Mayweather-Ortiz: The Caveats

By Michael Schmidt on September 12, 2011
Mayweather-Ortiz: The Caveats
Mayweather, in choosing Ortiz, sees something that he likes, something that he can exploit

Floyd will employ old school shoulder rolls, angles, left elbow push offs, and he will selectively target his shots early on…

The script has been written and promoted on this one over and over again. It is the young, hard punching, aggressive and hungry Ortiz against the experienced undefeated defensive genius Mayweather. Ortiz vs Mayweather.

The late and very great Gil Clancy was fond of saying that fighters that win titles automatically improved 30 percent. That is Ortiz of course who is the defending newly crowned Champ in this fight. The “Clancy Caveat” as it were is one of many caveats that makes this fight interesting and perhaps more competitive, at least early on, than most think it will be.

Obviously Mayweather, in choosing Ortiz, sees something that he likes, something that he can exploit. It is not that long ago that Ortiz fought a tough earned draw with Lamont Peterson. Lamont Peterson is no Mayweather by any stretch of the boxing imagination.

What of the caveats then? Yes, Ortiz is the younger, bigger, more aggressive fighter. Is he the hungrier fighter? I would not put much emphasis on that point at all. Mayweather is known for his gym work ethic. He always comes in shape. The smell of perhaps boxing’s biggest ever payday will keep the Money Mayweather more than motivated. It will fuel his everyday work ethic up until fight time.

The caveats of Floyd’s age and inactivity are inescapable. You can never tell at Floyd’s age and inactivity level “when the wheels are going to fall off the bus.” Counter to that point of course is the fact that Mayweather amazingly in his 41-fight career has suffered little ring damage and has a skill set similar to Ali’s in the fact that he may be so much more above the crowd that even a slightly diminished Floyd is way above the crowd. In Ortiz he is facing an opponent who will force the fight. It is Ortiz’s nature and he is to be given credit for his win over Berto. Having said that, Berto is no Mayweather. That was more than evident this past week. Berto is easy to hit and, further, Mayweather, unlike Berto, is not going to lay back on the ropes and let Ortiz hit away. Floyd will employ old school shoulder rolls, angles, left elbow push offs, and he will selectively target his shots early on.

It is easy to envision Ortiz starting strong out of the block as he often does. It is in the early rounds that he will be most dangerous. It is also easy to envision Mayweather landing more and more check left hooks and straight right hands as the fight wears on and Ortiz wears down. Ortiz is easy to find and has shown in past fights that he has trouble establishing pace in a fight. His usual answer to that is born of true grit. He must use his size and power to get inside and fight. The referee will be a very important factor in the fight early. A review of Mayweather’s fight with Hatton shows a smaller man getting inside but not being given much time to set up and establish an inside game. Alternatively, if Ortiz decides early to stay outside he might as well be shadowboxing by himself. The only fight of recent time where Mayweather seemed to have trouble with establishing his rhythm, his fight, was with Oscar De La Hoya. There were portions of that fight that Oscar controlled with his superb jab. Therein is the nub of deficiency for Ortiz. His jab is for the most part nonexistent. It is used, flicking often in mid-air at no target, to establish his rhythm and jump inside with right hooks to the body and straight left hands. It is something most assuredly that Floyd will exploit. Don’t look for much movement from Floyd. He will establish and work that jab.

The other caveat of course is Floyd’s being potentially distracted due to out of ring matters born of multiple legal proceedings and family quarrels. These are nothing new to Floyd and certainly to this point he seems to have been able to deflect them like a Teflon man. That is not to say that they may not be wearing on him. Anybody that has been involved in protracted litigation knows the toll it can take mentally and physically. Food for thought and most certainly put out there as part of the pre-fight publicity machine.

