Weekend Hangover

By Mutaurwa Mapondera on June 25, 2012
Weekend Hangover
On Saturday night, Ortiz’s corner completely failed to protect their fighter (Getty Images)

With his constant badgering of Ortiz, referee Jack Reiss probably played a part in Victor mentally unravelling during the fight…

Biggest Winners: Ortiz Critics
The unpredictable and ever-frustrating Victor Ortiz has been a lightening rod for criticism since he elected not to continue in his fight against Marcos Maidana in 2009. Since then, he’s cruised past some fringe contenders, given away a victory against Lamont Peterson, savaged the then-unbeaten Andre Berto and completely disengaged from a fight against Floyd Mayweather; getting KO’d with his hands down and lips puckered. With the addition of each bizarre twist in Ortiz’s career, he was spoken about like a modern version of Hasim Rahman; strong body, great look, weak mind.

When Josesito Lopez replaced Berto as Ortiz’s opponent, most fans and analysts thought that a focused Ortiz would blow out the respected SoCal vet. Thankfully for Ortiz’s legion of critics, a serious injury, coupled with a pathetically disorganized corner would lead to another mental breakdown from Ortiz, who loudly and forcefully quit on his stool at the end of the ninth round spewing thick spools of blood from a broken jaw.

Most Inept: Ortiz Handlers
When Israel Vazquez squared off with Rafael Marquez in the first episode of their legendary trilogy, Vazquez’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was forced into making a serious decision. Vazquez had returned to his corner claiming that he couldn’t breath through his badly broken nose. Roach asked Vazquez for two more rounds, and when Vazquez’s condition continued to deteriorate, Roach did not hesitate to stop the fight and no questions were asked about Vazquez’s heart.

In the seventh round, Ortiz pulled his trainer Danny Garcia close, and told him that his jaw was broken. Garcia implored Ortiz to continue, and kept doing so until in the ninth round, Ortiz stood up of his stool and told referee Jack Reiss that he did not want to continue. The scene in Ortiz’s corner was one of the more bizarre of recent memory, and despite the gravity of Ortiz’s injury, the only thing fans will remember about Saturday night will be Ortiz quitting once again.

Danny Garcia and the rest of Ortiz’s team looked exasperated and frustrated by their fighter, at no point more so than when they forced Ortiz out of the ring as he mumbled through an interview with Jim Gray. I’m sure Ortiz is not the easiest fighter to deal with, and Garcia should be commended for his loyalty to Victor up until this point, but on Saturday night, Ortiz’s corner completely failed to protect their fighter.

Most Conspicuous: Jack Reiss
HBO analyst Larry Merchant often comments that the best referees are barely present in the ring, and that they only intercede on the action when completely necessary. Jack Reiss clearly disagreed with Merchant, and made his presence felt at every available opportunity.

On Saturday night, Reiss was the Microsoft Paperclip of referees; constantly popping up when he wasn’t needed.

Reiss seemed to have a chip on his shoulder in regards to Ortiz, and some of his instructions were needlessly forceful. At one point in the fight after a warning about punching behind the head, Reiss shoved Ortiz with his right hand, and later told him not to “touch gloves, or try to hug the guy,” after an accidental foul.

With his constant badgering of Ortiz, Reiss probably played a part in Victor mentally unravelling during the fight.

Whether or not he did, a referee should never be the topic of discussion after a fight, and by getting so involved in the action, Reiss failed in his assignment as an official.

Least Attentive: Saul Alvarez
For a guy who was supposedly scouting his next opponent, Saul Alvarez looked as interested as Justin Bieber at an NBA Finals game.

Most Inappropriate Emotional Reaction: Ortiz’s Post-Fight Glee
“We spend our entire adult lives getting over our childhoods.”

Robbed of a normal childhood and forced into maturity at a young age, Ortiz might be extending his adolescence and recapturing his childhood by affecting the immature, “spacey” persona that his critics find so annoying.

When Ortiz quit against Maidana, he claimed he “didn’t deserve to be getting beat up like [that],” which might have been a reference to his childhood struggles and the idea that he had taken enough knocks in life already. His candor raised the ire of many boxing purists who expect fighters to be like gladiators, ready to go out on their shields.

On Saturday, Ortiz gleefully took the microphone from Jim Gray and giggled as he told him “Josesito broke my jaw.” Ortiz’s glee in the face of another embarrassing loss will be seen by many as a sign of his mental weakness, and yet another confirmation that the young man is simply in the wrong business.

