Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, September 17, 2011
Where: MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV at 9:00 p.m. EST
Weight Class: WBC Welterweight Title: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L. Boxing Handicapper, Predictem.com
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., 41-0 (25 KOs), Las Vegas, Nevada Vs. Victor Ortiz, 29-2 (22 KOs), Oxnard, California, WBC Welterweight Champion
Fight Odds: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (-800), Victor Ortiz (+500)
Over/Under: Over 11.5 (-140), Under 11.5 (Even)
Fight Analysis: On September 17, Floyd Mayweather returns to the ring to take on rising titleholder Victor Ortiz. Mayweather is now 34 and his ring appearances are becoming more sporadic. With 4 fights in the past 5 years, he is definitely picking his spots, presumably, all leading to the payday of all paydays—against Manny Pacquiao. For this bout, he went a little outside of his normal M.O. in choosing a young titleholder, rather than a bigger-name fighter whose name value may outweigh his actual merit.
And you have to give it to Floyd. He’s fighting a guy unknown outside of hardcore boxing circles—a young champion with heavy fists. It’s not the typical low-risk/high-reward fight we are accustomed to seeing Floyd take. The oddsmakers are obviously unmoved, with Floyd a robust 8-1 favorite.
One is reminded of Sugar Ray Leonard at age 34. Like Mayweather, he was in a somewhat aimless part of his career, taking fights only for the vague purpose of not wanting to retire. Leonard used to be a man with a plan. But without a clear direction, he stumbled into the flashing fists of Terry Norris, en route to an embarrassing decision loss. Sugar Ray had done well against the older guard in his later years, but against a hungry and young fighter, it threw his actual abilities into a much different light.
Mayweather at this point has many similarities to the late-career Leonard. He is the same age, in the midst of long spells of activity, and with recent success exclusively over established fighters whose best days were behind them. In other words, he has shined—but only against guys who have been waking up on silk sheets for over a decade. In picking Ortiz, he selected a much harder-edge opponent. Ortiz is youthful, violent, and hungry.
Not to belabor the Leonard-Mayweather comparison, but it also works with Norris and Ortiz. Both were big underdogs, not far removed from embarrassing losses, and still under the radar. Leonard and Mayweather were accustomed to exactly the opposite type of opponents. There is something about youth and energy that has a way of exploiting a fighter’s flaws—even a great one.
Make no mistake: Mayweather should win. Watching Ortiz struggle against boxer-types like Lamont Peterson doesn’t inspire confidence about his chances against the finest pure boxer of this generation. In addition, unlike Leonard, Mayweather has not shown much slippage. Sure, he got buzzed by Mosley in his last fight, not terribly encouraging considering Sugar Shane has not had much success over the past several years. Other than that, he seems awfully well-preserved.
Mayweather is undefeated for a reason. You don’t win titles in 5 different weight classes and go unbeaten for 15 years solely because of cute matchmaking. At the same time—they all lose eventually. It’s usually without much warning and it’s always in an upset. Ortiz might not be the man for the job, but he’s a decent candidate nonetheless. He has dropped every man he ever faced. “Vicious” Victor has put the sour points of his career behind him, and looked great in beating undefeated WBC champ Andre Berto in his last fight.
Ortiz is not terribly fast, he’s easy to hit, and can be dropped. Not that his chin is bad, but it’s not too difficult to envision a sharp Mayweather counter depositing Ortiz on his backside. When a fighter is 8-1, obviously there is a lot to like about his chances. It’s just that when looking for a different result, you look for a different kind of fighter. Ortiz being a rising and young titleholder at his proper weight makes him a somewhat unusual opponent for Mayweather. How will Floyd react?
Scotty's Pick to Win the Fight: Trying to time an upset for a fighter of Mayweather’s stature could be a costly proposition. No one is saying to just begin blindly betting against him, anticipating what is the inevitable fall from grace that awaits all boxers. But in Ortiz, we have a fighter whose true powers are not fully-realized. The best time to bet on such fighters is obviously before everyone finds out how good he is. Now might be that time.
8-1 favorites don’t lose terribly often, so if Floyd cleanly outboxes Ortiz, it should come as no surprise. But if Floyd’s deterioration as a fighter reveals itself in this bout, Ortiz should be able to take advantage. Even if Floyd is still at the top of his game, Ortiz should still give him a run for his money. The chances that he will do so seem at least slightly better than the odds being offered. Let’s go out on a limb and take the +500 on Ortiz to win.
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