Victor Ortiz Next Fight: Luis Collazo Bout Could Launch 'Vicious' Victor Into Floyd Mayweather Rematch? Josesito Lopez Match More Likely [VIDEO]
"Vicious" Victor Ortiz hasn't fought in 19 months, dating back to a shocking upset at the hands of Josesito Lopez in which his jaw was broken, and his shot at a fight with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was taken away. That will change next Thursday on January 30th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, when he faces Luis Collazo.
Ortiz knows that he has built up a reputation of being soft, harkening all the way back to his decision to quit in the ring during a 2009 fight against Marcos Maidana. In a recent interview though Ortiz said he didn't care what any critics have to say about him.
"I just kind of deal with it. The media has their perception and I have mine. They have their comments and concerns. I have mine," Ortiz said. He also said that he has never left the gym, despite not stepping into the ring for a sanctioned bout in nearly two years.
"I never left," Ortiz said. "I don't even consider it a comeback. Right after I broke my jaw, a few days later I was in the gym hitting the punching bag with my mouth wired shut. So the only difference is that this time around we have cameras and there will be people watching. I'm ready."
Collazo, a 30-year-old veteran, is looking to remain relevant. "I'm going in for the long haul," Collazo said. "Whatever happened in his career, whatever happened in his fights- that's on him. He has to deal with that mentally, not me. Come Jan. 30 I'm going to go in there and just try to take him out. There's no way around it. I'm going in there to take care of business and come out with that W."
While Collazo is likely a game opponent, it's widely expected Ortiz will use this fight to get right, and he hopes that an impressive win will vault him right back into the big money picture, and perhaps even a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"There's a lot of 140lb and 147lb match-ups we're working on for this year and Ortiz-Collazo falls within that talented weight class," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said. "He wants to get back on the road and fight Floyd Mayweather again but he can't look past Luis Collazo."
A fight with "Money" is probably far-fetched, but a rematch down the line with Lopez or Maidana isn't. It seems as if Ortiz would welcome those too. "I would like to go back and destroy them just for the sake of it," Ortiz said in December.
"They're not on my level and never have been. Not Lopez, not Maidana. None of those guys, man. Mayweather is the only one where I could probably say, 'we are going to be in for a war.' Those other guys, they don't belong. They got me on a bad night, but 9 out of 10 times I [beat them]."