Maidana Shocks Ortiz In “Thriller”

Saturday night up and coming prospect Victor Ortiz was put into the spotlight. After Chris John dropped out of the headlining bout with an illness, Ortiz’s bout against tough Marcos Maidana was promoted to the main event. Ortiz has been billed as the future of Golden Boy Promotions, but the future may not begin now. In a potential fight of the year candidate, five knockdowns were exchanged until Ortiz decided he could take no more.

In a most prophetic choice of entrance music, Ortiz came out to the late Michael Jackson’s Thriller. What ensued turned out to be exactly that.

In the first, both fighters decided early on no feeling out process was necessary, and proceeded to throw heavy leather. After some brief exchanges, Ortiz caught Maidana with a right hand that dropped him. Maidana appeared to be buzzed, but regained his bearings and popped back to his feet. Maidana dropped Ortiz hard with a right hand, and Ortiz appeared wobbly as he rose to his feet. The two went toe to toe for the remainder of the round, exchanging power punches with bad intentions.

Round two began with Maidana throwing right hands, and Ortiz looking to do body work. The two were exchanging, going toe to toe in the center of the ring. Absolutely zero jabs from either fighter. Ortiz landed a right hook that dropped Maidana. Ortiz pounced on Maidana, and put him down for the second time in the round. Maidana looked ready to quit but survived the round.

In the third, Ortiz came out looking a little more cautious. After some bobbing and weaving by Ortiz, Maidana landed a right hand and Ortiz immediately looked to return fire. Neither guy was putting much emphasis on defense. Both fighters grappled on the inside, and Ortiz backed Maidana on the ropes and looked to unload. Maidana landed some rabbit punches to end the round.

In round four, more grappling and rabbit punches from both fighters. Maidana landed some sneaky right hands in the exchanges. Ortiz seemed to be trying to overwhelm and overpower Maidana. Both Ortiz and Maidana were banging hard to the body. Both fighters were thinking knockout with each punch. Ortiz attempted a flurry on the ropes to end the round.

Round five began with a rare jab from Ortiz. Ortiz backed Maidana onto the ropes, and landed some good shots. Maidana landed a hard right in an exchange that shook Ortiz a bit. Ortiz appeared to be slowing down, and began to get tagged with repeated right hands. Maidana opens a cut on Ortiz with a punch. Maidana lands two really hard right hands to end the round.

Maidana jumped on Ortiz immediately to start the sixth, going back to the right hands. Ortiz looked weary, and ready to go. Ortiz retreated to the corner, and Maidana followed him with punches until he went down. As the doctor stepped in to take a look at Ortiz’s eye, the fight was waived off.

After the fight, Ortiz admitted the pressure got to him. “I’m not gonna lie, the crowd did get to me. “

Ortiz also seemed to hint at the possibility of an early retirement. “I’m young, but I don’t think I deserve to be getting beat up like this.”

Final Thoughts

What an anticlimactic ending to an awesome fight. Victor Ortiz decided he had taken enough punishment, and quit.

I was all ready to call Ortiz the next Fernando Vargas, up and until that sixth round. Everything he did in the first five rounds spelled Vargas. Heavy Punches. Check. Shaky chin. Check. Getting up after knockdowns. Check. Then he decided to quit with one eye cut and the other one swollen. No check there.

You would have had to knock Vargas into next Tuesday, he would have never quit. That’s the thing about comparisons; they can always be a bit premature.

I’m not sure what I think about Ortiz after this fight. He clearly could have won the fight, but fought in exactly the wrong way. He threw maybe three jabs the entire fight, despite clearly having the better boxing pedigree. He dropped his hands when Maidana was throwing punches, instead of putting his guard up.

I’m sure his defense can be tightened up, and he could definitely take his time and box more. What concerns me most is his mental state; he seemed to be shook after this fight. He had the De La Hoya trademarked smile going, but he also said he wasn’t going out on his shield. He mentioned wanting to speak clearly, and not wanting to get beat up.

As for Maidana, you gotta love this guy. He loads up with every shot, and fights eerily like Ricardo Mayorga. I would love to see him against any top contender. This guy is instant excitement.

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