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Mayweather vs. Ortiz: Can Victor wear down Floyd on the inside?

By Jason Kim: Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr (41-0, 25 KO’s) is going to have the entire world watching his next fight on September 17th against WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KO’s) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, to see if Mayweather might have lost something from his year off from boxing.

Besides that, the interest here is whether Mayweather can beat a young fighter like Ortiz with speed, power and youth going for him.

Mayweather has had it relatively easy with wins over a smaller, slower Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009, and then a shot 38-year-old Shane Mosley last year in May. It’s going to be much different against Ortiz, as he’s on his way up to the top of the hill and isn’t on the downward slide the way that Mosley and Marquez were when they took on Mayweather.

Ortiz has got the power advantage in this fight, as well as an advantage in work rate. Ortiz showed in his last fight against Andre Berto that he’s capable of getting in close and throwing a lot of shots. Whether Ortiz can do the same to Mayweather is going to be the test here. Mayweather is hard to get near, because he tends to slide around and pick his opponents apart on the way in.

However, if Ortiz is able to establish some inside ground on Mayweather, we could see Ortiz really work Mayweather over with short powerful punches to the head and body. Even Mayweather’s excellent shoulder rolls have their limitations against a fighter that is unloading mass artillery shots the way that Ortiz was against Berto in his last fight.

On paper, this is a bad match-up for Mayweather because of Ortiz’s recent changes to his fighting style. He seems to have adopted the Marcos Maidana approach to fighting on the inside where he stations himself in close and just fires off short power shots one after another without expending a lot of energy. In close, Ortiz was the stronger fighter than Berto last April.

For his part, Mayweather showed excellent power and speed in fighting the smaller Ricky Hatton on the inside in his 10th round TKO win over Hatton in 2007. However, Ortiz is bigger and stronger than Hatton, so it’s a different ball game here. Mayweather if now four years older and facing a faster guy than Hatton.

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