(Tom Hogan photo)
It would be the most monumental upset since Douglas toppled Tyson. Can Victor Ortiz shock the world in similar fashion, and take down a fighter seen as being pretty close to unbeatable, Floyd Mayweather? Could he take fate by the throat, and take history into his hands? It's not easy to find people who think so.
Maybe you do, reader. Drop your prediction in our Forum.
Who will win? How? In what round? Will the fight be a thriller or a semi snoozer? Let us know and then come back to crow...
In the fourth and final installment of Mayweather-Ortiz 24/7 on HBO, we heard evidence that the two fighters in fact have more in common than one might think. Both came from quite difficult homes, where disruptions and disappearances were the norm.
They have chosen different personas as they go about their daily life, but down deeper, Mayweather and Ortiz are more similar than they are different.
Starting off, we see Mayweather in the home stretch of training. He then gets some downtime, when he rents out an indoor theme park on the Strip for him and his crew. Floyd goes on rides, hits the bumper cars and then shoots hoops.
In Ventura, we see Ortiz at an open workout. He says he enjoys having a fan following. He calls it a "cushion."
He says that this week, fight week, is "downtime" to him. Mayweather, meanwhile, spars til a couple days before the bout.
At the last presser, Mayweather takes the mike, and busts on Oscar De La Hoya. "He's no longer relevant," he says, but doesn't choose to bust on Oscar for wearing fishnets, and for substance abuse, as he had when not in front of ODLH.
Viewers then see Floyd doing the Conan O'Brien show. Conan wonders why he's doing this media appearance, strangely. Floyd points out that he's in LA, can quickly fly on a private jet to Vegas, and be up in the AM for training. Conan, not that funny, and not that perceptive about prizefighting, eh?
On the Mayweather jet, Floyd chomps licorice, then heads to the gym, for a late workout. He's a night owl, and if you want to be part of his team, you best be OK with the same. We then see Miss Jackson watching Floyd work out. This will be the sixth bout she's watched Floyd take part in. "Even though Floyd's the best at what he does, anything can happen," she says, concerned.
Ortiz flies to Vegas. He says that this is the first time he's been on jets and limos, and he can appreciate it, coming from his humble beginnings.
Trainer Danny Garcia tells him not to get caught up in the hype. He says Victor has trained very hard and is ready. "Jab him anywhere, hit him in the shoulder," Garcia says at a workout.
Ortiz jumps rope, and finishes training at 10 PM, and then heads right to bed.
Floyd is then seen at the gym. He says that he has had a good camp, has worked hard and has liked having celebs drop by. The blowup with his dad hasn't detracted from the camp, Floyd says. "If me and my dad never speak again, I'm OK," he says, once again. It is impossible to determine if he is hiding true feelings or does indeed have the armor up, and would be OK with a permanent estrangement. I'm guessing no...
We see Victor and his brother Temo hanging. "This fight means everything to my career. Maybe not everything but in my eyes it is. Only because I've always been the underdog. Always. No matter what, I'm always the underdog. I don't mind it at all. I don't mind it one bit," Ortiz says.
On Wednesday afternoon, we see a final presser. Ortiz says he will teach Floyd what it feels like to have that first loss. Floyd then says he's not nervous, after Victor looked at the Mayweather side, and said they look nervous. They face off, and jaw.
Liev Schrieber offers a conclusion. He talks about the fact we can't choose our beginnings, who brings us into the world. The upbringing of these two funneled them into a vicious sport, told them that "violence was the most promising route of escape." Both are seeking tight bonds outside the family circle.
They share characteristics...if not the same level of skills.
They didn't have a choice where they came from, but both choose to battle hard to not stay in the quagmire.
I expect Floyd to have his way with Victor, who will be aggressive, but will find that aggression used against him by the skilled pugilist Mayweather. The fight could be a bit of a dud, with Floyd neutralizing the bullrush of Ortiz, potshotting him, but making quite sure he doesn't get caught with something he doesn't see. Both men say it won't go the distance. I've felt that Floyd might open up on Ortiz, take him out late, in round 11. I've felt that Floyd might win 10-2, in rounds. I'm on the fence. What about you, faithful readers? Weigh in!
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?