Victor Ortiz won’t be facing Brandon Rios after all, but he will take on another hard-charging veteran, as he’ll meet John Molina Jr on Sunday, September 30, in an FS1-televised PBC main event.
Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KO) is coming off of a disputed draw with Devon Alexander in February, a fight that most observers felt Alexander clearly won. He’s been up and down — or maybe down and up and down and up and down — since his 2011 Fight of the Year win over Andre Berto.
Following that victory, Ortiz infamously was knocked out by Floyd Mayweather, then had his jaw broken in a loss to Josesito Lopez, then was knocked out in two by Luis Collazo. He won a couple tune-ups after then, then was knocked out by Berto. He won another tune-up, then went the distance in a solid performance against Alexander.
But it’s been over seven years since Ortiz beat an opponent of substance. He’s still relatively young at 31, but time is not on his side, and more than that, the results aren’t.
Molina (30-7, 24 KO) will be coming up from 140 pounds for the fight. He most recently fought in December 2017, knocking out Ivan Redkach in the fourth round. That followed a loss to Terence Crawford, which followed a big win for Molina over Ruslan Provodnikov in 2016, a fight almost nobody expected him to win.
Most of his bigger fights have been defeats, including losses to Lucas Matthysse, Humberto Soto, and Adrien Broner, but Molina, like Ortiz, is really never in what you’d call an outright bad fight. Styles make fights, and this one, while not a big marquee event, has the potential to be a firecracker just because of how Ortiz and Molina approach things.