When Floyd Mayweather Jr. makes his return to the ring tonight against Victor Ortiz, he’ll be fighting for the WBC Welterweight title, but that seems like relatively unimportant for him. He’s looking for respect, recognition as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, his place among the all time greats and a chance to beat Manny Pacquiao, at least in Pay-per-View sales.
Mayweather has done a wonderful job selling this fight. He’s taken the attention away from the fight, and pushed towards the direction of Manny Pacquaio and the likelihood of their future fight. He’s been keeping himself busy with some Amir Khan trash talking as well, but most of his talk has been about and towards Manny Pacquiao.
Will there be a fight, does he think there will be a fight, the drug testing, what he think about Pacquiao’s opponent, back to Khan, talking about Jessie Vargas, Ricky Hatton. What not. Mayweather is selling the villain, the I get no respect cards, and he does it well. Because when you look back at his fights during his 16 year career (41-0, 25 KO’s), there’s not that much to sell.
Mayweather took a two year break after beating Ricky Hatton in 2007 to focus on his promotion company. When he returned he fought Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao’s next opponent. It was one of the more one sided fights in history between two supposed World Class opponents, with Mayweather winning the fight in 12 one sided fights. His win over Mosley eight months later wasn’t much different.
So is Ortiz the man to finally beat Mayweather? He’s got the power, and he’s a got the crowd pleasing style. He’s taller, younger, and was pretty impressive against Andre Berto five months ago, winning the WBC belt. Ortiz has scored a knock down in each of his 33 professional fights, but he’s tasted the canvas quite a lot himself. By Berto twice. That does how his fighting spirit and guts, but it also means there’s no reason Floyd won’t knock him down himself.
But Mayweather, despite his desire for crowd respect, doesn’t fight to appease. He can just defend and counter punch all night. He hasn’t scored a knock out since his win over Hatton, just one in his last six fights. As long as he fights temptation to enter a maul and trade punches with Ortiz, he should win. Not easily, but it’s up to him, not Ortiz.
But what about the layoff, you ask? I don’t think it matters. Mayweather is probably one of these guys who trains every day even when not preparing for a fight. That two year layoff last time didn’t take away anything from him. I don’t expect it it to take anything away again.
While Ortiz, a southpaw lets not forget ( preparing for Pac-Man?), can eventually prove to be dangerous and pile the pressue on Mayweather, his previous fights, especially November 2010 draw against Lamont Peterson who really troubled him with speed and resistance, teach us he isn’t ready to beat a fight with the skill set of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It’s hard not to back the guy fighting Mayweather, but a quick glance at the scenario and your mind takes over. It would be a huge upset if the 24 year old champions actually beats the 34 year old who has won ten world titles during his career. Floyd Mayweather Jr., 12 round, UD.