Many universally-celebrated fighters, (Duran, Vazquez, Vitali Klitschko) have elected to end fights that they were losing, and none of them caught the type of flack that Ortiz catches for his flake-outs, which is mostly due to Ortiz’s delivery. Had Ortiz allowed Danny Garcia to deliver his surrender, or had at least showed some shadow of remorse during his post-fight interviews, we would be looking at different headlines today.

Most Appropriate Emotional Reaction: Ortiz’s Post-Fight Collapse
After his team hustled him out of the ring, a shirtless Ortiz, his mouth hanging open like a rusty gate on a windy day, retired to his dressing room. Showtime cameras followed him as he collapsed to his knees and hung his head, thick streams of blood hanging from his broken jaw. He seemed crushed and disappointed at how things had turned out, and it was hard for me not to feel sorry for him.

Why he reserves this side of himself for the times he thinks no one is watching him is a mystery.

Most Relieved: Nevada Judges
For the last few weeks, the biggest story in boxing has been the spotty judging in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. As the first big fight weekend since that controversial decision, the judges on call for the evening must have felt a sense of overwhelming pressure going into the Showtime-televised card.

Luckily for them, all three fights ended conclusively with Lopez, Lucas Matthyse, and Jermell Charlo all scoring knockouts. Too bad things aren’t always this conclusive when the lights shine brightest.

Most Validated: Loyal Fans
Despite all of the Ortiz-related chatter that has come out of this weekend, Showtime and Golden Boy should be commended for putting together a great night of fights that featured shocking and conclusive decisions. Many fans cried “boycott,” coming out of the Pacquiao-Bradley debacle, and if they followed through, they missed out on an excellent night of boxing that featured the right mixture of action, skill and most-importantly, controversy that will have loyal fans buzzing for weeks.

Best Cameo: Luscious
She wants you to drink Corona.

Also, she smashed the homie.

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2012-06-23 Victor Ortiz vs Josesito Lopez

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  1. Jack 12:51am, 07/02/2012

    The line “like the Microsoft Office paper clip” was just hilarious. I actually disagree with you on that point (I felt it was warranted by the ref), but what a brilliant line! Thanks for that!

  2. Allen 09:13pm, 07/01/2012

    I feel bad for Ortiz. I believe he’ll bounce back and continue giving us more exciting fights. The fight should’ve been stopped and he shouldn’t feel bad for not continuing to fight with a broken jaw. People would be saying differently had Ortiz’s jaw been shattered to the point of ending his boxing career yet alone suffering any long-term health effects that come with that by continuing with such a serious injury. Ortiz did the right thing. With that said, this is the best fight I’ve seen all year.

  3. Don from Prov 03:09am, 06/27/2012

    “his mouth hanging open like a rusty gate on a windy day, retired to his dressing room” : Great image for a very sad moment.  I do remember that around the 7th Victor pulled Garcia in close to whisper something to him and that Garcia responded in a like manner.  I told the person I was watching the fight with that obviously something that they didn’t want the television microphones picking up was going on, but is there now some confirmation that the conversation was about a broken jaw?  Is it now also confirmed Mr. Irish Frankie that there was a double break—the injury sounding more like what Arthur Abraham had to fight through.  I don’t know, maybe this kid is just snake-bitten, but I do know that I feel badly for him and think that he seems like a very decent young man.  I also didn’t like the comments attributed to Lopez in which it seems he called Victor a punk and said that he had no heart.  Again, a brutal and murky world in boxing.

  4. Pete The Sneak 07:06am, 06/26/2012

    Irish Frankie..I hear you my man…No doubt… Josesito is a true fighter who showed tremendous heart and grit and certainly earned that victory with his hard punching power and determination. The dude can flat out fight. Also, I’m not about to tell you that Victor’s Jaw wasn’t broken and that he was just using that as an excuse and should have continued. All I’m pointing out is the theme of the article was Victor being unfairly judged for his not continuing in this fight and my contention is that the reason for that criticism (whether fair or unfair) is due mostly in part to Victor’s perceived ‘quit’ jobs in past fights. Perhaps flakey is not the proper term, but lets just say that Victor’s overall boxing acumen may at times desert him when he most needs it.  I still hope he can come back, however. I got a hunch he will. Peace.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 06:06am, 06/26/2012

    Pete the Sneak—Your points are well taken….just two things…..Josesito is a talented, hardcore fighter…you can ask prospect Mike Dallas Jr about that and secondly there are broken jaws (hairline fractures) and then there are broken jaws like the one Victor sustained (two breaks requiring a titanium plate and screws)...the first break occurring as early as the fifth round. In my view Victor is not wacky, flakey or some such….he’s just immature like so many other big time athletes.

