Former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz has some explaining to do before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday.
As a result of admitting that he tried to break the nose of Floyd Mayweather Jr. during September’s fourth-round knockout loss at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Ortiz’s Nevada license is on hold until after the session, even as he is scheduled for a Showtime-televised Feb. 11 rematch with Andre Berto.
Nevada commission executive director, Keith Kizer, originally informed Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times late last month that Ortiz must appear before the NSAC and explain the “nose-breaking comments” he made during an interview with Radio Rahim of MaxBoxing.com.
Kizer confirmed the situation on Tuesday in an e-mail update to RingTV.com.
“Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman, Skip Avansino, has put Mr. Victor Ortiz’s application for a 2012 professional boxer’s license on for hearing before the Commission,” stated Kizer.
“I was trying to break [Mayweather’s] nose. 100 percent. Because he nailed me 16 times with his elbow on my right eye, which made me close my eye. The last one, I kept telling [referee Joe] Cortez, ‘elbow.’ But he says, ‘keep fighting, Victor, keep fighting Victor.’ I said, ‘alright.’ I took four before…and I kept calling them, ‘elbow,'” said Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 knockouts) in the inteview.
“[Cortez said] ‘keep fighting, Victor.’ [Ortiz responded] ‘Alright, alright, here we go.’ I get him against the ropes, fourth round. Boom! I’m catching him. He catches me right on my eye. One more time on my eye. Just straight in my eye. There’s even pictures of it. Right in my eye. My eye gets closed. So I unleashed a head butt.”
At the moment when Mayweather threw the two-punch combination that resulted in the knockout, Ortiz’s hands were down at his sides after attempting to apologize — in the form of a hug — to Mayweather for a headbutt.
With Cortez nearby, Mayweather took advantage of the opening and nailed Ortiz first with a jarring left hook and then a powerful, straight right hand that sent the ex-titleholder sprawling to his back.
Ortiz rolled over and tried to get up, but failed to rise in time to beat Cortez’s 10-count.
“You want to get dirty, I got dirty…I let the best of me get away. For that, I started feeling bad. That’s why I was like, ‘Floyd, man, my bad, yo. I apologize, man.’ So I gave him a hug. That got me to feel human once again in the ring,” said Ortiz.
“And when I felt human, I paid for it. Although, you know what? I take it as a learning lesson and a learning experience. And the next time, it ain’t going to be that. If I’m going to head butt you I’m going to break your nose the next head butt.”
LUCIAN BUTE-CARL FROCH IN THE WORKS
The promoters of IBF super midddleweight beltholder Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs), of Canada, and former WBC titleholder Carl Froch (28-2, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England, are in discussion about a two-fight deal for bouts to take place in April and August.
Eddie Hearn, Froch’s promoter at Matchroom Sport, has been negotiating with Bute’s promoter, Jean Bedard, of Interbox. Hearn told ESPN.com on Monday that he is “having positive discussions with Jean and the team at InterBox,” adding that he is “very happy with the idea of working with them.”
“We have penciled two dates — April 14 for Montreal and Aug. 4 in Nottingham — for the home and away bouts,” said Hearn. “Don’t see why we can’t get this boxed off in the next week or so.”
Froch is coming off last month’s unanimous decision loss to Andre Ward, who won THE RING belt, the Showtime Super Six Boxing Classic Cup championship and also added Froch’s WBC crown to the WBA title he already owned at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Froch had long insisted that Bute never was good enough to be involved in the Super Six, pointing to his controversial, unanimous decision over Librado Andrade in October of 2009 as a reason why.
Bute, who won the rematch by fourth-round knockout over Andrade in November of 2009, benefitted from a long 10-count in their initial bout that allowed him to rise from a knockdown and avoid being counted out.
During the week of the fight with Ward, Froch unleashed on Bute:
“Most definitley, there are two names on Lucian Bute’s record other than Librado Andrade and that’s Brian Magee and Glen Johnson. Other than, Librado Andrade, and let’s not forget that Librado Andrade knocked out Lucian Bute in the 12th round of that contest. You have 10 seconds to get yourself ready to carry on fighting, and he didn’t make it within the 10 seconds,” said Froch.
