Victor Ortiz: ‘I am going to be the pound-for-pound world champion’
There are those having trouble buying what Victor Ortiz is selling.
Having already appeared in the third installment of Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables,” observers appear to be having a tough time believing whether or not the former welterweight titleholder’s lofty boasts are anything but just another act.
“I’m going to be world champion again,” said Ortiz, who was last in action on Jan. 30 when he was knocked out by fellow southpaw and former titleholder Luis Collazo in the second round the day before Ortiz’s 27th birthday.
“I am also going to keep chasing an Oscar [Academy Award], just so I can really pick at the crowd and let them know what it’s like to be in my shoes and let them know what I have fun doing.”
Ortiz (29-5-2, 22 knockouts) will be ending an 11-month ring absence in only his second fight in the past 30 months when he meets Manuel Perez (22-10-1, 4 KOs) on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Part of of a deep card that has been dubbed “Royal Battle,” Ortiz-Perez is being headlined by former titleholders Amir Khan and Devon Alexander in a welterweight bout.
Ortiz was dropped and stopped by a left cross from Collazo, a fight which ended a 19-month ring absence. Prior to the Collazo bout, Ortiz had been cast for the movie role and participated in “Dancing with the Stars” during his time away from the sport.
“I never lost any confidence in myself. I took a little detour,” said Ortiz. “I went off into a different world and was quite successful at it. But at this point in time, I want my world back. And that’s boxing.”
Ortiz had previously been in action in June of 2012, when he suffered a ninth-round stoppage loss to Josesito Lopez after which he required a two-hour surgery to repair a broken jaw.
Following a majority draw with current IBF 140-pounder beltholder Lamont Peterson in December 2010, Ortiz debuted as a 147-pounder and dethroned Andre Berto as WBC titlist by unanimous decision. There were four knockdowns in Ortiz-Berto – two scored by each fighter.
In his next fight in September 2011, however, Ortiz lost the belt by fourth-round knockout to Floyd Mayweather Jr. before facing Lopez.
“I never left. It is still as deep and talented a weight class as it has ever been,” said Ortiz. “You have great fighters, from the guys that I have been beaten by – Lopez, Maidana, Mayweather. They are hot themselves, so I am just here once again to box.”
Perez, 30, is 4-3 in his past seven fights and is coming off his second straight victory by unanimous decision over Cesar Holguin last month.
Perez last suffered defeat by unanimous decision to Anton Novikov in December of 2013. The other losses in that stretch were unanimous decisions to Paul McCloskey in September 2012 and Vernon Paris in May 2013.
Ortiz plans to defeat Perez on his road back to ring stardom.
“I am going to be the pound-for-pound world champion; there is no doubt in my mind,” said Ortiz. “I will be one of the greats like Floyd or a [Julio Cesar] Chavez Sr. one day; I just don’t know when.”
Note: Quotes taken from a release.