Victor Ortiz Must Choose His Identity

BY Lee Wylie ON June 24, 2012
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006 Ortiz ice on jaw IMG 1203A few observations about the Victor Ortiz-Josesito Lopez fight from last night:

When I look at Victor Ortiz, I see a confused fighter. A fighter who suffers from an identity crisis every single time he climbs into the ring. Whether this is his own doing, or that of his trainer, Danny Garcia, remains unclear. What is clear to me however, is that technical flaws in his game are the primary reason behind his recent lapses. Ortiz lacks discipline in the ring, not heart. Yes, Muhammad Ali may have continued with a broken jaw against Ken Norton, but come on, we are talking about Muhammad Ali here , whose toughness -when his career was all said and done- may have even eclipsed his talent. Besides, Ali later admitted to not knowing his jaw was indeed broken. Had he known, he later declared, then he too would have quit on his stool.

No, I don't blame Ortiz for quitting on his stool last night. Nor do I blame him for opting not to continue when confronted with a marauding Marcos Maidana, who was putting such a beating on a young fighter, that no good could possibly have came from it -not in victory,not in defeat. The blame lies elsewhere.

At the highest level, I believe boxing comes down to geometry. Of course, there are more tangibles involved in the sweet science than just technical expertise, but last night, as I have done every time when watching Victor Ortiz, I saw technical deficiencies in a young fighter.

Firstly, Victor Ortiz is a converted southpaw. His right hand, which is his lead hand, is his dominant hand. Last night, Ortiz resembled a southpaw, his stance was the same, but the substance within the style was missing. Ortiz came out boxing behind his jab, a weapon I've seldom seen from him. If a southpaw is to box behind his jab, he should be circling counter-clockwise, looking to plant his lead foot outside of an orthodox fighters lead foot. Ortiz failed to do so on many occasion last night. Throughout the fight, Ortiz found himself moving onto his orthodox opponent's right hand. Not that Lopez bothered to throw it much. In all honesty, I'm not sure I've seen a southpaw defeated where the straight right hand featured so little. Lopez didn't need it. Also, being a converted fighter, Ortiz struggles to achieve any real snap when he throw his left hand. Ortiz tends to push is out, rather than launch it with any real conviction. Have you ever tried throwing something with your weaker hand? Something just doesn't feel right does it? I sense that Ortiz goes through this every time he throws his straight left. He goes through the motions with it, but he is not comfortable throwing it. It just doesn't feel natural. Neither does syncing his upper body with his lower body. So many times during fights,Ortiz finds himself with his left leg in front of his right leg. Ortiz is right handed....he's probably also right footed.

Unlike true southpaws, Ortiz' primary weapon is actually his right hook. In there lies the problem. In order to land it, Ortiz has to concede his southpaw stance to throw it. This is the reason why you see Ortiz square himself up to an opponent over and over again. Lopez did his homework. That's why the uppercut and left hook worked a treat last night. Every time Ortiz closed the distance, Lopez would position himself to throw his right uppercut, which then created the perfect angle for his left hook outside of Ortiz' line of vision. Ortiz, with his feet parallel with his shoulders, could only defend himself with his jaw.

It's not just in technique where Ortiz seems to lose his discipline neither. Take another look at the shot that ended the fight for Ortiz. It landed flush on Ortiz' jaw, who just happened to have his mouth wide open. As I'm sure you are all aware, this is a big no no in boxing. I bet there's boxing trainers all over the world scratching their heads at the fact that an elite fighter could make such an amateurish mistake.

"Vicious" Victor Ortiz is not a bad fighter, but he, or his trainer,needs to decide what works best for him. His best performance was against Andre Berto, a fight where Ortiz didn't really bother working behind a jab. He swarmed and pressured Berto into a fight. Last night, looking to box behind his jab, Ortiz appeared lost in translation. Let's take nothing away from Lopez, who fought a fantastic fight. He took advantage of the gaping holes in Ortiz' arsenal, and made them work to his advantage. But for me, this was all about what Ortiz failed to do, rather than what Lopez managed to do. Truth be told, the fight was close, which suggests that all is not entirely lost with Ortiz, even if his proposed super fight with Canelo Alvarez seems to be.

