Ortiz talking the talk
Confidence is not something that is lacking in Victor Ortiz’s corner. The 24-year-old is set to fight undefeated Andre Berto for the WBC welterweight title on Saturday, and although it is a step up in weight class for him, he believes it will not be a problem.
“I’m not going to be the gatekeeper (at 140). I’m fighting at 147 and I’ll be the king there,” Ortiz said. “Everybody had their chance at 140. Berto hasn’t been hit by someone like me. He’ll see April 16.”
Berto is Ortiz’s focus, but if there is a second focus, it’s on a rematch with Marcos Maidana, who handed Ortiz one of his two professional losses.
“He’s running left and right,” Ortiz said of Maidana, “dodging me. He sees me in his nightmares. When he gets the courage and comes out of the closet, he can meet me at 147. If Maidana want to end his career, he should move up to 147.”
Ortiz’s last fight, a draw with fellow American Lamont Peterson, was actually on the undercard of Maidana’s fight with Amir Khan. Many who watched the fight felt Ortiz had won, even though two judges scored a draw and one a slight victory for Peterson. Ortiz says it’s behind him, although he admits he disagreed.
“That’s in the past. I’m focused on fighting the best 147-pounder in the world,” Ortiz said. “You can talk about Peterson all you want, call him. I thought it was complete bull. In my heart and mind, I won that. Obviously, during the show I didn’t show any pain to the media or fans, but in the locker room it hit me and I cried.”
Win, lose, whatever Ortiz does Saturday night, we can be assured he will be doing so with plenty of confidence.
“I’m going to be crowned, no matter what. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve been here a while and finally they’re going to give me a shot. It’s my time! Winning The Ring (magazine) title definitely is important to me because it shows I’m the best in the world.”