“So he lost that fight by knockout, but he won on points, you see what I’m saying? But that’s what happens in boxing. He’s a big deal in Canada. So that’s one of his fights, and the other was Brian Magee, who I knocked out six years ago. And I broke my hand in Round 2 of that fight. And then, Johnson, his friend, did they have a sparring session? Did they have a move-around for 12 rounds? I was bored to tears for that fight. I don’t think that anybody will be re-setting their DVD player and watch that one with a box of popcorn will they?”
Bute fired back during his turn at a roundtable the day of Ward-Froch, saying that he would would fight Froch even if Froch lost to Ward.
“If Froch wins, maybe it would be a two-fight deal — one in [Froch’s hometown of] Nottingham, and then, one in Montreal,” said Bute. “For me, the fight with Froch is personal.”
RICO RAMOS MEETS HIS STIFFEST TEST IN GUILLLERMO RIGONDEAUX
Unbeaten WBA junior featherweight titleholder Rico Ramos could be facing his most difficult rival yet during his Showtime-televised, Jan. 20 bout with two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, Ramos’ promoter, Dan Goossen, concedes.
“Rico’s punching power has a way of taking people out of their rhythm and out of their fight. Obviously, we know that one of the strengths of Rigondeaux has is that he likes to move,” said Goossen. “So from that aspect, you’ve got to wear him down and slow him down. Rico’s in tuned to all of this. Rico knows that when he’s put the pressure on, he’s looked spectacular.”
Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs), who is 31, won the WBA’s interim belt by split-decision in November over Ricardo Cordoba on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito. Rigondeaux’s most recent win was a first-round knockout of Willie Casey in March.
“Rigondeaux is an old cagey veteran who was a tremendous amateur fighter but who is inexperienced as a professional,” said Goossen of Rigondeaux, who was considered one of the world’s all-time great amateur boxers in Cuba before he defected to the United States.
“But, one of the things that we’ve come to learn is that there’s a big difference between the amateur and the professional ranks. Certainly, Rico had a good, solid amateur career, a lot less wear and tear on his body, and he’s fresh and he’s becoming an experienced professional.”
Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs), who is 24, is coming off a seventh-round knockout of former WBA titleholder Akifumi Shimoda (23-3-1, 10 KOs) in July, having trailed, 59-55 on the cards of two judges, and, 60-54, on that of the third at the time of the stoppage.
“Rico still is a learning fighter, so he learned a tremendous amount in that one fight. That was from the standpoint of realizing that his strengths are his knockout punch. When he concentrates on that facet of his offense, not only does it make for a compelling ending to a lot of his fights, but it also gives him his best defense,” said Goossen.
“So the question is which Rico Ramos is going to be fighting: the one that’s going to be looking to box, or the one that’s going to be be looking to take his head off. I believe that the style that’s going to be favorable to Rico is to put the pressure on this guy and let him taste the leather throughout the fight.”
ZAB JUDAH WILL FACE VERNON PARIS IN AN IBF ELIMINATOR
Former betlholder Zab Judah will meet unbeaten Vernon Paris (26-0, 15 KOs) in an IBF eliminator either in March or April likely on the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night, Judah’s promoter, Kathy Duva, told RingTV.com on Tuesday.
“That’s [NBC] one of the possibilities, but that has not been decided yet. We’re working on it and making our plans on what we’re going to do with the fight,” said Duva, who out-bid promoter Don King on Tuesday for the right to put on the fight.
“We have until something like the second week of April to put on the fight,” said Duva. “Whatever the IBF’s 90-day rule comes to, but it will probably be in March.”
Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) earned the IBF junior welterweight belt by seventh-round knockout over Kaizer Mabuza in March before being dethroned by fifth-round stoppage by Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) in July.
NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night premieres on Jan. 21 with a heavyweight clash between Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) and Sergei Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KOs), and junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado (18-5, 10 KOs) against counterpart Jesus Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 KOs) at Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, hometowns of Chambers and Rosado.
Photo by Phil McCarten, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]