Last week the boxing world got an injection into “her” (as of late blood-line) with the decision from boxing’s most interesting figure, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. deciding to lace up the gloves again and enter the squared-circle. His opponent for the September 17th showdown will be non-other than Fight of the Year candidate and WBC Welterweight champion Victor Ortiz. Ortiz (29-2-2-22KO) is coming off the best performance of his young career, a twelve round unanimous decision over Andre Berto to claim the WBC title belt that originally was vacated when Mayweather decided to take a break from the “sweet science”. That fight saw the young south-paw Ortiz get dropped twice by Berto and in return drop Berto twice over the course the twelve exciting rounds, vaulting the fight into the front-runner spot for fight of the year honors.
On the other hand, “Money” Mayweather has been on a16-month hiatus that has seen him get into trouble in his personnel life, with a security guard, and with the IRS. The downtime has also plagued his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather as well, with Roger being charged with assault on a female tenant/fighter. Regardless of what the outcome of these charges are, the decision by Mayweather and his camp to reassume his boxing career in the fall is one that will be not only beneficial to boxing and the fans, but to Floyd himself.
Now some have criticized Mayweather about his choice of opponent in Ortiz. But this is a clever choice by the sly Mayweather because not only does he get a chance to take his title back, he also gets to fight a lesser version, but very similar stylistically to Pacquiao type of fighter as a warm-up. Ortiz and Pacquiao are very similar in the way they come forward and engage their opponents in the ring. Ortiz is not as fast as Pacquiao, but Mayweather is faster than them both. Pacquiao is a south-paw fighter, and so is Ortiz, which will give Floyd an opportunity to get some solid rounds in against that style which is always a difficult one to fight.
As for the question of who is the bigger star in the sport right now, that debate should be silenced by the reports that “Money” Mayweather will earn upwards of $40 million dollars for the fight. Pacquiao reportedly earned $25 million for his fight with Shane Mosley in May. Ortiz who made $400,000 in his last fight with Berto, will reportedly earn somewhere between $2 – 4 million depending on the ppv numbers for this fight. A sign that not only has he arrived on the boxing scene, but that his future is one that is lucrative and bright. Although in Floyd, Ortiz has definitely bitten off more than he can chew, as Las Vegas odds have Mayweather as a heavy favorite over Ortiz at 7 to 1.
When asked about his trouble with south-paws in the past like Zab Judah, Mayweather responded by saying “41 opponents had a game plan to fight me, and 41 of my opponents came up short, Ortiz will meet the same fate as the others, with an L at the end of the night”. Say what you want about his tact, the numbers do not lie. Floyd Mayweather has the greatest Compu-Box numbers since HBO started keeping track. He is the least hit opponent, has the highest connect %, and is the most economical fighter in the world. Mayweather is 41 -0 -25KO’s, has won titles in 5 divisions, has the highest ppv numbers of any fighter in boxing over the last ten years, and is quite possible the most gifted defensive fighter of all-time.
So to all the negative people out there who are still complaining because Pacquiao and Mayweather haven’t signed to fight yet, I say patience is a virtue and the best is yet to come. Great fights take years to marinate in the arena of public opinion. Look how long it took for Hagler and Leonard to become a reality. Had that fight not taken a few years to put together, it wouldn’t have been such an epic fight and event. Mayweather will fight Ortiz, and Pacquiao will finish his business once and for all with Marquez, and then with a little bit of luck the mega-fight the world craves will be next in line.
In the meantime we fight fans are left with two exciting fights in the fall schedule that will feature the two greatest fighters of the 21st century implementing their craft at the highest level, hopefully on a collision course toward one another, with the world anxiously awaiting with anticipation the uncertainty that fight brings with it. What is not in question is the fact, that love him or hate him, Floyd Mayweather Jr. aka “Money” definitely matters as much now in the sport of boxing, as he ever has. Victor Ortiz may find that lesson out the hard way…….