However, Ortiz' lack of discipline needs addressing and fast.He must choose his true identity: Is he a boxer? Is he a slugger?

If he can iron out the technical flaws, then maybe nobody will get the chance to question Ortiz' heart again.

Comment on this article

riverside says:

Ortiz identity has been cleared and proven in the past, he is a quitter. Ortiz landed the harder shots but was not able to break Josesito's resilience, before the shot on the jaw. Ortiz was looking for a way out. the broken jaw was the the icing on the cake, There is no way Lopez was going to quit after the illegal shot in the back of the head, just need couple of minutes and then back on his people swinging. Lopez signaled to ortiz to bring it on!!! Many felt Lopez was over matched, as Ortiz raw power was the difference early in the fight, Ortiz landed the harder punches. Lopez battered and bruised and big heart was a real man and more than enough to chop down Ortiz. Lopez corner worried me a bit as they saw there battered fighter taking bombs from ortiz in 6th and 7th round, but we knew ortiz would quit soon..

SouthPaul says:

His identity is that of a passive aggressive both in and out of the ring. The guy has anger issues. Maybe it goes back to childhood and his lack of relationship with his father. I dunno but maybe some counseling would be beneficial. Whatever, that's all on him to work out. As a fight fan I enjoy 'em. If he never changes so be it. In fact, hope he doesn't cause he's pretty entertaining as it stands. I ain't perfect so I don't expect him to be either. Be who you are, Vic, its not all that bad a look. I also respect a man who knows when it's time to pull his own curtain. He did it twice now and if I am a betting man it'll all be good for his self preservation. Thats what's up cause ain't none of us gonna be there in the wee hours cheering him on as he's getting his jaw xray'ed. lmao at the suckas' calling him names. Cocksuckas woulda' been dialing 911 had they dealt with the same injury.
.

brownsugar says:

Many will say that Ortiz is a heartless quitter....but I'm not ready to bite off that biscuit. The individual who deserves the most praise in last nights fight is the firm but fair ref who minimized the rabbit punch incident that prompted Lopez to dive to the canvas like a pro basketball player falling to the ground to draw a foul. The ref told Lopez to standup "it wasn't that bad" he said... and Lopez reluctantly cooperated. but you never saw him nod or express any desire to continue when the ref asked him if he wanted to fight...Credit to Lopez that he bounce up like the pro that he is and continued to fight with fierce intensity after having a near "Jorge Arce" moment. .....Lopez never looked back after getting back into the heat of battle.

by the way I did see at least 8 shots by Ortiz who tends to loop his too far when in close.

In retrospect Lopez should be expressing a little more humility because Ortiz was on his way to a win ......and the ring doctor was close to calling it a day for Josesito.

Both fighters continued their personal pugilistic war for our entertainment at full velocity until the stoppage.

Ortiz was doing a great job while he was jabbing, boxing and keeping at range......

However,...Like the article said ....Ortiz would continue to get caught every time he squared up... Josesito never let an opportunity pass him by.

But none can argue that Ortiz had not won the first 2minutes and 40 seconds of the 9th until his jaw was unhinged in the final seconds.

Lopez didn't break Ortez's will, or his detemination....., he broke his jaw.

I remember when I started boxing..Darren Allen ,...who ended up becoming the first alternate behind middleweight Olympian Frank Tate,.... hit me so hard on the point of the chin with a hook that my jaw bone nearly popped out of it's socket. The teeth on the left side didn't touch when I tried to close my mouth... had to eat oatmeal and drink soup thru a straw for 2 weeks until the excruciating pain subsided and the bones mended themselves naturally on their own without medical attention.......... that injury wasn't even a broken Jaw.

