Victor Ortiz, shown here during his April 2016 loss to Andre Berto, believes he can again become welterweight champion/Associated Press photo by Jae C. Hong
Victor Ortiz has 12 acting credits, according to IMDb, and he claims getting more is no problem. He also wants to fight, and that’s why Sunday he’ll return to the ring after a 14-month layoff to take on Saul Corral in the welterweight main event from Rabobank Theater in Bakersfield (on Fox Sports 1).
This week, from his camp in Ventura, Ortiz at times spoke in bristling tones while discussing the resurrection of a career that has seen him lose four of his past six fights since winning the welterweight world title with a decision over Andre Berto in April 2011.
“I’ve been written off before,” said Ortiz, 30. “People have said I should retire since my first loss. I came back from that loss and became a champion. I don’t care what people have to say about me. I could go act full-time if I wanted, but I truly love this sport.”
One of the reasons why Ortiz has had only six fights in six years is because he was off 19 months after having his jaw broken by Josesito Lopez in a June 2012 fight at Staples Center. Still, Ortiz has not been real busy since losing his title to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2011 via controversial fourth-round knockout.
Ortiz intimated his less-than-flattering five-month reign as champion is another reason why he is continuing his career.
“The hunger is definitely still there inside of me,” he said. “When I became world champion, it was a short-lived experience. I had reached a high pinnacle and lost it in a fashion that I was never satisfied with. I’m blessed to be healthy enough to come back.”
In that loss to Mayweather, Ortiz gave Mayweather one too many hugs after Ortiz was deducted a point for an intentional head-butt, Mayweather knocking out Ortiz with his hands at his sides.
After that loss to Mayweather, Ortiz was stopped by Lopez after the ninth round, then Ortiz was knocked out by Luis Collazo in the second round in January 2014. Ortiz’s next two starts were victories over journeymen in December 2014 and and December 2015, before Ortiz was knocked out by Berto in the fourth round in April 2016.
Yet, Ortiz (31-6-2, 24 KOs) believes he can make another serious run for a major title.
“I still feel like I can be one of the best in the 147-pound division,” Ortiz said. “It’s there for the taking. There are some gifted fighters in there and I respect them, but I believe that I have what it takes to be right up there. I’m a complete fighter.”
Corral, 30, of Mexico, is 25-9 with 16 knockouts. He has a common opponent with Ortiz in Lopez, who defeated Corral via unanimous decision in April.