By Chris Robinson
It’s been over three weeks since former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz surrendered his belt to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their Las Vegas duel. The controversy surrounding the fight’s ending has been played out at length’s end but the reality remains that it is back to the drawing board for Team Ortiz.
Victor’s trainer Danny Garcia was introduced to many in the boxing world during the lead up to the fight during HBO's 24/7 series as viewers got an inside look at his history with Ortiz and the inner turmoil taking place within his family. Garcia has only spoken to his charge a few times following the loss, as Ortiz is currently vacationing in Paris, and feels that the fight with Mayweather was playing out better than he anticipated before the fight’s conclusion.
“I expected even worse,” Garcia said of the first four rounds of the bout. “I always said that we wanted to get past the first four or five rounds because those rounds were the best rounds for Mayweather. After the fifth or the sixth round we were going to start pushing harder and harder.”
In the fourth round, Ortiz would lose a point after intentionally drilling Mayweather with a head butt. Moments later he embraced Floyd to show his apologies and was subsequently greeted with a left-right combination that he didn’t see coming that put him on his back and ended the fight.
Garcia seems to have come to terms with the way the fight ended but still doesn’t understand how the HBO announcing crew on that night was favoring Mayweather so heavily.
“For me, it was even. Even though the HBO people said [Mayweather] was winning. I don’t know why they would say that. The fight was even and Victor was going to go harder and harder. And I still think we were going to beat him,” A slightly bemused Garcia added.
Garcia pointed out that he was hopeful for his fighter to land a rematch with Floyd but seemed to understand that might not be a realistic option at this point. There have been whispers that former junior welterweight champion Devon Alexander, who is moving up in weight and also announced his signing with Golden Boy Promotions the day of Mayweather-Ortiz, might be an ideal candidate for a fight with Victor.
Garcia likes the sound of that fight and feels it will remind people of how Ortiz is constantly testing himself at this point in his career.
“That would be a good fight, because he only has one loss and he’s a former champion. I think that the people would like to see that fight. That way we can show the people that we’re not here to fight guys with four, five losses. We’re fighting guys near the top of the division or guys who are undefeated. Berto, Mayweather, and now Devon Alexander. We’ll show the people that we’re fighting the best and I think we can beat Devon Alexander.”
[Reader's note: For more images of Victor Ortiz and the wild 'Star Power' event, please visit the following slideshows Behind the scenes at the wild Mayweather-Ortiz event / Images of Floyd's fiance' Shantel Jackson at the event / The highs and lows of Victor Ortiz ]