OK I am going to be the one to say it, knowing full well that sometimes the people who say things that are unpopular are not the favorites of the fans. Victor Ortiz was one of my favorite fighters over the past few years, and provided one of the most electric moments in my recent memory when he pinned Floyd Mayweather into the corner and began to hammer away, just before also providing the head butt which would eventually unravel the fight and lead to his loss. Victor Ortiz should retire.
Ortiz (29-5-2, 22 KO) of Ventura, Ca, was one of the most promising and exciting fighters in recent memory, allowing fans to watch his growth as a boxer from a starry eyed kid with a great smile and a happy demeanor who also had great power and skill, evolving into a seemingly unhappy, overly serious and flawed fighter with more to prove than he ever needed to. I remember when he was heavily criticized for stating in a post fight interview that he didn’t want to get punched in the face any more, and the boxing community questioned his heart and desire. He emerged after that with a different demeanor, like he was sick of people hounding him for his comments, and decided to become a fighter that “had heart.” What that means is debatable, but apparently it meant you can no longer have fun with the sport, and you have to be continually on edge and angry. It was this type of attitude that began his demise as a fighter.
Victor has sustained three straight knockout losses in his last three fights. Granted all of them save the last were questionable or mired in controversy (really, nobody expected him to continue with a broken jaw, and what happened with Floyd will always leave a bad taste in boxing fan’s mouths) but it really does need to be stated after this last loss to Luis Collazo (35-5, 18 KO) in Brooklyn at the Barclay’s Center I personally believe he should question continuing in the sport. I would like to also add an opinion at this point….it will not surprise me if the report does not come out in the next few days that Ortiz’s jaw was re-broken by that short right that Collazo delivered at the end of the second round, bringing an end to the fight. If that is the case, Victor may not have the physical tools to compete on this level (see “glass-jaw”) and my opinion that he should retire stands. If it comes out that it was simply a great punch that landed perfectly because Ortiz new “overly aggressive, something to prove” style puts him in the perfect position for such punches to land, then I believe that Victor has painted himself into a corner because if he were to become “less aggressive and more defensive” boxing fans will criticize him as wanting to avoid punches because he is afraid of being knocked out again. Either way, Ortiz cannot win in the fan’s eyes anymore.
The fight was a good one up until the end, with a home-town favorite providing aggression against aggression and counter-punching like a master. I am not taking anything away from Collazo here, he has also always been a favorite of mine. I am simply stating that if we have not witnessed Victor’s last fight, I will always simply be hoping for him to get through the next one without getting too hurt. Victor, you provided fans with enough excitement and fireworks…it is time.