The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Normal Life

Marcos Maidana KO6 Victor Ortiz

It’s not natural to be a boxer. Few people if any grow up thinking they want to be punched in the face for a living, to take shot after shot in training with no check coming in regularly, to get stitches routinely and watch the scar tissue creep across your face, to constantly watch what and when you eat, to run the risk of brain damage. It’s not a sport for normal people, or frankly for people with options in life or any sense of proportion. For all that it can be beautiful and skilled and live up to that old moniker of “the sweet science”, it’s far more often brutal and ugly and physically destructive to the men and women who give so much to it. It demands more than is right from those who lace up gloves, more than most who watch them from home or occupy seats at the arena will ever have to give, and that’s why I don’t criticize fighters almost ever for quitting. Tonight Victor Ortiz found out something about himself: that he’s a smart kid, a nice kid, the sort of person who with the right breaks and the right backing could go far and do both well and good in many walks of life; but he’s probably not a fighter. There’s no shame in that, indeed there’s probably something respectable in having the sense of proportion and common sense to know that for him, it’s not worth it to run the risk that by age 50 he won’t remember how to get back to his home or even much about the fights which made him famous.

I just hope that after this performance- where he showed great skill and some real heart, but not the quality of a great fighter- that Ortiz is honest with himself about who he is. If tonight was a total fluke (which I doubt) then having lost in a great fight to a very good fighter is certainly not going to derail his career over the long term. But if what he said after the fight is true about not thinking he should be taking this kind of a beating and not wanting to go out on his shield, then I hope he gets out now because unless you’re Willy Pep or Pernell Whitaker, you’re going to go through fights like this if you want to be among the best. Among the persons watching from around ringside were Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, both great fighters, both of whom have had and been defined by the absolute wars in their careers; even Amir Khan who was also ringside has shown early on the ability to come back from a brutal KO loss to defeat a Hall of Famer two fights later. In terms of physical talent Ortiz is in that general class, but he doesn’t appear to have the same attitude. As they say, a man’s got to know his limitations, and boxing is not a sport for reasonable people.


June 28, 2009 - Posted by | Boxing


  1. I hate to say it, but Ortiz will never be a top 20 P-4-P guy, like I thought he could be. It’s unfortunate, because few people realized how good of a fighter Maidana is. But you can’t have Ortiz’s fighting style AND have common sense. You have to be dumb and/or insane. I think Ortiz can win a belt here and there, but every time he gets to the top, I see him faltering and coming up short.

    And by the way, I’m sure there’s a post coming, but how about a round of applause for Team USA! Despite the loss, I have hope that they can make it past the group stage.

    Comment by Tony M. | June 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Also, there better be an Arthur Abraham post coming!!! ARMENIA!!!!!

    Comment by Tony M. | June 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. I think you’re probably right about Ortiz- he’s got the physical talent, but not the JC Chavez-type mind. He may just end up as a flashier Rocky Juarez if he continues. There’s worse things to be, but….

    I gotta leave the team USA post to Sean when he’s recovered. It was moms birthday today, and some things have to take precedence. Honestly I maybe was even better off missing this- I’m not down on the guys and I’m thrilled they played Brazil as close as they did, but that had to be a total gut punch to watch. Reminds me of Knicks-Rockets in ’94.

    Arthur Abraham is awesome, there’s your post! Seriously, he looked very good indeed albeit maybe a little weight-drained. Good win for Vanes Martirosyan too on the Lopez undercard. Big times for Aremenians, especially with Darch-Agbeko coming up. Y’all got momentum.

    Comment by theshipbesinking | June 28, 2009 | Reply

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