He's back! Boxing's greatest mythmaker and storyteller, "Vicious" Victor Ortiz, has returned to us just when we might have worried there weren't enough guys in boxing who lie as best suits them during their current interview. Here's a bit of bonus coverage from Showtime's upcoming Fight Camp 360° on Ortiz's rematch with Andre Berto.
You have to realize something about me as a boxing fan and blogger and connoisseur, if you'll grant me the ego or the whatever-the-hell: I love guys like Victor Ortiz and Oscar De La Hoya. Truth is, any media guy, no matter how big or small their platform, loves Victor Ortiz and Oscar De La Hoya. I'm just not in a position where I have to edit my thoughts all that much. So when you get a guy like Victor or his role model Oscar, who spout whatever they think is best at that moment, whatever they think they can make people believe, no matter how corny or stupid or just plain out of this world, you have a gold mine. You have someone to react to who gives you something great every single time they open their mouth.
[ Related: Fight Camp 360° Schedule ]
So understand that I'm truly giddy when Victor Ortiz comes back to the spotlight, and the first sentence out of his mouth in a video gets a legitimate, out loud to myself in front of God and nature and everybody, reaction of "What the FUCK?"
"At the end of the day," says Victor Ortiz (of course that's how he starts, because he only speaks in soundbytes and cliches), "I didn't think I needed the rematch? Because the first fight wasn't close at all?"
I love how Ortiz also sounds like he's asking himself questions. All the time. Oh God, is he something else.
Yes, Victor, the first fight was close - at all? It was scored 114-111, 114-112, 115-110 in your favor. You were on the canvas twice, same as Berto. You won the fight and deserved to win the fight, but it was nip-and-tuck and not a blowout. Who are you kidding? Since when did this become a fight that wasn't a close fight? Oh, since that's what Victor decided to sell this day. Right.
But if it wasn't a close fight, then why is there a rematch? This isn't a Pacquiao vs Cotto situation, where the two fighters are star attractions. Berto is anything but a star attraction -- and that includes good things, such as, "Berto is a good, exciting fighter, but he's not a star attraction." And Victor Ortiz has never sold a house, either.
We're already here with my reaction to this video, and it's just one line. I've had it paused since that line. Do you see what I mean? Victor Ortiz is incredible.
Oh, and before we move on any further: Showtime inserting fake Gus Johnson commentary for highlights of this fight is just so incredibly lame. Just use music and let the action speak for itself. Gus Johnson did not call this fight. We all know he didn't call this fight. It also makes me assume that Gus Johnson's excited reactions are fake, since here he is canning "excited" commentary that basically sounds like his "real" commentary.
"I still hurt him a few times," says Berto. "I felt I let him off the hook in the sixth round, when I hit him with this right hand, and I thought I broke his face. And he got up, droolin' and all, and came back."
Ortiz says belts don't mean a lot. That's his line today. Berto says he gave up his belt for this fight. Ortiz says "at the end of the day" again, and then, in the middle of a sentence, as he loves to do, inserts the word "hey," so that he can switch gears and get to his next point.
Ortiz says they went "war to war." I bet he wishes that brainfart didn't make the video. Berto adds his own "at the end of the day."
Don't get me wrong here: As I've said before, I love this fight. The first one was great, and with these two guys, I don't think you ever get anything less than a slugfest. They're perfectly made for one another. Their strengths and weaknesses dovetail beautifully and the matchup is always going to result in fireworks. They're heavy hitters with speed, iffy defense, and the desire to score knockouts, and both can box a little bit, too.
So please, seriously, watch this fight on February 11, support this fight because it's a really good one that is probably the best fight on the current schedule, and enjoy it. But man. Victor Ortiz, Gus Johnson's fake commentary, "at the end of the day" -- so grating. So perfect.