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Can Victor Find the “Vicious”?


“Vicious” Victor Ortiz will return to his day job on January 30th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York after a long break - no pun intended. Ortiz is returning after a broken jaw that saw him leave the ring for what is now nearly two years. His jaw was broken in two places in his last bout against Josesito Lopez in which he was stopped in nine rounds, contesting for the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver welterweight title in June of 2012. His return to the squared circle will certainly not see him “easing” back into work as he takes on tough, world-rated, former World Boxing Association (WBA) world welterweight champion Luis Collazo of Queens, New York.

Ortiz, 29-4-2 (22), turned pro in Las Vegas as a strong prospect out of Kansas City in 2004 and rattled off a near-perfect 21-1-1 record by the spring of 2008. He displayed power along with speed and good ring movement, dispatching 16 of his opponents inside the distance. In the fall of 2008, Ortiz beat Robert Arrieta to capture the World Boxing Organization (WBO) North American Boxing Organization (NABO) light welterweight title. He defended the title twice over the next six months, beating Jeffrey Resto and Mike Arnaoutis. This led him to the summer of 2009 when he got a crack at (current WBA world welterweight champion) Marcos Maidana for the vacant interim WBA world light welterweight title. In a back-and-forth war in which both fighters hit the canvas, Ortiz was stopped in six rounds. After the fight, Ortiz oddly indicated his frustration with getting hit so often and he had to think about whether he wanted to “take this kind of punishment,” causing some fans and critics to question his heart and desire for the game.

After some brief soul-searching, his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions brought him back just six months later and Ortiz started an impressive five-fight undefeated streak over the next year that saw him beat past contenders like Antonio Diaz, Nate Campbell, and Vivian Harris. The only blemish in this run was his final fight of 2010 when he was held to a draw with former (and future) world champion Lamont Peterson. This led to Ortiz’s first fight of 2011 when he beat Andre Berto in April to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) world welterweight title. In a give-and-take war, both fighters took a couple of trips to the canvas. In the end, Ortiz hung on to win a unanimous 12-round decision. This world title-winning effort brought him to the big dance and a date with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September of 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In a bout that was starting to heat up, Ortiz inexplicably headbutted Floyd in round four, costing him a point. After the fight resumed, Floyd then walked across the ring and laid him out with a left-right combination, picking up a fourth round KO win. Nine months later, Ortiz was matched against Josesito Lopez for the WBC silver welterweight title in Los Angeles, California. However, a broken jaw in round nine brought proceedings to a halt and chalked up Ortiz’s second stoppage loss in as many outings. 
After taking 2013 off, Ortiz will resume his career against four-time world title challenger and former world champion Luis Collazo. While Collazo, 34-5 (17), does have five losses in his career, the perennial contender obtained three of those losses in world title bids against some of the world’s best 147-pound fighters in Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley and Andre Berto. And in the Hatton and Berto fights, he lost disputed, close decisions that proved he could certainly hang with the world’s best welters.

Ortiz has been off for close to two years and is coming back after two stoppage losses and a badly broken jaw. Collazo is chomping at the bit to show he deserves to stay in the elite pool of fighters in the welterweight division and knows a win will certainly lead to a world title shot in the very near future.
Can Collazo again hit one out of the park in his fifth big chance at bat? Can Ortiz rekindle the “vicious” that made him one of the game’s most exciting TV fighters throughout his career? At a beautiful arena in a New York borough once famous for its Dodgers, one hometown fighter looks to thrill the locals by finishing on top while his opponent is desperate to prove he still belongs at the top. Bombs away in Brooklyn!
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at

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