Las Vegas, NV - The wait is over and once again Floyd "Money" Mayweather delivers as the undefeated six-time world champion announced today via his Twitter account @floydmayweather that he will return to the ring on Saturday, September 17, to face the hard-hitting and explosive current WBC Welterweight World Champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz in what is now the biggest international boxing event of 2011.
The announcement of the fight, which will take place on Mexican Independence Day weekend, widely considered boxing's biggest weekend, sends shock waves across the sports pages as there is no denying that the younger, stronger and current champion Ortiz poses an extremely credible threat to Mayweather, who returns to the ring after a 16-month hiatus. It is a highly competitive and very dangerous match-up that will give fans a chance to see the sport's biggest star against the sport's newest star in one ring on one very special night of boxing action.
"I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic night of boxing by fighting the best out there and for me, that is Victor Ortiz," said Mayweather. "He is the current champion and an extremely talented fighter who showed amazing skills, and heart, in his last performance against Andre Berto. At this stage of my career, these are the challenges I look for, a young, strong, rising star looking to make his mark in boxing by beating me. Like the rest of my opponents, he is going to try to prove that he can beat me. I commend him for accepting the fight, but on September 17, Ortiz is just going to be another casualty, the 42nd one who tried and failed. Trust me, I will be ready."
"I respect Mayweather because he has been a champion for many years and I know he will be ready, but so will I," said Ortiz. "I'm a strong fighter and I have worked really hard to silence my critics. I'm a world champion for a reason and I am not going to let go of my title any time soon. This is going to be a great fight, but I will remain a world champion for many years to come."
Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO's) remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating record pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring. In his last ring appearance on May 1, 2010, Mayweather dismantled Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory. Mayweather is no stranger to fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend either, as prior to his sensational win over Mosley, he took on Mexican boxing star Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009, beating his opponent in spectacular fashion. During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions such as Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton.
Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO's) is on fire. He is riding a six-fight undefeated streak including his sensational win over Andre Berto on April 16 of this year. The hard-punching southpaw proved himself throughout their 12-round battle when he survived a knock down in the sixth round and came back to drop Berto at the end of the sixth round in one of the most exciting fights in boxing this year. Ortiz, who was already known as one of the most powerful young fighters in the sport but was questioned in the past for his desire, showed the world that his heart matches his hands of steel when faced with the best in boxing.
"When Floyd fights, everyone stops to watch and this is an exciting time for boxing as it always is when Floyd steps into the ring," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "There is no better showman than Floyd and he backs up his legacy with amazing, one-of-a-kind skills. Victor Ortiz has shown us that he is a great fighter too and for the two of them to meet makes for a gigantic night for fans all over the world. It's always a thrill to see Floyd fight and it's even better when he faces the best out there such as a true champion like Ortiz. This is going to be a fight to remember. Sports fans have a lot to look forward to on September 17."
"There is no doubt that September 17 will again be this year's biggest night of boxing worldwide," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "When Floyd Mayweather fights, it is an event which brings fight fans, sports fans and the general public together to see this truly gifted athlete perform. Every year Floyd sets the bar and standard for most pay-per-view buys and this year will be no different. In Victor Ortiz, he is facing a young, strong and highly motivated world champion who knows that a win over the pound for pound champion will catapult him into superstardom. The stage is set and I can't wait for the showdown of the year."
Mayweather vs. Ortiz is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. A nationwide press tour is being planned for the week of June 20 with additional details about it and the fight to be announced shortly.