Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Win By Ortiz Over Mayweather Won’t Hurt Boxing

By Rich Mancuso

Most of the experts, fans, and boxing media are unanimous in their opinion that
Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have a dominating fight tomorrow evening in Las Vegas.
If that happen there is more talk that a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout is
bound to occur, that Mayweather never sustained any form of ring rust after a
16-month layoff. And it could prove that the Victor Ortiz win over Andre Beto was
a fluke.

But an Ortiz win over Mayweather will not hurt the sport. It can only help because
Ortiz will go on and defend his title, become more prominent and prove the
skeptics wrong. Upsets are a part of boxing and will cause people to talk more
about Mayweather. Because the question of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will
continue even if Victor Ortiz does what they say is the impossible tomorrow night
on HBO Pay-Per-View.

You see, Mayweather is the dominant favorite before fight time. He is the face
associated with winning titles, and a name well-known and identified among fight
fans. Even though Victor Ortiz has come to be a name, he still has to prove that
he belongs in the same ring with Mayweather. A quick message in the early going
of the fight will answer some questions about Ortiz. If not, it will be Mayweather,
the five-time champion as the center of discussion again whether or not he meets
Pacquiao in the next year.

Mayweather did not get Pacquiao as his return fight. Instead he gets the younger
and determined Ortiz who hit the canvas twice against Berto in April. And Ortiz
arrived and got all the acclaim for coming back and knocking down Berto twice
that got him the title.

This has become the anticipated fight and for a few months we have not been
writing about Mayweather and when he will fight Pacquiao. And because Victor
Ortiz made this interesting as the young and promising hope for boxing, we will
watch with interest, analyze every punch, waiting to see who will deliver the first
hard blow. More so, we will anticipate who hits the canvas first.

And when you listen to Ortiz, don’t expect him to be the first one going
down. “The moment they mentioned Victor Ortiz versus Mayweather, he was
done,” said Ortiz again this week. Both fighters expect a knockout, as would

be the case. In any event a deep distance fight determines how the layoff hurt
Mayweather and how good Victor Ortiz is when it came to stepping up his fight
game. A moment that the world awaits, because Ortiz is the new kid on the
block looking to dethrone an icon in Floyd Mayweather who has never ducked an
opponent, with the exception of perhaps Manny Pacquiao.

Boxing needs a new face, someone who can make things happen. There was a
time when Victor Ortiz was not that individual to do that, more so the buildup
about this hard luck fighter rapidly disappeared after his loss to Marcos Maidana.
He complained then, and the public came to agree that Ortiz had flaws and could
never meet the likes of Mayweather or Pacquiao in a welterweight division that is
potent and difficult to be the best.

Ortiz had a bad day with Maidana and achieved his goal in his fight with Berto.
The perception changed and a new and exciting face was being heard, along with
a framed body that has cashed in with endorsements that go with a champion.
He has handed the adversity of hearing how the impossible has to be done to
keep Mayweather from taking his title. The right approach and words have been
heard, so if Ortiz indeed pulls it off, the question is, what will Mayweather have to

In the meantime, Mayweather is not going away even if he disappoints with a
loss. He has an ever increasing amount of fans who bypass the legal issues that
Mayweather quietly continues to confront. They view his ring accomplishments as
enough evidence to consider him the dominating fighter of this decade. And that
is always good for boxing because Floyd Mayweather is a name that will not go

And as long as Mayweather is around the sport, the increasing speculation is
when is the fight with Manny Pacquiao going to happen? That question was
posed to Mayweather this past week. He is focused on winning another title, the
one that Ortiz has. Mayweather ducks the question about Pacquiao, and surely it
will be posed in the ring Saturday night with a win or a loss.

And that my friends, is what it is all about. This fight, as much as it dictates how
good Victor Ortiz can be centers more on Mayweather because if he comes out
of the ring Saturday night on the wrong side, his legacy is not complete until
there is a fight with Pacquiao. Unless Pacquiao fails to do his end of the bargain
against Juan Manuel Marquez in November, it is inevitable that boxing will see

the anticipated fight that has been discussed the past two years.

But this is Floyd Mayweather Jr. under discussion. In the eyes of many, he is as
much the face of boxing as is Pacquiao. He does not hurt the sport with a loss
to Ortiz. Mayweather causes more hurt and damages the sport when he makes
headlines out of the ring with the continued legal issues and bad reputation that
follows him outside the ring.

This is the moment for Victor Ortiz. He could be the new face for boxing, and
Mayweather is the right opponent to become that face. But don’t expect
Mayweather to go away for another 16 months if he can’t dethrone his younger
opponent and, like it or not, the name is good for boxing.

Analyze this response from Victor Ortiz regarding the comments Mayweather said
about Ortiz capitalizing on his troubled past. “He has a loud mouth that has to put
somebody down to make himself, feel good.” It makes headlines and for good
boxing theatre.

Regardless of the outcome, Mayweather is not going away and that can’t be all
that bad for boxing.

A win by Ortiz over Mayweather won’t hurt boxing.

**** Don't forget to catch the Keep It In The Ring Radio Show, Sunday Nights from 6-8pm EST on

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