Orozco is a bright young man, bright enough to realize he’s better off just doing his job- which is to fight- and let the adults handle their business. “The best thing I can do is listen to others and don’t be in a hurry to get to where you’re going to be,” he says- and that’s music to Espinoza’s ears. The respected manager says he can only do his job when he’s allowed to. “I know this from experience; when you have a client that understands what everyone’s jobs are, that’s when you have a successful team. Everyone involved has to understand what they do well. I can’t fight for anybody but I know the business and I know how to move and negotiate for a fighter. When that process isn’t followed, that’s when it gets frustrating because it simply doesn’t work.”
It’s that old boxing adage: Fighters fight; trainers train. Managers manage and promoters promote. In other words, stay in your lane and know what you know. It’s something that epitomizes Orozco who seems to have a maturity beyond his years, in and out of the ring.
“I have to say so,” said his trainer, Carlos Barragan. “What has happened with this kid, he’s not fazed by a lot of things. He understands the bigger picture; he works hard. We spent two weeks with Darley Perez; Darley Perez has over 20 fights and he began to make adjustments, there was some great sparring. They helped us out a lot. But what’s good about the young man is now he has two beautiful children; he’s going to get married. He just bought himself a house and that’s the kind of kid that makes my job as a trainer easier and Frank’s job easier. He doesn’t have to worry if the kid is hanging out. He’s mature and he understands how to get his goals and he understands what his goals are.”
Espinoza adds, “He’s one of the best prospects I have ever signed and what I like is that he’s low maintenance. He lets Carlos and I do our jobs and that’s what makes it so enjoyable for all of us. I think this kid’s got a very bright future.”
Right now, Orozco is still at the stage where his sparring sessions are tougher than his actual fights. He spent much of the lead-up to the Cruz fight in Riverside, making the drive from San Diego several times a week to work with the likes of Perez and Artemio Reyes. It’s a part of the process that Orozco is more than happy to go through.
“They say you only learn by being taught, so does Darley teach me during the sparring sessions? Of course, I picked up a lot of new things from Darley. He’s a very good boxer. So it’s been great; I learned some new things. He put his hands on me, so that’s great.”
I’m going to have to disagree with you on your reaction to the Ortiz criticism. I don’t think fans are criticizing Ortiz for being too rational. I actually think he made a somewhat inexplicable decision. With a broken jaw he doesn’t fight Canelo in September, but at the very least he could have kept himself in the running for that type of big money fight if he’d gutted it out and gotten the decision against Lopez. After this loss he again has to do some damage control (fair or not). There’s no question that sets his career back from where it would have been otherwise.
Life is tough, but trying hard isn’t always enough. Having a good excuse for failing isn’t always going to stand and it certainly doesn’t allow many people to continue to get ahead. I don’t want to get carried away, but Victor should have continued fighting. He was in a tough fight, but he’s got to get past that because one day he’ll wake up and realize that he’s let some great opportunities pass him by. He’s like Zab Judah, but worse in that Zab will at least admit he makes dumb mistakes. Victor seems to genuinely believe his post fight spin. What’s worse is he seems determined to prove that he hasn’t made mistakes in his career.
I also disagree with your insinuation that Ortiz is suffering from Danny Garcia’s limitations as a trainer. You said yourself, Ortiz is talented but flawed. While Danny Garcia may not be a great trainer, I have a hard time believing many trainers would get more out of Ortiz. Victor has a lot of front runner in him and very little dog. Even the best trainers in the world have trouble fixing that at the elite level.
Ortiz fight are fun to watch and he’s still young and marketable enough to make good money and take part in some good scraps, but it’s hard to see him being anything more than what most fans view him as being at this moment. He’s a talented sometimesy fighter who picks and chooses when he wants to leave it in the ring. More often than not he won’t leave it in the ring. Yeah, it’s usually fun to watch, but it’s also usually hard to root for.
Andres Antonio Carriedo
Andres, thanks for writing in (you don’t do it enough, in my opinion). But if you look at the prognosis of what Ortiz went through with his jaw and the damage he suffered (http://ringtv.craveonline.com/blog/173551-ortiz-resting-after-his-two-hour-surgery-on-broken-jaw), I think it’s hard to question if he made the right decision. That said, I see your point but I really believe his past indiscretions- which he deserved the lion’s share of heat for - are being held against him in this instance and I’m not sure that’s fair.
