Floyd Mayweather Jr. can't promise excitement against Victor Ortiz
When Floyd Mayweather Jr. faces Victor Ortiz Saturday, he'd love to give fans an entertaining fight. Unfortunately, he might be just too good for that to happen. It's his own personal curse. It's just that these fighters go into survival mode, Mayweather said. Once they're down on the scorecard, or once they feel they have no chance of winning, they go into survival mode." That makes for a successful Mayweather, but not necessarily great fights.
Las Vegas, NV, United States
September 14, 2011 02:30 pm EDT
Floyd Mayweather Jr. can’t promise you an exciting fight.
Don’t blame him. He’s done what he could to set one up. He’ll be facing Victor Ortiz Saturday night in Las Vegas for Ortiz’s WBC Welterweight title.
On paper, the matchup looks intriguing. Mayweather is the undefeated former pound-for-pound best in boxing, who will be returning to the sport after a 16-month absence. He’ll be facing a southpaw power puncher 10 years younger.
All the ingredients are there, but Floyd knows from experience that fighters don’t look as good in the ring against Floyd Mayweather as they did on paper.
“It's just that these fighters go into survival mode,” Mayweather said. “Once they're down on the scorecard, or once they feel they have no chance of winning, they go into survival mode. Mosley did the same thing. Marquez did the same thing. Hatton was a little different."
Hatton came to fight, and so, I get knock-outs if a guy comes to fight and puts it all on the line, but once you get to the pinnacle, you get to Floyd Mayweather, you get to elite level. The guys go into survival mode.”
Mayweather also isn’t sure if a great fight will break out, because he’s not too concerned about any of the supposed advantages Ortiz holds.
There’s the layoff. Mayweather last fought in May, 2010, when he coasted to a unanimous decision over Shane Mosley. Not a problem, says Floyd.
“I just try to be responsible and have discipline as a fighter, you know,” Mayweather said. “I keep my weight between 147 and 150 even when I'm off. I don't overindulge myself with eating. If it's something that I like to eat then I'm gonna eat it, but I'm not just going to pig out. I work out even when I'm off.”
“Even if I fought two times a year, I’ll be off,” Mayweather added, “because it takes six months to build the fight of this magnitude, before it can be a huge blockbuster in pay-per-view.”
There’s the fact that Ortiz is 24 and entering his prime, while Mayweather is 34, a time when many fighters have seen their skills erode.
“You hear about all these new guys that are around now,” Mayweather said, “and then you say it's obvious Floyd must have been doing something right, thus far, because you have no fighters left from the '96 Olympic team, no fighters left from the 2000, no fighters left from the 2004-even from 2008. So you have to ask yourself where did these guys go? I've been dominating the fight game since Victor Ortiz was nine years old until now, and I'm still sharp.”
Then there’s the southpaw issue. Mayweather’s last two high-profile fights with southpaws were against DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah. Both fighters caught him with solid shots and had Mayweather in more trouble than most opponents.
“Mosley hit me with a good shot,” Mayweather argued, “and he was orthodox. So it's not really that. It's just, you know, the southpaws I happened to face happened to be good punchers, and at that time when I fought DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley, he was a strong, young, solid puncher who hit me with a good shot. "
We was fighting toe-to-toe. So those things happen-no different from Zab. Zab hit me with a good shot, but when it's all said and done at the end of the day, I always rose to the occasion and came out on top.”
Not only can’t Mayweather promise you a good fight against Victor Ortiz, but, and he’s very sorry about this, when Manny Pacquiao decides to fight Victor Ortiz in the middle of next year, that probably won’t be a very good fight either.
“As long as he's attached to my name, he's going to make great paydays,” Mayweather said of Pacquiao, “as long as he can keep fighting Floyd Mayweather's leftovers or fighting the fighters that's already beaten.”
“They say Shane Mosley looked the best when he beat Antonio Margarito. His next fight was against Floyd Mayweather,” Floyd said, slipping into the third person. “Fighters are never the same once they face me. So after he fights Floyd Mayweather, he has a draw on his next fight, then he fights Pacquiao."
I beat Hatton when he was undefeated, and then Pacquiao fights Hatton after I already beat him, when he's no longer the same. Marquez called me out, and I took the fight. This is the guy that they had rated No. 2, when I took two years off.”
Left unsaid, one of the few things left unsaid by Mayweather, is that Pacquaio will be facing Marquez in November, as the two mega-stars of the sport continue circling each other.
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