Neither Victor Ortiz nor Devon Alexander can afford to lose
Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander fight Saturday in Texas, writes Joe Walker
VICTOR ORTIZ 32-6-2 (25) will fight former two division world champion Devon Alexander 27-4 (14) on Saturday night (February 17), headlining a TGB Promotions Premier Boxing Champions card on FOX from the Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas.
While the big fights in the welterweight division of Errol Spence and Keith Thurman may be some way off, both fighters will hope to take a step in the right direction on Saturday.
Ortiz comes off the back of a fourth round stoppage over little known fighter Saul Corral in Bakersfield last July, which did not do much to shrug off his loss to Andre Berto a year and a half ago in their rematch. With a successful acting career and other ventures, many thought Ortiz’ boxing career was ending. Now, aged 31 he faces a stern test in Devon Alexander.
“I’ve been counted out many times in this sport. Being on this stage is very significant for me, thankfully I have people who don’t stop believing in me.
“I’ve seen both sides and been in the middle, at this point, the only place I’m focused on going is up,” Ortiz said in a pre-fight press conference.
Alexander finds himself at a similar point in his career to Ortiz. A win last year, preceded by two defeats to Aaron Martinez and Amir Khan, he can afford nothing but a win if he hopes to turn his career around.
“Beat this guy, that’s all I’m going to do, that’s all I’m prepared to do, that’s all I want to do, it’s all I’ve been dreaming about doing so anything else doesn’t mean anything.
“You guys want to see me win and get back to the top, so that’s what I plan on doing, so get ready,” said Alexander.
Ortiz has been in a few wars in his career, choosing to stand and trade with fighters he should have out boxed such as Josesito Lopez, Berto and Luis Collazo, who in return handed him shock defeats. If he boxes Alexander he stands a chance of winning, but if Alexander can take the fight to the later rounds he could take this one.
Ortiz has been known to quit as fights have progressed in the past, against Marcos Maidana in a career defining moment, he withdrew after he was put down in the sixth round. Against Floyd Mayweather, frustrated and beaten he threw a head butt, of which Mayweather responded by knocking him down as they touched gloves to recontinue.
How much of Alexander’s speed and power he has left remains to be seen but he’ll hope to find gaps in Ortiz’s defence to use his fast right hand that has devastated opponents in the past, namely Marcos Maidana who didn’t have any answers for it back in 2012.
This fight will mark the end of one of the fighter’s long careers and it’ll come down to who wants it more.