While Victor Ortiz has been heralded as one of the young saviors of boxing, his tough loss to Josesito Lopez Saturday night because of a broken jaw lends even more credibility to his inability to fight smart.
Boxingfans can’t forget that the young fighter is only 25 years old, but his extensive experience of 35 career fights has not paid off in the big moments.
Whether it was his KO loss to Floyd Mayweather in which he left his hands down and was caught, or the broken jaw/defeat combination he was handed by Lopez this weekend, these are avoidable situations that a veteran star wouldn’t make.
It’s clear that Ortiz deserves most of the blame in his own loss, but Lopez deserves credit for not wavering and finding his marks throughout the fight. It was his final blows of the ninth round that broke Ortiz’s jaw.
Lopez told ESPN after his TKO victory over Ortiz Saturday night:
“This was my Rocky moment, and I wasn’t going to let it go. This is my Rocky moment. I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t plan a single hour after the fight. I didn’t bring clothes to wear. I didn’t know what was going to go on after the fight. My plan was to get in here and go from there. I’m still in somewhat of a shock. We did it. We did it. I did it. This poor, skinny Mexican from Riverside did it.”
This was definitely a Rocky moment.
The brawl was on its way to fight-of the-year status, but watching Ortiz quit on the stool has dulled its hype a bit. With that said, there was no denying that the first nine rounds were why fans continue to watch boxing.
The plan was that after Ortiz won against Lopez, he would fight Saúl Álvarez in September. Those plans are not going to work anymore, and Ortiz has lost out on the millions of dollars that would have come with a fight of that magnitude.
Ortiz has a long hill to climb to get back into top contender position again, but his youth, toughness and heart will have him returning to the top sooner rather than later.