|Birth Date||January 31, 1987|
|Hometown||Garden City, Kansas|
|Known For||Professional boxer|
|Highest Score||23 (Contemporary)|
|Lowest Score||18 (Foxtrot, Jive, Paso Doble & Rumba)|
Ortiz was born and raised in Garden City, Kansas, and is the third of four children of Mexican parents. When he was seven years old, Ortiz's mother abandoned her family for a relationship with another man. Shortly thereafter, Ortiz began boxing at the insistence of his father, an alcoholic who often beat his children following his wife's departure.In an interview, Victor said, "I hated that lady. I drew her a card once with a little rose on it and I gave it to her. She just threw it down and said 'What do I want that shit for?' That's when I picked up boxing. Then my Dad started screwing up, drinking."
Ortiz' father also abandoned the family five years after their mother left, which forced Ortiz and his five siblings into the Kansas foster care system. Ortiz was twelve years old at the time. His older sister became a legal adult in 2002 and moved to Denver, Colorado. Ortiz and his younger brother left Kansas and moved in with her.
While training at a Salvation Army Red Shield Community Center, he was noticed by former heavyweight boxing contender Ron Lyle, who had become a supervisor at the center. In 2003, Lyle guided Ortiz to a Junior Olympics tournament, where, at the age of sixteen, he won the 132-pound weight division with a perfect 5-0 record. This time, he was noticed by another former boxer, Roberto Garcia, who had held the IBF Super Featherweight Championship during the 1990s and whose father was the trainer of Fernando Vargas.
Move to CaliforniaEdit
Though Garcia was based in Oxnard, California, he offered to train Ortiz, who accepted and moved from Colorado to California, where he began training at Oxnard's famous La Colonia Youth Boxing Club. Garcia later became Ortiz's legal guardian, and Ortiz graduated from Pacifica High School. At age 16, Ortiz won the 2003 Police Athletic League national championships in Toledo, then at seventeen, Ortiz reached the United States Olympic boxing trials in the 132-pound weight class, where he was eliminated in the champion's bracket semifinals (The weight class was instead won by Vicente Escobedo).
Ortiz turned professional later in 2004 while still only seventeen years of age. When he reached the age of eighteen in 2005 and became a legal adult, he gained custody of his younger brother, who is now a college student. Ortiz continues to reside in Ventura, California.
Victor Ortiz boxed at The Garden City Boxing club where he was trained by five trainers who all worked together to get him ahead in his boxing career. His original trainers included Ignacio "Buck" Avilia, Manuel Rios, Antonio Orozco Sr., Juan M. Aldana Jr. and Alfred Ritz. He won the Ringside National Title in 2001 and 2002 and the National Jr. Olympics in 2002.
After turning professional, Ortiz easily won his first seven fights against weak opposition. However, on June 3, 2005, Ortiz was controversially disqualified in the first round of a bout against unknown Corey Alarcon in Oxnard. After having already knocked Alarcon down once in the round, Ortiz knocked him down again shortly after referee David Denkin ordered the fighters to separate from a clinch. Alarcon stayed down for the count and was awarded the fight based on Denkin's judgment that Ortiz's knockout punch had been an illegal punch during a break.
Following the fight with Alarcon, Ortiz continued to win and had built a record of 18-1-1 as of August 30, 2007, when he fought his first well-known opponent, Emmanuel Clottey of Ghana, in only his second bout scheduled for ten rounds. Ortiz defeated Clottey by technical knockout in the tenth and final round. Three months later, Ortiz followed up on his victory with another knockout win, this time in the first round of a ten-round bout against former junior welterweight titlist Carlos Maussa of Colombia.
On September 13, 2008, Ortiz fought his first bout scheduled for twelve rounds, against Roberto David Arrieta of Argentina. Ortiz knocked Arrieta down in the second, fourth and fifth rounds and won by technical knockout in the fifth round. At the end of 2008, ESPN named Ortiz the boxing prospect of the year.
On March 7, 2009, Ortiz fought his first bout televised on HBO World Championship Boxing against Mike Arnaoutis of Greece, who had fought top-ten light welterweight contenders such as Juan Urango, Ricardo Torres and Kendall Holt without ever having been knocked out. However, Ortiz scored a technical knockout of Arnaoutis in the second round.
On June 27, 2009, Ortiz faced Marcos Rene Maidana (25-1-0) of Argentina in Los Angeles for the Interim WBA Light Welterweight title. Ortiz entered the fight with an eight-fight knockout streak. Maidana, a dangerous puncher, had won 24 of his 25 previous bouts by knockout. The only previous blemish on his record at that point was a close split decision loss to WBA Champion Andriy Kotelnik. Both Ortiz and Maidana were knocked down in the first round. Ortiz knocked Maidana to the canvas twice in the second round. Ortiz suffered a cut in the 5th round and was knocked down in the 6th round. The fight was stopped when the ringside physician would not let Ortiz continue to fight. Many in the boxing media, including HBO, chastised Ortiz for not wanting to continue in the fight, an issue which surfaced again later in his career after retiring in his fight against Josesito Lopez.
Before the Maidana fight, Ortiz fired Roberto Garcia and Garcia's father. Ortiz expressed how the Garcias constantly humiliated him through derogatory speech but would then hire Garcia's brother Danny. After recovering from a broken wrist and switching trainers, Ortiz announced his return fight would be on HBO Boxing After Dark.On December 12, 2009, Ortiz bounced back from the defeat he suffered vs Maidana to stop Antonio Díaz, who failed to answer the bell for the seventh round. Ortiz then fought Hector Alatorre on February 25, 2010 winning by TKO in the tenth and final round.
Ortiz vs. CampbellEdit
Ortiz was victorious in a unanimous decision victory over Nate Campbell on May 15 at Madison Square Garden on the Undercard of Amir Khan vs. Paulie Malignaggi. Ortiz, 23, was quicker, more active and landed heavier shots throughout the fight. Campbell, 38, did not seem to have much steam on his punches on the few occasions that he landed anything solid. He also appeared troubled all fight by Ortiz's southpaw style and straight left hand as he followed Ortiz around. Ortiz scored a knockdown on a short right hand, although it also looked like he shoved Campbell.
Ortiz vs. HarrisEdit
On September 18, 2010 Victor faced former WBA Light Welterweight Champion Vivian Harris on the Shane Mosley vs. Sergio Mora undercard at Staples Center. He was on ESPN's SportsNation to promote the fight with Harris. Victor landed 25-of-54 power punches. He dropped Harris with both hands and landed some nasty power punches. That short right really showed off the unique power possessed by Ortiz. Ortiz knocked Harris down three times in the second round en route to a knock out win with :45 seconds left in the third round.
Ortiz vs. PetersonEdit
On the undercard of Amir Khan vs. Marcos Maidana, Ortiz faced former title challenger Lamont Peterson on December 11 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Peterson went down for the first time from a right hand that finished a four-punch combination. Peterson got up quickly and did not appear hurt. But he was moments later from another punch and he grabbed on to Ortiz as they tumbled to the mat. But when the fight resumed, Ortiz was on Peterson again and knocked him hard into the ropes, which held him up and caused referee Vic Drakulich to call the second knockdown of the round with about 30 seconds to go. One judge scored the bout a win for Peterson and the other two remaining judges scoring the bout a draw; the fight will go down on record as a draw. This was despite those who were in attendance saying that Ortiz clearly won the fight.
Ortiz vs. Berto I & IIEdit
Ortiz fought Andre Berto for the WBC Welterweight title on April 16, 2011 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket. Hailed as the early pick for the fight of the year, Ortiz won the fight by unanimous decision over Berto. They both came out aggressively, then just over a minute into the round, Ortiz landed a shot behind Berto's head and Berto went down. Berto and Ortiz exchanged knockdowns in their fights with both of them going down twice. Both fighters were hurt in that fight. However, Berto took a lot of punishment while against the ropes and looked to be exhausted after the 6th. Ortiz had his way from the 7th on and only had to worry about an occasional big punch from Berto. The judges scored the match 115-110, 114-112 and 114-111 all for the new WBC Welterweight Champion. The bout was named The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" for 2011.
Ortiz will face Berto, whose first thrilling slugfest in April was one of the best fights of the year, once again. The fight, which had been in discussion for weeks, was originally supposed to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on February 11, 2012. The fight was postponed to June 30, 2012, due to Berto rupturing his biceps in training and being unable to meet the original date. On May 20, 2012 Berto failed an anti-doping test, testing positive for nalondrone. Although Berto denied having ever taken the substance intentionally, the rematch was cancelled and Light Welterweight Josesito Lopez was chosen to take his place.
Ortiz vs. MayweatherEdit
On June 7, 2011, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced via Twitter that he and Ortiz had an agreement to fight on September 17, 2011. The fight was for Ortiz's WBC Welterweight belt.
The fight took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena. From round one, Mayweather tagged Ortiz repeatedly. Mayweather seemed in control through the first three rounds (judges scores: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Mayweather), but in the fourth round, Ortiz found success, landing a few shots and stinging Mayweather before bulling him into the corner. Out of frustration, Ortiz rammed Mayweather in the face with an intentional headbutt, busting open a cut on the inside of Mayweather's mouth. Referee, Joe Cortez, called timeout and docked Ortiz a point for the foul. As the fight resumed, Ortiz approached Mayweather in the center of the ring and tried to apologize and even hugged Mayweather. After apologizing, Ortiz had his hands down, and Mayweather unloaded a left hook and a flush right hand to Ortiz's chin. Ortiz dropped and was unable to beat Cortez's count as the crowd of 14,687 were furious at the ruined fight.
"In the ring, you have to protect yourself at all times," Mayweather said. "After it happened, we touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left hook and right hand after the break. You just gotta protect yourself at all times." Mayweather also said, he would give Ortiz a rematch, which never came to fruition.
Joe Cortez commented post-fight, saying, "Time was in. The fighter needed to keep his guard up. Mayweather did nothing illegal."
Ortiz vs. LopezEdit
After Ortiz's scheduled rematch against Andre Berto fell through when Berto tested positive for a banned substance, his promotional team quickly found a late replacement in Josesito Lopez. However, just days before the fight was scheduled to take place, Ortiz was announced as the opponent for Saúl Álvarez in the main event of a Pay-Per-View show entitled "Knockout Kings" scheduled for September 15, 2012 if he were to defeat Lopez. Ortiz fought Lopez at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 23. In an exciting fight, both fighters repeatedly engaged in competitive exchanges, as opposed to the one-sided bout predicted by many members of the press. At the beginning of the tenth round, Ortiz's team threw in the towel when the fighter complained of a broken jaw, subsequently cancelling his possible bout with Alvarez. After the fight, Ortiz stated, "Josesito broke my jaw, I had my mouth open and he broke my jaw. I couldn't close my mouth. It happened early in the (ninth) round. The corner wanted me to continue but I just couldn't."
Ortiz vs. CollazoEdit
On January 30, 2014, Victor Ortiz lost to Collazo. Collazo landed a right hook to Ortiz in the last second of the second round which ended the match after the 10 count. Ortiz's promoter and president of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, encouraged Ortiz to retire by tweeting "I really feel @VICIOUSortiz should call it a day and enjoy his young life.
Ortiz vs. Pérez Edit
Despite the encouragement to retire from his former promoter Oscar De La Hoya, Ortiz fought Manuel Pérez on the undercard of the December 13, 2014 Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander fight. Ortiz defeated Perez by TKO in the 3rd round. In the fight, Victor suffered a hand injury that required surgery to repair the problem. He will not be able to use his hand until July, when it has fully healed. His next fight has not yet been scheduled, but he expects to be back in the ring towards the end of 2015.
Acting career Edit
Victor Ortiz first appeared on screen as an actor in the action film The Expendables 3. He played the character of Mars, a young American soldier recruited onto the Expendables team.
Ortiz appeared in the sports drama film Southpaw, co-starring Jake Gyllenhaal, playing a young boxer named Ramone.
Dancing with the StarsEdit
Ortiz participated on the sixteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. His professional partner was former So You Think You Can Dance competitor Lindsay Arnold.They were the fourth couple to be eliminated on the sixth week of competition.
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' score||Result|
|1||Foxtrot / "Daylight"||6||6||6||No Elimination|
|2||Jive / "Runaway Baby"||6||6||6||Bottom Two|
|3||Prom Group Dance / "The Rockafeller Skank"|
Contemporary / "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"
|4||Paso Doble / "We Will Rock You"||6||6||6||Bottom Two|
|5||Viennese Waltz / "Never Tear Us Apart"||7||7||7||Bottom Two|
|6||Rumba / "I Just Called to Say I Love You"|
Team Paso Doble / "Higher Ground"