big welter and got up and hammered him back to the ground and won.  

May has better defense than Ortiz obviously but has always been stunned by southpaws....so anyone giving Ortiz no chance is drinking the kool-aid.