Victor Ortiz will be back in the ring on January 25, 2014, facing Luis Collazo at the Barclays Center on FOX Sports 1, in what will be Ortiz's first fight since his June 2012 shocker loss to Josesito Lopez. Ortiz was apparently asked about facing Lopez or Marcos Maidana in rematches, and pretty much dismissed their ability, which is interesting, but very Victorish:
"I would like to go back and destroy them just for the sake of it. They're not on my level and never have been. Not Lopez, not Maidana. None of those guys, man. Mayweather is the only one where I could probably say, 'we are going to be in for a war.' Those other guys, they don't belong. They got me on a bad night, but 9 out of 10 times I [beat them]."
You'll recall that Maidana beat Ortiz back in 2009, which was the Argentinean slugger's breakout fight, and one of the several times that Ortiz has failed to live up to the hype behind him over his career.
Now, let me be clear here: I'm not saying Victor Ortiz can't or wouldn't beat both of those guys. As far as talent goes, I think he's better than both of them. Ortiz is a good fighter, and I understand what he's saying here, kind of, but to say they "don't belong" is really pushing it. Both of them made him quit, and if you don't want to get into the "quit" discussion, let's put it another way: both of them smashed through his leaky defense with such aplomb that it's not like either win really felt like a fluke. Lopez broke Ortiz's jaw. Ortiz's jaw didn't just magically shatter. Maidana made Ortiz reconsider whether he even wants to fight at all. It was just a moment, but it happened. These things matter because they're real. The fable of Victor Ortiz's incredible potential is mostly in scouting, and as he nears his 27th birthday with four pro losses behind him, how much longer does he get to bank on this "bad night" stuff?
But for kicks, let's say they did both get rematches. Truth be told, I'd pick Ortiz to beat Lopez. But I'm not sure about Maidana. I do know I'd be excited to watch both fights, because there would be plenty of action, and with Victor, you just never know.
Both Lopez and Maidana fight this weekend, with Lopez returning Friday against Mike Arnaoutis on FS1, and Maidana headlining against Adrien Broner this Saturday on Showtime.