Only fighters with the utmost confidence, experience boxing skill (or running off a high level of adrenalin)can continue at the higher levels.
I woudn't expect Ortiz to behave like Ali or Pernell Whitaker because they had the poise, professionalism and defense to weather such storms.
I'm gonna put an asterkist next to *Aurthur Abrams name because he was helped by some very dubious officiating and was frequently allowed to stop mid round(without penalty) to debate with the ref and officials if he could quit and still win. Thankfully Even the Germans know their limits. AA bled profusely from the mouth while getting a very controversial decision, I guess that counts for something.

This might be a blessing in disguise for Ortiz because even though I don't like "Paper Champs"... Canello is far better ring technician than Ortiz,.. with far more discipline. (and has more power)

I'm not sure if Ortiz elected to fight Canello because of the urgings of Del La Hoya... or if it was his own personal initiative.
But it seems to me that he's allowing his career to be rushed in all manner of absurd directions.
Getting Ko'd by Mayweather gave him notoriety but it didn't give him a free pass to go weight-class jumping into uncharted waters.

I still think Ortiz has potential, .....like the article already stated... if he learns a little patience and develops the proper tools, (and hasn't become discouraged)
Ortiz can be a handful for anyone, he's young enough to rebuild (slowly).... it wasn't like he got concussed.

I won't pass up an opportunity to watch either boxer in the future... Josesito vs Bradley, Mathyse, or a detoxed Lamont Peterson... make it happen!!!! (khan would box him silly)

Last nights fights were worthy of a Standing Ovation. BRAVO,.... ENCORE!!!!!!

brownsugar says:

LOL,.......... this is the second time I chose against Riverside and came up on the short end.... damn you Riverside LOL>>>

SouthPaul says:

Great observation with the ref. Job well done for sure.

brownsugar says:

thx SP.

ultimoshogun says:

Good stuff SouthPaul & B-sug...Ortiz is a mystery wrapped in riddle inside an enigma and like SouthPaul says he's been nothing but entertaining so far so i'll continue watching. Good point brownsugar, Lopez was taking some big time damage, I too had Ortiz ahead up until he got his jaw busted. Just because a handful of guys have fought on with broken hands, jaws, orbital bones doesn't mean it should be the standard by which other fighters toughness is measured.

brownsugar says:

Ultimo...............Lets hope he doesn't start drinking and riding motorcycles (with all due respect to Williams and Corralez), If he can avoid the pitfalls of dispair,... he'll be back better than ever.

I like both fighters and I think they made a very positive contribution in the cause of boxing....as it's been said before, These types of fights keep us coming back.

forgot to mention that it's such a pleasure listening to HOF'mer Al Bernstein do the commentary. No bias rants,.. no calling punches that don't land. No WTF commentary. Just a guy doing his job without inserting his own agenda. Al never gets in the way and only enhances the experience. After some 30 odd years of hearing his commentary I can't remember a single time when he made him self sound absurd.

There was a great fight on the undercard too. Some guy named Charlo dropped this kid in round 5 with a perfectly finessed straight right hand for the KO.
got it all on DVR. yesssssssssssssssssss!!!! The whole show was better than Most PPV cards.

riverside says:

lopez was the better fighter last night with the bigger courage and heart that why he won , You need courage and heart in the sport that Ortiz chooses to participate and ortiz has proven he doesn't have! if his jaw got broken so what!, jaw and much more are on the line when he enters the ring. maybe he should learn to keep his jaw close when trading shots, that is his choice, i don't buy all these cry- cry -cry every time he is interview about his past and his father, who cares, he want to sell himself very well. If he is looking for sympathy he can find it in the dictionary between sh!t and syphilis not here. Ortiz quit last night, that was his choice and has done it before and himself as an athlete making money he will be criticized. He will chose to fight again not for the fans but for himself and the money! His cry-cry about his dad, and wants nothing to do with him. A real man will forgive his father and seek help for him,not cover up the tattoo that bears his dads last name and was cool to sport it on his back before making it big! comparing lopez and Ortiz, I have to say Ortiz is the dirtiest fighter from his choices and trying to head butt money May,Ortiz chose to hit Lopez in the back of the head, in the middle of exchanges and pushes fighters fall down, but ortiz didn't show restrain in hitting him? as far i know Ortiz would have crumbled in the championship rounds, Josesito was landing cleaner shots and was wearing Ortiz down. I'd like to see Ortiz get some credibility and take the Maidana rematch. Maidana is always ready for a fight.

