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Victor Ortiz shifts focus back to boxing
By Vikram Birring, Dog House Boxing (Dec 8, 2015)

Victor Ortiz
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As of late, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz has been seen more on the silver screen than the squared circle. In the last two years, Ortiz has had as many films, The Expendables 3 and Southpaw, as fights, Manuel Perez and Luis Collazo. 364 days and one grueling rehabilitation later, Ortiz returns this Saturday against Orlando Lora as part of a stacked NBC card in San Antonio.

Against Perez nearly one year ago, Ortiz shattered his left wrist, an injury so severe it required surgery that left permanent pins in his body; this after suffering a ghastly broken jaw against Josesito Lopez in 2012. Yet, Ortiz still yearns to be atop the boxing world despite the pain the sport has caused him, and the Hollywood lifestyle that he could easily exile himself to. “I actually had two offers but I decided to return to boxing. I don’t want to look back and wonder what I could have been. I’m still in my physical prime.”

Part of his rededication to boxing is trainer Joel Diaz, who he worked with for the Perez fight after a disastrous one fight partnership with Danny Smith. Diaz is one of the hottest trainers in boxing now, training Ruslan Provodnikov, Omar Figueroa, Felix Diaz, Jesse Magdaleno, and Diego De La Hoya, among others. “My camp has been great. I’ve been obeying my coach and I’m ready to go.”

Ortiz also makes clear that the layoff will not affect his physical conditioning for the fight. “I’m not one of those boxers that gets fat between fights. I am a professional athlete; I run triathlons, I stay in shape.” And when asked if he prefers to fight away from the pressure of the California spotlight, Ortiz remarks as a true fighter would: “I just need a bell and a ring. I will fight anywhere in the world.”

There is one subject that irritates the normally happy go lucky Ortiz; when asked about his thoughts about a grudge match against long-time hated rival Brandon Rios, Ortiz grunts “I’ll knock him out anytime.” But switch the subject to his beloved Kansas City Royals and Ortiz is joyful again. He hints that there may be something on his trunks in dedication to the recent World Series champions, but like an old Hollywood pro, he won’t give away the ending: “You’ll just have to tune in to the fight.”

But before any discussions of any other fights can take place, Ortiz must get past Lora, a Mexican who hails from the rugged state of Sinaloa. Lora has six defeats in his thirteen year career, but they have only been to top-level fighters. Despite that, Ortiz is wary to dismiss any opponent, after all, it is a sport where the goal is to render the opponent unconscious. “I know who Lora is, he’s going to come to try to knock my head off, and I can not allow that.” There is a seriousness in the tone of Ortiz’s voice, a recognition that this is his last chance to create a legacy in boxing. Despite the young age of twenty-eight, Ortiz has been a professional for eleven and one-half years, with a lengthy amateur career before that. If he falters now, the ride may come to a screeching halt. Ortiz is aware, and vows to tackle the assignment with the vigor of a man possessed. The path back to the top starts Saturday night.

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