As for Danny Garcia, it’s my belief that his limitations as a trainer affect Ortiz in the ring and have lead to at least some of his meltdowns. I have never seen a southpaw with Ortiz’s talent get hit with sooooo many right hands. Well, it’s simple why he does; he keeps moving in the wrong direction (to his left) and his front foot is always on the inside of his opponents’, so his defensive alignment is terrible (although Josesito Lopez did a lot of damage with his left hook on Saturday night). Regardless, this goes back to the Marcos Maidana fight. I have no qualms with what you say about Ortiz in general but some of Ortiz’s shortcomings need to be handled by Dr. Phil, not a cornerman.
But seriously, why does his trainer have him punching up at the sky when they work mitts? I mean, unless they are facing Andrew Bynum, what’s the point? To me, all it’s doing is practicing something unnatural and unnecessary. Also, I think it’s in large part why Ortiz doesn’t slide his feet smoothly as he comes forward, gets squared up and is always leaping into his punches- because it’s conditioned into him.
I enjoyed your recap of the Ortiz/Lopez fight. I feel that guys like Lopez are the reason that nobody really gives up on boxing. It wasn’t Buster beating Iron Mike in Tokyo but it was pretty impressive. Lopez walked down a bigger stronger man. Victor Ortizfights have become some of the most intriguing spectacles in sport. They’re appointment TV because you have no idea whats going to happen. He’s in a war with Berto (great for boxing). He has a Tyson/Golota moment against Mayweather and somehow becomes a sympathetic figure for it. Then he gets vilified for refusing to continue with a legitimately broken jaw (great night for Lopez). His interviews are the closest thing boxing fans have to wrestling promos. Seriously, does he realize how many times he says "at the end of the day" during interviews? On the scale of the absurd where does Victor fall 1. Zab Judah(may melt under the bright lights) to 10. Andrew Golota(have extra security ready)? How fitting was it that Metta World Peace was sitting ringside for the fight?
Lost in all the outrage of Ortiz’s decision, it’s unfortunate that enough credit isn’t being given to “The Riverside Rocky” and I’m guilty of that. You have to give Josesito Lopez credit; it still takes a tough, hardnosed guy who won’t take no for an answer to really take Ortiz to the brink. He did that; all the credit in the world should go to him and I hope he earns his just desserts because it took quite an effort to do what he accomplished on Saturday night at the Staples Center. Before Lopez won the fight, he won over the crowd- and that’s something special.
As for Ortiz, again, tell me this guy hasn’t given us “water cooler” moments in the last couple of years. And yeah, “Metta World War” Artest probably said to himself, “Man, this boxing stuff is crazy.”
Just wanted to share a quick thought with you. I believe the fighter today that most parellels the career of the great Marvin Hagler is Lucas Mattheysse. The straight ahead determination, ability to take a punch and give one are both similar. The start of Lucas’s career, with two very controversial decision losses in close proximity is also the same. I envision Mattheysse will become one of the most avoided fighters fro quite some time.
Oz, that’s an interesting comparison (and “The Marvelous One” is my all-time favorite fighter) and we’ll see just how avoided he is. What helps him is that Golden Boy has a pretty good roster of guys at 140 to face (although that doesn’t mean other managers won’t avoid him like the plague). But yeah, Lucas is “The Machine” from here on out. And yeah, Humberto Soto may have been a blown up 135-pounder but he had never been decked, much less knocked out, before in his career. Also, ask yourself this: even if you think Zab Judah and Devon Alexander held him off (which many don’t), you think they want any part of him again?
Yes, the mailbag portion of this article was done while in Macau. Never thought I’d actually see a fight here...Somehow, I don’t think HBO is too concerned with this: http://www.boxingscene.com/randall-bailey-devon-alexander-deal-reached-9-8--54342...In talking to Lopez’s trainer, Henry Ramirez, and Thompson Boxing matchmaker Alex Camponovo, their preference is for Josesito to drop back down to junior welterweight. But remember, there is a rematch clause...I’m beginning to think that anyone who consults with Victor Conte should just keep doing so and not ever go out and do their own thing...Folks (or anyone in the boxing industry), the best way to reach me this week is via email at email@example.com (or send me a telegram in Macau)...I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.