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Victor Ortiz: I’m here to defeat Devon Alexander

Image: Victor Ortiz: I’m here to defeat Devon Alexander

By Stanley White: Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) is ready to defeat former 2 division world champion Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) this Saturday to move his career forward to the next level. The card starts at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Ortiz looked very weight drained during Thursday’s press conference. We’ll see if he has issues with fatigue on Saturday night after rehydrates/

(Photo credit: Ruben Ramirez)

The southpaw Ortiz says he wants the fight to be a war. That might not be the wisest thing for Ortiz, as he tends to get hurt when he goes to war with his opponents. 5 of Ortiz’s 6 defeats in his 14-year pro career has come about due to him slugging with his opposition when he should have boxing. Ortiz is a much better he’s throwing jabs and landing single shots. When Ortiz opens up with combinations, he gets tagged. He doesn’t have the best chin in the world unfortunately. Ortiz’s fighting style is more suited to fighters with good punch resistance.

Despite their problems inside and outside of the ring in the last few years, Ortiz and Alexander are in a position to revive their careers with a win this Saturday night. It’s probably going to take more than a win on Saturday to get a world title shot against WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman or IBF champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence, but the Ortiz-Alexander winner will at least be viewed as a possible option for either of these 2 champions.

Ortiz-Alexander will be fighting on Saturday night on February 17th on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox and Fox Deportes at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. The venue probably favors Ortiz, even though he lives from Texas in Ventura, California. Alexander lives in Saint Louis, Missouri.

“We’re ready to go once again. I’m here for what’s mine, and that’s a victory. Alexander is a nice fighter and I’m sure it’ll be a war,” Ortiz said.

It’s a year and a half since Ortiz was last beaten in a 4th round knockout loss to Andre Berto. It’s possible Ortiz has learned from that defeat and will be looking to box more on Saturday against the southpaw Alexander instead of going all out looking for a knockout like he normally does. Ortiz certainly didn’t show much boxing in his last fight against Saul Corral in July of last year. Ortiz went after Corral right away in the 1st round in trying to get him out of there. If not for Corral’s ability to take punishment that he was able to survive round 1 and last until the 4th round before the fight was stopped.

“The victory is the only thing on my mind. I’m here to defeat Devon Alexander. I just need to trust my training and I know it’ll give the result I want,” Ortiz said. “I’m definitely looking for the knockout. It’s going to be a brawl. We’re going to do what we have to do to get this win and move on to the next step of my career,” Ortiz said.

A win for Ortiz doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s turned his career around. It’s going to take more than a victory over Alexander for Ortiz to turn his career around to where it was in 2011 when he was briefly the WBC welterweight champion. Ortiz defeated Andre Berto by a 12 round unanimous decision in April 2011. It was great fight where both guys on the canvas. Ortiz had a lot of boxing fans excited about his career after that win. They felt that he was a young star in the making.

Ortiz’s unraveled after that win with him losing three straight fights to Mayweather, Josesito Lopez and Luis Collazo. Ortiz’s punch resistance was bad, and his decision-making was equally poor. Usually when a fighter has a shaky chin, he’ll box more to limit the amount of shots he has to take in his fights. Ortiz did the opposite. He chose to slug in his fights, and this made it possible for limited fighters like Lopez, Berto and Collazo to beat him. Ortiz should have been able to beat those guys if he was fighting smart instead of looking to slug it out.

If Alexander shows a strong will to win on Saturday, he’ll probably beat Ortiz. We’ve seen in the past that when Ortiz is met with strong resistance for several rounds, he falls apart and quits. He did that against Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Berto, Lamont Peterson and Josesito Lopez.

Super middleweight Caleb Plant and former world title challenger Rogelio ‘Porky’ Medina will fight it out in a title eliminator. Plant isn’t a huge puncher, so he’s going to have to focus on his boxing ability if he doesn’t want to get blown out by Medina. It’s a big step up in class for Plant, and he might fall apart.

”There’s no secrets what’s going to happen when I fight ‘Porky’ Medina. He’s coming to break me down, and I’m coming to box,” Plant said.

Plant is being given a major push by his management despite him not having the greatest talent. It shows how far a fighter can go if he’s being put in position by his management. Even if Plant does get past Medina, it’s difficult to imagine him winning a world unless it’s against Caleb Truax. There are 3 good champions at 168 in Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, Tyron Zeuge and David Benavidez. Plant’s best shot of winning a world title is to fight Truax and hope he doesn’t connect with too many of his big shots.

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