So there it is in a boxing nutshell. Ortiz, as champion, will be Clancy caveat better. He is younger, bigger and hits harder. He is on top of that a southpaw, all of which may give Mayweather trouble early. Prediction time. Mayweather will do what he does best. He will slowly but confidently neutralize the Ortiz aggression inside and outside. Round by round Floyd’s selective shots will start to exact their toll on young Ortiz. Who do I like—to win? Mayweather by 11th round stoppage. Many years ago a poll was taken of approximately 40 “experts” as to the Duran vs. Barkley winner. Only one “expert,” and indeed he is Ron Borges, picked Duran to win. Of course Duran walked away with the Middleweight Championship (by the by, and an argument for another day, but if Manny wants to be in that Duran level, it is Sergio to be). Mr. Borges sees this as nothing more than a “high paid gym session…” Betting against Borges’ predictions, I found yesteryear, was not healthy for the thickness of one’s wallet. On the contrary though, this will not be an easy fight for Floyd. Ortiz, by his aggressive fighting nature, will make it entertaining and that is why we are all excited. For Ortiz a huge payday and no shame at this young age losing to a big-time future Hall of Famer. In Ortiz, a likeable young Champion with a blue-collar working group behind him. A Champion easy to admire and like by his outside the ring conduct. He will be back in the spotlight sooner than later. Now ask me who I like…

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Pablo Edwin Obregon 12:23pm, 09/17/2011

    Joe- You obviously had a couple of cold ones already to even think something as possible, but not real as Ortiz Knocking Mayweather out. Have another one for me, Text me in the morning if you can find your phone. 240 441 0603.

  2. 06:20am, 09/17/2011

    The conspiracy theory here is that Floyd will beat Ortiz whether by the distance or knockout and Pacquiao will beat Marquez by the same design leading to the fight of the century between Pacquaio and Mayweather. I had this prediction Mayweather will be knocked out in the 3rd round the same with Marquez in 3 as well. Enjoy the fight guys. Cheers=D

  3. Brett 04:15pm, 09/14/2011

    Great article Mike! I do agree that Mayweather will exploit Ortiz’s weaknesses and beat him. I don’t thnk it will be a 11th round KO but a 12 round decision. Either way, Mayweather keeps us hoping for the superfight with Manny Pacquiao.

  4. Teron 09:47am, 09/14/2011

    Good piece. I could definitely see the fight going the way the writer predicts, at the same time after looking at these clips I forgot that according to Lederman Hatton was only trailing by 2 pts on the cards and had won a couple of rds. I wonder how Money will fair w/ a bigger fighter, Ortiz, applying the same kind of pressure. Ortiz has a bigger punch than the Hitman and he’ll be coming from a southpaw stance. Think this fight will be more interesting than people expect.

  5. mikecasey 05:01am, 09/13/2011

    I share Old Yank’s odd feeling about this one. Leonard kept laying off and thinking he could come back forever - you just can’t do that. Mayweather is less skilled than Ray, and, much like Roy Jones, will be in jeopardy when he loses the speed that masks his defects. I’m always surprised at how few mention Floyd’s tendency to hang his chin out to dry when he gets a little too excited.  I sense this isn’t quite the time for that, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Nicely written, Mike.

  6. Mike Schmidt 04:06am, 09/13/2011

    Thank you Mr. Pablo Edwin Obregon. Glad to see you enjoying No doubt we will agree and disagree on our boxing down the line but you are obviously passionate about your boxing so keep those great emails coming. A given is that Ortiz seems to always be in an exciting fight so let’s hope this is a great fight for the fans. Manny’s last few have, to say the least, not been edge of your seat deals. Enjoy the fight and thanks.

  7. "Old Yank" Schneider 03:30am, 09/13/2011

    This fight is as easy to predict as Duran/Barkley and Tyson/Douglas—both were easy fights to predict where something went terribly wrong.  On paper, Mayweather can’t lose.  But fights are eventually fought in a ring and not on paper.  We should all EXPECT a Mayweather win—one that eventually looks like a “schooling” by the time Mayweather makes a few adjustments.  Let’s just say I’ve got an odd feeling about this easy-to-predict bout.

  8. Pablo Edwin Obregon 07:41pm, 09/12/2011

    Mr. Schmidt, you have just earned mad respect from me. It is clear that Ortiz is in for the greatest fight, largest payday, and the biggest lesson in boxing, all given to him by the great Floyd Mayweather. Ortiz can also tell his kids he was beaten by one of the greatest boxers ever.

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