Saturday, March 25, 2023  |


Ortiz dominates Campbell but doesn’t look vicious


Victor Ortiz (right) lands a right hook through Nate Campbell's guard during his one-sided unanimous decision over the veteran in New York City on Saturday. Ortiz was dominant but he didn't thrill the fans with his careful performance. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

NEW YORK, N.Y. ÔÇö More than a few fans and boxing writers thought former unified lightweight titleholder Nate Campbell would test the questioned heart of Victor Ortiz when the two junior welterweights met in the top undercard fight of the Amir Khan-Paul Malignaggi headlined card at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

It didn’t exactly work out that way. Ortiz (27-2-1, 21 knockouts), who was only two fights removed from his humbling fifth-round stoppage loss to Marcos Maidana, won handily, scoring a lopsided 10-round decision over the 38-year-old veteran.

The rising star wasn’t exactly inspiring but it wasn’t completely his fault. Campbell (33-6-1, 25 KOs) fought sporadically, if at all, during some rounds.

However, as ineffective as the older fighter looked, at least fans have an idea of what they would get from Campbell, who was coming off a three-round No Contest to top 140-pound contender Timothy Bradley last August.

Fans have no idea what to expect from Ortiz. As a hot prospect he was billed as a killer, but since the Maidana fight he’s become more of a kitten.

The thing about the 23-year-old Southern Californian right now is that fans expect more from him at this stage of his career. His record said he should have had the firepower to stop Campbell, who seemed content on collecting a payday.

Meanwhile, Ortiz won the first six rounds on his way to winning them all on two of the judge’s scorecards, which included a bogus knockdown call by referee Earl Brown in the opening round that was more a push from Ortiz than a punch. Still, Brown called it a knockdown.

As early as the fourth round, the fight proved to be monotonous. Ortiz was stalking Campbell and dropping a few rights to the body. By the sixth round, a little mouse began to form under Campbell’s left eye.

Campbell made things somewhat interesting late, nailing Ortiz with a right from a strange low angle in the ninth round, but he went right back to being lethargic, holding up his high guard and getting slammed by left hands. In the 10th, Campbell actually ran out to get Ortiz, but that didn’t last long, either, as “The Galaxy Warrior” was nailed a few times as he came charging.

Ortiz won by unanimous scores of 100-89 twice and 99-90 ÔÇö all for “Vicious” Ortiz. The problem was he didn’t look that vicious in a fight he dominated.

The question looms out there: What will happen to Ortiz when he faces a real threat again, like Maidana or Bradley?

Joseph Santoliquito is the managing editor of Ring Magazine.