After a lengthy 16 month layoff, Floyd Mayweather has finally announced his return to boxing this coming September.
Curiously enough, Mayweather’s chosen opponent comes in the form of the very live dog that is Victor Ortiz.
I’m not gonna’ lie, the selection of Ortiz as a “comeback” opponent actually kind of shocked me.
Despite Mayweather’s considerable talents and in-ring ability, 16 months is a long time for any fighter to be away from the sport, such that it’s difficult not to look at this fight and see it as being anything less than dangerous for Pretty Boy Floyd.
I wouldn’t expect Floyd to get old overnight, as he’s still relatively young, and is notorious for being a gym rat; but even so, Ortiz would not have been my first choice for a comeback fight.
At the same time though, Floyd is one of the shrewdest and most selective matchmaker’s in the business, which leads me to believe he saw something about Ortiz’ game that he could take advantage of.
Seriously man, if history has taught us anything; it’s that Floyd Mayweather only fights the big fights when he is damn well good and ready.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of factors that might have lead to Ortiz being Mayweather’s pick for his next fight.
Ortiz’ most recent fight saw him move up in weight and bulldoze the everloving shit out of the popular, but somewhat overrated Andre Berto.
I apologize, that is probably one of the most annoying songs the internet has ever produced.
*ANYWAY* despite the weight gain, it’s common knowledge that Ortiz was massive for a Jr. Welter; leading me to believe that, in a fight with Mayweather; the size advantage would likely go to Ortiz.
The Berto fight was highly competitive in terms of clean punching, but in terms of just about everything else; Ortiz dominated.
Despite his image enhancing performance in the Berto fight, (Ortiz had carried the label of “quitter” after the Maidana fight) Ortiz showed many of the same deficiencies he’s shown throughout his career.
In bullying Berto along the ropes, Ortiz showed little to no head movement, as well as a tendency to loop and telegraph his punches.
Pile this on top of Ortiz’ lack of a solid or consistent jab, and you have a fighter that very likely could fall prey to Mayweather’s slippery M.O.
So why do I still see that as a risky matchup for Floyd?
The layoff has a lot to do with it, but mostly I think it’s just Ortiz’ size and bullheadedness that have me thinking he’ll be a handful for Floyd.
Mayweather was stymied, and in the eyes of some; beaten by Jose Luis Castillo’s bullying and infighting in their first fight, and in the case of Ortiz, I could see him approaching the fight as a bigger version of Castillo.
Ortiz clinched and wrestled his way to victory against Berto, and though I’d never suggest Berto and Mayweather were on the same level in terms of technical ability, but even so, I think it’s fairly significant that Ortiz completely shut down Berto’s game in that fight.
At the same time though, Ricky Hatton made his living being a bully, and basically tried to do the same thing to Mayweather, and we all know how boosh that turned out:
The one other thing that’s worth mentioning about Ortiz, is the fact that he’s a Southpaw.
Mayweather has gone to great lengths to avoid Southpaws throughout much of his career, and with good reason.
Southpaws tend to land on Mayweather at above average frequency, (read: still not that often…) and as such, it’s clear he has some issues with them that most other conventional fighters tend to have.
At the same time though, Ortiz rarely makes use of the more advantageous tools that a Southpaw possesses.
He doesn’t have much of a jab, his feet are rarely in the “right” place, and his right hook never seems to come into play enough.
On top of all this, one also has to consider the fact that Ortiz’ mental toughness still might not be too far removed from his disastrous loss to Maidana, not to mention Ortiz had his hands full in pounding out a draw against Lamont Peterson.
The way I see it, if a fighter like Peterson can give Ortiz a run for his money, than Mayweather could likely do the same; maybe even hurting him in the process.
Don’t quote me on that last bit.
In any case, I’m seriously looking forward to this fight, as though I’m not a Mayweather fan per se, I respect his talent, not to mention the money and attention that he brings to the sport of boxing.