By Chris Robinson
September 17th wasn’t exactly the proudest night of Victor Ortiz’s young career. In a scene that has been well-documented, Ortiz would suffer an unexpected loss at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, losing his prized WBC welterweight crown in the process.
The action appeared to be heating up in fourth round when Ortiz threw a blatant head butt towards Mayweather that cost him a point from referee Joe Cortez. The two fighters met in the center of the ring afterwards, with Ortiz embracing Mayweather to show his remorse, and Mayweather would catch the former champion off guard with a whistling left hand and a straight right that floored him and ended the fight.
Watching the action unfold, WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios admits that he likely would have done the same thing if he was in Mayweather’s shoes.
“What Victor did was intentional,” stated Rios. “What Mayweather did was legal but he could have did it another way but he got mad because of the head-butt. He finished what Victor started. I probably would have reacted the same way too. If it was on accident, ok then. But the way he did it, he lunged into [him]. That wasn’t no accident. I probably would have done the same thing Floyd did.”
Rios has been extremely critical of Ortiz in the media ever since their childhood friendship became sour once Victor left their trainer Robert Garcia to begin working with the coach’s brother Danny in early 2009. But when looking at Ortiz’s future, Rios admits that the 24-year old still has some prosperous opportunities in front of him.
“There’s still fights out there for him at 147. Andre Berto just won the IBF [championship] so he could do a rematch on that one. He still has two or three big paydays that he could do,” said Rios.
Rios was initially slated for an appearance on the undercard of the November 12th trilogy bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, and then he was scheduled to fight on a Showtime televised date of December 10 - but now Top Rank has placed him in a slot underneath his good friend and stablemate, Antonio Margarito, who faces Miguel Cotto in a rematch on December 3rd. The fight is scheduled to take place in the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City and Rios loves the thought of it.
“I would rather be on that card than the Pacquiao-Marquez card. That would be awesome. Fighting in New York, fighting at the Garden, fighting with Margarito. That will be better for Robert, having us both on the same card,” Rios said.
Rios had been working with welterweight contender Jesus Soto Karass and finished up by stating that he will start his diet and fully go into his own training camp on Monday.
[Reader's note: Anyone looking for a behind-the-scenes look at the Mayweather-Ortiz 'Star Power' event can check out the Massive Mayweather-Ortiz Image Gallery]
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]