Radam G says:

Well, actually J Lopez was the luckier fighter, not the better one. But he did have fun. Team O needs to first fire whoever made that darn mouthpiece. It didn't fit. I could see that from the jump. My words were, "What in da double fudge is wrong with Vicious Vic's mouthpiece. The bytch is gonna get his jaw broke before the night is over, and be outta making 7mil against the redhead superhype." I was right like a three-leaf clover.

And what SouthPaul said is spot on. VVO is "passive aggressive" like heck. It makes me wonderful sometimes does he have a darn chicken neck. Hehehehe! And Riverside is spot on, TOO! VVO has a lot of d@mn demons conducting evil syet all up in his a$$ and membranes because he will not forgive his pops. I say JUST DO IT, and move forward.

Nobody and dey unforgivin' arse can change the wrong and nastiness of yesteryears. So why not just forgive dat stuff, suck it up and shield a few tears. You will then drop a load that has been holding you down and back. And knocking your arse off track. You will feel swell and your game may just become like a BRICKHOUSE! It will be better than what you appear to be NOW -- a miserable, little scary-a$$ MOUSE! And you are looking to lose, because you have gotten comfortable with a rotten childhood. And you have let that bytch time become your Robinhood. Robbin' yo arse of yo' very best, because you just refuse to put the PAST to REST. Holla!

the Roast says:

Watching this fight again it looked to me like Lopez landed the left hook that broke Evil Vic's jaw with 20 seconds left in the 9th. As soon as the going got tough Ortiz got his *** out of there. Vic quits when it gets down to blood and guts. Lopez should fight at 140 unless he really needs to get paid. Congrats to Josesito.

SouthPaul says:

Interesting observation ..the mouthpiece not fitting properly. Hmmmm.

All in all great night at the fights. It was needed. Thank you to both Ortiz and Joseito for giving so much of themselves. The clip of Ortiz' friends duking it out for fun was also great. A small reminder how far and above these cats are from the every day folk. "I don't know how you can fight so many rounds" friend says to Ortiz. Yup. Amazing! Totally forgotten by some peeps. Respect to these professionals, real talk....

dino da vinci says:

Yes, Muhammad Ali may have continued with a broken jaw against Ken Norton, but come on, we ARE talking about Muhammad Ali here, whose toughness-when his career was all said and done- may have even eclipsed his talent. Besides, Ali later admitted to not knowing his jaw was indeed broken. Had he known, he later declared, then he too would have quit on his stool.


I seem to recall reading in Sports Illustrated right after the fight that Ali came back to the corner and asked Angelo, "How do you know when your jaw is broken?". Angelo replied, "It makes a clacking sound."

Clack, clack.

"Well I guess it's broken."

Never did I hear him say he'd quit on the stool. Just sayin'

Real Talk says:

God bless Showbox. There may be hope for boxing yet. Thank you Gus and Al. Thank you Showbox. Thank you Victor and Josesito. I have nothing bad to say about anything or anybody. Both fighters fought hard and gave the fans an exiting fight. This fight was good for boxing. GOD bless.

SouthPaul says:

Another broken jawed fighter to come to mind is Richard Grant (at hands of James Butler). Thankfully he didn't have to make a decision to fight or quit. I was watching that live as it happen, beleive I even had my VCR in record mode. That was the mother of all sucka' punches. Ouch.

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