  6. Pete The Sneak 04:58am, 06/26/2012

    Mutaurwa, nice write up. However, have to respectfully disagree with you. Victor Ortiz (whom I happen to like), is not being villified so much for this particular instance on how this fight ended, but more so for the collective perceived “quit jobs” that the boxing public has witnessed in both the Maidana and Mayweather fights. You know, “Fool me once?” As a matter of fact, most folks even gave Victor a pass on the Maidana fight after the Berto clash. Boxing folks love their warriors and Victor fought like one that evening and showed no quit. Then comes the mental breakdown against Mayweather (on PPV yet) that left a terrible taste in pretty much everyone’s mouth, more so for Victor’s attempted love-in with Floyd than Floyd’s taking advantage of Victor’s amorous actions. Now, on the throes of a Huge Money fight with Canelo in September, Victor goes life and death with a guy that he should have been able to dominate. Now, no one told Josesito that he was supposed to wilt like a flower and he ceratinly put it to Ortiz and he earned and deserved that victory. But again, Victor’s past caught up to him and the “quit” moniker was once again bestowed upon him. If his past had been different with Maidana./Floyd, I believe no one would have been too upset with Ortiz for not continuing to fight with a broken jaw. Vasquez, Klitschko and Duran, yeah they had their “quit” moments, but neither one of these guys ever displayed that trait in any of their previous fights at any time. Heck, Duran was ostracized worldwide for his “No Mas” against Leonard, even in his own country of Panama. But all it took was the detruction of Davey Moore and Duran was in the good graces of the Boxing public again. Don’t know if Victor has that sort of mental make up. Hopefully he does, as I still think the kid is good for boxing. Finally, if you have to blame the ref for helping to contribute to Victor’s collapse, then that truly is a testament to the lack of mental focus that this young man comes into the ring with. Now, on the subject of Luscious, we have no qualms there brother. Peace.

  7. procopy 12:38am, 06/26/2012

    i hope the people will not look down on victor ortiz, he may have some flaws but at least he gave us a handful of good fights that got us entertained. he’s young so he has enough time to prove his worth.

  8. kelso 10:34pm, 06/25/2012

    well, golden boy failed to provide lopez with the script of the fight or he refused to read the script written by golden boy where he had to lose so ortiz could fight alvarez and quit or get knocked out by alvarez looking alvarez look sensational. i guess , alvarez is back to fighting tomato cans, and the boxing scribes wiil have a field day hyping him and how great he is at beating tomato cans. am sure there will be no lara, or molina or any credible opponent for him in his next fight, not even trout. probable bundrage, quintana or some no threat foe.

  9. Jason 07:14pm, 06/25/2012

    The only thing Ortiz has to be ashamed of is not finishing business and walking through Lopez as he should have. He should be ashamed of standing in front of a long-armed opponent and not moving side-to-side, in-and-out so he could deliver that powerful left. He took needles punches and allowed Lopez too many chances to counter. What he shouldn’t be ashamed of is getting injured—a broken jaw!—in a boxing match. He was INJURED, not hurt. Big difference.

    Give the kid a break on the latter. Boxing hurts even when you win. I can’t imagine a broken jaw. You know, the area your opponent loves to hit.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat saijo 02:33pm, 06/25/2012

    Sr Mapondera-Let me get this straight…..Ortiz sustains a major trauma i.e. a fractured mandible and his corner says suck it up! Soto who was never before knocked down let alone kayoed is concussed by Mathysse and his corner says he’s had enough! Neither man really “went out on his shield” as it’s often referred to in this sport….but Ortiz is referred to as a quitter on some other sites! Memo to Victor: These people in Oxnard are not your friends.

  11. The Thresher 02:14pm, 06/25/2012

    Another top notch read. Boxing.com is now looming as the very best boxing site out there based on the quality of the articles posted. Eeac reflects a lot of assiduous attention to detail and soulful content. This one is no exception. Another enjoyable read from a different perspective.

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