Blogs & Opinion


Concentration game

Ortiz is erratic, says Jim, but he should face few problems from Lopez

Jim Watt Posted 21st June 2012 view comments

Victor Ortiz's clash with Josesito Lopez will be an easier assignment than the one he was scheduled to face.

Ortiz was set to renew his rivalry with Andre Berto, a man he got the better of in a cracking encounter early last year, but the latter failed a drugs test in May, leading to the fight being cancelled and giving Lopez the chance to make a name for himself.

Ortiz: was knocked out by Mayweather in the autumn of 2011

Ortiz: was knocked out by Mayweather in the autumn of 2011

It is never ideal to face a different opponent to the one you were initially expecting, but it is all part of the game and a well-prepared fighter should always feel ready. I don't think Ortiz will be at any kind of disadvantage.

"Vicious" does still have some question marks to his name, though, following previous matches against Marcos Maidana and Lamont Peterson, as well as his most recent contest against Floyd Mayweather.

When Ortiz is on form he is a wonderful fighter, but there are lingering doubts over his attitude and temperament.

Jim Watt
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Victor Ortiz v Josesito Lopez
Welterweight contest

2am, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Ortiz lost in the sixth round to Maidana in 2009 and got a little bit of stick that I don't feel was necessarily deserved. He put up a terrific showing, putting Maidana on the floor as well as getting up off the canvas himself. It just reached a stage where Maidana was too much for him.

You have to remember that other fighters have decided half-way through fights to bail out, including Roberto Duran and Vitali Klitshcko, who did it when he injured his arm against Chris Byrd. It is not an indelible stain on your character.

Verge

However, Ortiz did let himself down against Peterson a couple of years ago. For four or five rounds he was wiping the floor with his opponent, but then just stopped working, which allowed Peterson to come right back into the fight and get a draw.

Ortiz should have won the fight clearly; he had Peterson on the floor and was on the verge of garnering a stoppage win but then just switched off.

And then against Mayweather, after delivering a blatant headbutt, he couldn't apologise enough, and as he was giving his third apology, he gave Mayweather two or three shots and was then knocked out.

It wasn't so much the defeat that shocked me - Mayweather is in a different class to most and there is no shame in getting knocked out by him - but the fact that Ortiz had a beaming smile after the match. Perhaps he was just thinking of the money he had made.

Ortiz is a strange character because, in between all those blips, he came out with that excellent display against Berto. He seems to be a fighter who switches on and off; one night he shows blind courage, yet on others he is not in the mood.

When he is on form he is a wonderful fighter, but there are lingering doubts over his attitude and temperament. I'm sure that won't let him down in this clash against Lopez, but it might in future in bouts at the top level - and possibly in his rumoured next fight against Saul Alvarez for the WBC light-middleweight title.

Out of the blue

Focussing on Saturday night, though, and Lopez is a good fighter. He has had a tough schooling and this represents a great opportunity for him.

The 27-year-old has been on the fringes for quite some time without getting a chance and now he has a shot out of the blue he will be raring to go. He is not expected to win so that may also work in his favour.

But Lopez is physically smaller than Ortiz, having just moved up from light-welterweight. He is also coming off a defeat to Jessie Vargas, so I reckon Ortiz will be bigger, quicker and have the momentum with him.

It will be a good fight in the early stages, but you've got to fancy Ortiz to take control the longer it goes on. I think he will secure a clear points victory.

A win for Ortiz would make him a more appealing prospect for Kell Brook, who was on Ringside with me this week. Kell needs a big name on his résumé and Ortiz, once Brook has come through Carson Jones, would be perfect.

back to top

Other Boxing Experts:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Jamie Moore

Coyle KO was a bonus

Luke Campbell is unbelievable but Tommy Coyle can make him sink or swim, says Jamie Moore....

Latest News RSS feeds

The rivals reunite

They will walk the walk on November 22 so Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew continue to talk the talk...

Book Cleverly v Bellew II

You can book Cleverly-Bellew II now - which includes Anthony Joshua, George Groves and James DeGale...

McDonnell signs to face Kameda

Jamie McDonnell's prize for a win over Walberto Ramos will be a world bantamweight unification date with Tomoki Kameda.

Rumble ring goes missing

On the day boxing marks 40 years since “The Rumble in the Jungle” it has been revealed the ring used has been stolen.

Bellew: Nathan so predictable

Tony Bellew has branded Nathan Cleverly a predictable fighter and warned him to expect a painful surprise.

Features

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: Hear from Coyle, Campbell and two old rivals!

Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast: Hear from Coyle, Campbell and two old rivals!

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from skysports.com bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Sport can be cruel at times, but it can also offer us moments of sheer, unadulterated joy. As ever on a Monday, we've put together a compilation of the best and worst moments that have taken place around the world over the last week.