Victor Ortiz may have won a TV fight since his 2009 loss to Marcos Maidana, but the questions, doubts and concerns still lingered before the season debut of Golden Boy's "Fight Night Club" began. After a tentative, rounds-seeking effort from the Oxnard fighter tonight at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, they probably haven't been relieved for many. Ortiz finished Hector Alatorre in the tenth round of their main event fight.
While Ring Magazine writer and Golden Boy commentator Doug Fischer looked at the win as dominant and mature for Ortiz, I'm going the other way. As we discussed in the live thread, Ortiz seemed "stuck" or "lost" at points during the fight. He was absolutely never in any trouble, but that's because Hector Alatorre had no chance to trouble him. Ortiz was clearly a bigger, stronger, faster, fresher, better fighter than Alatorre, and anyone could have guessed that coming in. Alatorre (16-9, 5 KO) has now lost nine of his last 11 fights. He was a tune-up. Nothing more, nothing less.
And while there's nothing wrong with a fighter basically sparring in a winnable fight to prepare for something bigger, there's also nothing impressive about it, and for a lot of people, Ortiz needs "impressive."
Plus, my question is this. What did Ortiz learn from Alatorre? The fellow California fighter offered Ortiz no challenge, no resistance, and did not come to win this fight. Ortiz has in the past been a sucker for a straight right hand. Alatorre isn't much of a puncher, but he barely even tried to do anything offensively. Part of it, sure, was that Ortiz was so much better that Alatorre had no room to operate offensively.
But again, what does that do?
Ortiz has already beaten better fighters than Alatorre. Several, in fact. And those guys weren't just better, they were much better. Even Jeff Resto -- the washed-up former prospect that Ortiz mauled on the hideous Oscar-Manny card -- was more of a test than this. Resto, coincidentally, beat Alatorre in May 2008. That was the last fight Resto won.
We learned nothing tonight. When Ortiz (26-2-1, 21 KO) felt like finishing Alatorre, he finished him with a nice flurry in the 10th round, just 51 seconds in.
If literally all Ortiz and his team wanted was rounds, then mission: accomplished. If they wanted to develop anything, I don't know that that worked out. Alatorre just wasn't good enough for Ortiz to learn much or adapt new styles properly. And he certainly didn't prepare him for Nate Campbell, assuming that Ol' Nate has anything left in the tank at all.
On the undercard:
- Charles Huerta (13-1, 7 KO) survived a decent test in a good fight from Guadalupe de Leon (8-10, 4 KO), the man who beat the man who beat Huerta (Derrick Wilson). I scored it 59-55 for Huerta, but felt three of the rounds (1, 2 and 5) that I gave to the prospect could have gone to de Leon. Judge Raul Caiz had a 57-57 draw, while the other cards went to Huerta, 59-55 and 58-56. I think most people agree that Huerta is never going to be a great fighter, but he could be a good one, and a guy who gets plenty of TV dates.
- Luis Ramos Jr. (13-0, 6 KO) beat veteran Walter Estrada (35-12, 24 KO) via four-round sweep decision. The fellow southpaws had trouble figuring out how to attack, but Ramos mostly dictated the pace. Good early career win for Ramos, though it wasn't the most impressive or scintillating of his rise.
- Jesse Vargas (9-0, 4 KO), Karl Dargan (7-0, 3 KO), and Ricky Lopez (7-0, 2 KO) stayed unbeaten. The way Golden Boy is running prospects on this show almost reminds me of the way that British fighters come up more than the way American prospects usually do. There seems to be an understanding at Golden Boy -- like in Britain -- that not everyone has to be a star, but it's good to have a lot of house fighters around, and guys to fill out a show on the cheap, especially with a TV vehicle like FNC. Golden Boy still badly trails Top Rank in creating top fighters, but this is a step to getting prospects moving right anyway.