Too experienced or finally just too old and jaded?
There was a moment during the HBO Face-Off between Floyd Mayweather & Victor Ortiz with Max Kellerman that I was struck by the marked change in Mayweather’s tone, his aura even, disparate from anything I’d previously witnessed of the uber confident pound for pound perennial boxing virtuoso. Hard as I attempt to I struggle to articulate meaningful the epiphany dawning on me as I sat there viewing Mayweather give Ortiz the entirely expected verbal schooling – he was different, more, more… Senior?
Floyd’s image within the sport and his image within the mainstream tend to mask a more fundamental, as yet, unproven variable – are his skills still as sharp as his tongue? Rewind fully 467 days back to his last outing against Shane Mosley on May 1, 2010 for something resembling up to date evidence and I’m frankly inclined to suspect his is a star whose Waterloo moment might come abruptly & shockingly. Consider that a years past his prime Mosley was able to catch Floyd with the odd bomb – what is going to happen when a fast, powerful fighter in his 20s is throwing those & possesses sufficient gas in the tank to follow up & follow up & not let up?
But against Victor Ortiz? He of the majority draw against Lamont Peterson on the UNDERCARD of Khan vs Maidana as recently as December? That would certainly constitute an abrupt & shocking about turn in the fortunes & stature of Mayweather. Ortiz possesses reasonable offensive gifts; and against Berto simply & spectacularly out brawled another brawler… for him to make inroads into Mayweather’s defensive Fort Knox one feels a more refined and calculated Ortiz will need to emerge on fight night.
Ortiz is used to landing power shots at will & building a platform for both stoppage & decision victories from that dependable basis of power shots finding their mark on a fairly consistent basis. Patently that’s high unlikely against Floyd, even a sub-par Floyd. The differential between Mayweather’s defensive skills & Victor Ortiz’s reliance on landing big left hand shots could be the tale of Star Power once all is said and done. Ortiz will need to establish his physicality & himself as the naturally larger man early whilst making prudent use of the jab coming in – what openings lapses in the Mayweather guard are gifted to him or earned by his movement (and I’m convinced he’ll be offered a few) need to be exploited to maximum effect if he is to stand any realistic chance of pulling off the upset win.
Matt Hamilton’s Gun to my Head Prediction:
Ortiz comes out with purpose & aggression wins two of the first three rounds; before Floyd Mayweather takes control of the action before half-cruising to a somewhat lopsided decision victory in the order of 117-111. In short I feel even a Floyd at 70% should have enough to outclass & outwit a 24 year old nearing his prime & extremely game Victor Ortiz.
Matt Hamilton reporting!