Team helps lift Ortiz to next level

As he prepares for his main-event fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the Sept. 17 "Star Power" boxing event on HBO Pay-Per-View (9 p.m. ET), WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz will be sharing his thoughts every week.

In our second installment, Ortiz talks about discovering boxing and the importance of his team.

How important was your family in becoming a fighter and talk about a moment in your life when you decided you wanted to do something about yourself, your life, your future. How important is your team?

Ortiz: I do not have a family per se. When I was younger I grew up in foster care with my brother and sister. It was really a struggle and knowing that there were people out there with tight-knit families really made my childhood an unfortunate one. My siblings and me always stuck together but it never seemed like things were going to turn around for us.

When I was young I started to really get into boxing and it was a great way for me to do something fun that I loved and that I was good at. It allowed me to get out some of my struggles in my childhood through a sport so that I didn’t have to resort to other forms of violence. And it’s such a mental game that it really helped me mature and see that although my life up to that point wasn’t so great it was in my control to change that destiny.

Then, when I started winning amateur fights I realized that I might really have some potential in the boxing world. I immediately knew that boxing could really be the way for me to turn my life around and the lives of my brother and sister. At the end of the day, although we might not have a full family, holding on to the ones you love is the most important thing in the world.

That’s where my team comes in. My team is the best team in the world. We are a close unit and we are inspired by each other from my manager Rolando Arellano, my head coach Danny Garcia, assistant coach Mario Aguiniga and strength and conditioning coach Joe Janik. In many ways they are like the family that I never had. They support me through my wins, my losses, my personal issues, and all else concerning my life and my goal to become the best boxer in the world.

Growing up I never really understood what it was like to rely on other people because I had nobody to really look up to. I think that helps me in the ring because it’s not only a fight between you and your opponent but also versus yourself. You have to stay focused and take hits and find your spots to attack. No matter how individual a match is though, it’s my team that brings me to the next level with the training and preparation.

We are the dream team of boxing.

Be sure to watch Ortiz and Mayweather prepare for their fight on HBO’s Emmy Award-winning all-access series “24/7,” which premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts Saturday 10 p.m. ET/PT. The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.