By Francisco Salazar
“I don’t deserve this (beating).”
Those words came out of the mouth of Victor Ortiz on June 27th, 2009, after he lost by technical knockout to Marcos Maidana at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
It almost seems as though boxing fans can not let go of the words that Ortiz spoke of on that warm summer evening.
Or is it that boxing fans consider Ortiz to be an underachiever after his technical knockout loss to Josesito Lopez. It was a fight Ortiz was favored to win, but did not continue after the ninth round due to two fractures in his jaw.
It must be that, to some fight fans, Ortiz is not in a rush to get back in the ring. He was a contestant on the ABC series, Dancing with the Stars.
While diehard Ortiz fans were excited the Ventura, CA resident was scheduled to fight sometime in November, they may have been equally disappointed to find out Ortiz is not stepping inside a ring next month.
By the time you read this (August 20th, 2013), Ortiz will be on a flight to Bulgaria, where the movie “Expendables 3” is being filmed. Ortiz will co-star with Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Robert Pattinson, and MMA star Rhonda Rousey.
So, when will Ortiz return to the ring? Is he going to announce a date when he would make his ring return and disappointing fight fans if the date falls through?
“I’m going to fight in December,” Ortiz told Boxingscene.com on Friday night at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA. “I was originally scheduled to return on September 14th on the (Floyd) Mayweather undercard. But then, I got the call from Stallone that he wanted me to be in the movie.”
Those statements may add fuel to the fire to skeptics’ beliefs that Ortiz is not really serious about boxing. Aside from Dancing with the Stars, Ortiz has participated in non-boxing activities such as triathlon competitions.
Ortiz has already been training at Knuckleheadz Gym in Ventura, CA. He even worked out a few times at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, down the 101 Freeway.
However, Ortiz states that he is committed to fighting in December.
“My trainer Danny Smith and (strength and conditioning coach) Hoss (Joseph Janik) will fly out to Bulgaria. When I’m not filming, I’m going to be training with them.
It is highly-likely Ortiz could return in December and may not have to travel so far from the location of the film being made. Lance Pugmire reported on Monday that the proposed bout between Amir Khan and Devon Alexander could land in Dubai. If Dubai is not an option, the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. could host the fight.
Ortiz could land on the Khan-Alexander card. Who could face Ortiz, should he fight in December? Alfonso Gomez was considered a leading candidate when there was talk of Ortiz fighting in September. Ortiz would like to fight him.
“He (Gomez) has been talking a lot lately,” said Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs). “He’s going to get laid out.”
Take it for what is worth. Ortiz could make his long-awaited return to the ring in December. Having his new trainer and a conditioning coach in another country for over two months may be a sign Ortiz wants to fight in December.
While there are those who may point out to his loss to Mayweather almost two years as a sign that Ortiz may not have gotten over the hump mentally, there are fight fans who beg to differ.
When fans (and media) talk about potential matchups at the welterweight or super welterweight limit, the name Ortiz does pop up.
A rematch against Berto. A fight against fellow southpaw Robert Guerrero. Even some diehard fans have thought about Ortiz fighting unbeaten fighters Adrien Broner or Keith Thurman.
Regardless, Ortiz is talking the talk. Let us hope he will be able to walk the walk.
“I’m going to win world titles at 147 and or at 154 pounds.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written Boxingscene.com since September and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper and Knockout Nation. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing