Like a Virgin: Maidana Hands Ortiz His First Real Beating
By John Pullman, Doghouse Boxing (June 29, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
Everyone reacts differently to their first time. Some people search for their fallen mouthpieces on the ring mat in Japan, others pound on the ring mat in Las Vegas like a child who didn’t get their way. Ortiz’s reaction after getting knocked down for the first time on Saturday night was to get up and fight, and what a great fight we got to see.

This fight was great on so many levels. Two highly skilled combatants went at it, both with plans on winning. It
was a great matchup; there was not one guy who was surely going to win, even though a lot of us may have thought that before the first bell rang. Too often in this era, we do not get the mega matchups because fighters are afraid of losing. I like what Paul Williams said “If I can’t accept losing, I can’t accept winning.” That is what fighting is all about. Sugar Ray Robinson had 19 losses, albeit he had 200 fights. But those types of fighters were not afraid of the tough fight, because losses were not so frowned upon by the public in those days. So, thank you to whoever made this tough fight, even if it was by accident.

Marcos Maidana is one rough dude; you can not seem to keep him down. This is something that is learned and built through life circumstances. He will do whatever it takes to win, no matter how he looks doing it. He battered the up and coming mega star with right hands, eventually into submission.

Victor Ortiz is a highly skilled, well spoken, special young man. To say he has no heart is unfair, considering what he has overcome already. But he had his heart pretty much taken from him in this fight. He started out getting the best
of it, but instead of relying on his skill, he tried to match wills with a tough, tough guy, who seemed to want it just a little more on that night.

Victor Ortiz questioned himself after the fight. He was savagely beaten and had his desire to fight sucked out of him in front of the world, and he questioned if he would ever want to go through this again. That is not surprising. For everyone out there saying he has no heart, who has never laced up a pair of gloves, I challenge you to spar one round with a fighter a quarter as tough as Maidana. Then let me know how you feel. The truth is, Champions are made, not born. Yes, every Champion has different, natural qualities and other qualities that they develop through training. Character is gained through life experiences, like this. Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles it grows and gets stronger through exercise. Life is exercise for the heart. In more ways than one fighting is extremely strenuous exercise for the heart. Just because the 22 year old Ortiz got manhandled by a rough, worthy fighter, and was unsure of himself after he got his brain rattled, does not mean he can no longer be a successful boxer. If you don’t think most every great Champion in the past had moments, whether in the gym, or in a fight where they questioned continuing taking beatings, you are sadly mistaken. Ortiz just gave the public a glimpse into his mind, and we should all be appreciative to have seen such honesty.

Is Ortiz done with boxing? I don’t know. That is not my question or any of yours to answer. That is up to him.

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2009