FanPost

Beyond the Physical: The Talent of Ortiz and Khan


About 3 years ago it seemed that Floyd, Pacquiao, Mosley, and Hopkins would eventually be on the way out and the boxing world looked towards new stars: Juanma Lopez, Victor Ortiz, Timothy Bradley, Andre Ward, Andre Berto, Amir Khan, Nonito Donaire, Alfredo Angulo, and James Kirkland. Along the way some of them have fallen to the way side, been exposed, or simply haven't lived up to expectations. Two of the ones that would look to be the future P4P fighters of 2012 or 2014 were Ortiz and Khan.

Ortiz has dynamite power in both hands, explosive speed, and with limited opponents he appeared to have a dominant fighting spirit and exciting style. He looked a bit between Miguel Cotto and a young Mike Tyson to me. No one was going to stop him except an unknown fighter from Argentina with a huge KO record, and sure enough he lost and never truly regained his dominant superstar status again (after the Berto fight was a short stint, and a small minority of people still believe in him).

Khan was a Silver Medalist in the Athens Olympics. He had super fast hands and feet, and was on a winning streak until Prescott iced his chin in the first round. Many thought he would never recover mentally or professionally, but he did when he switched to the likes of Freddie Roach and with Manny Pacquiao as a training and sparring partner. His move up to 140 seemed promising which showcased a stronger body along with wider and broader lats and shoulders. He was still tall for his weight class and his speed and new found style would make it difficult for opponents to touch his chin. To me, he looked great agst limited opponents: Kotelnik (rugged, and fundamental, but slow), Malignaggi (quick, but no power), Judah (quick, experienced, no heart/sanity and old), Maidana (power, no boxing skills, slow). When presented with young, prime opponents wouldn't fall apart and didn't have huge technical flaws he turned the fight into a foot race: go straight back, land a salvo of flurries, get tagged, clap gloves. This happened with both Peterson and Garcia. Never did we see it more than the last fights.


There have been talks of matching Ortiz and Khan against each other down the road in the future, but that was under the pretense that they were superstars and pple would thrown down millions to watch them crush each other in the face. Ortiz has the best power and explosive short punches between 135-147 in my opinion, and Khan has the best reach and speed with a decent amount of leverage/power between 135-147. Technically they should be the best in their divisions (well maybe beside Mayweather and Pacquiao, but they're growing old fast), and have unified titles and have everything required to be the next great mainstream champion like Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones, or Oscar De La Hoya.


However, their mental flaws and ticks have kept them from being the best of their generation and have allowed more mediocre talent, but better skilled or fighters with better fundamentals (or mental/physical adapting abilities) to overcome their talent, their skillset, and eventually their flaws to make them look dumb and stupid. You got Ortiz, the Scarecrow and Tin Man, lacking brains and heart, then we have Khan who's the Scarecrow that lacks brains, and is the opposite of the lion and Ortiz: too brave. He never held when he was in trouble last night, could move laterally and box, never moved his head, barely blocked shots, and tried going thru exchanges and toe-to-toe with Garcia as opposed to boxing him. Well that's what you get folks! And oh yeah, when you're getting rocked, don't ask for more!

I guess not everyone is "cut from the same cloth." Look how Malignaggi recovered from the Cotto beating, or the Hatton and even Khan incident, and kept fighting kept winning. Cotto got beaten until just shy of two ounces of his life and continued to get back in the ring and face quality competition and give Floyd a run for his money. Then Hearns losing to Leonard and then KO'd by Hagler, but still moving up to win multiple titles in multiple divisions. Not everyone can pull a Mikkel Kessler: lose ONCE in a devastating fashion to a good opponent, go back, reassess and reflect, and get a new coach and start all over. Most do what Andre Berto did after Collazo and what Jermaine Taylor did after Pavlik: the same damn thing. Khan is one of them. And with Ortiz: I guess you can't teach heart. But Khan and Ortiz are def. one of the premiere talents and even exciting fighters of our generation. Throw James Kirkland in the exciting category. However, they'll probably never have or produce what's required to make them great. A long time ago I read a quote from Floyd Mayweather Jr.: "To be a great fighter you must have heart, intelligence, and a good chin. Most fighters only have heart and a good chin." Something along those lines. He was right! Holler!

<strong><font color="red">FanPosts are user-created content written by community members of Bad Left Hook, and are generally not the work of our editors. <em>Please do not source FanPosts as the work of Bad Left Hook</em>.</font></strong>

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