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Victor Ortiz: From belt to belted
Victor Ortiz, an orphan from Southern California who rose above hopeless circumstances to wear the WBC welterweight title belt on his waist and the Jayhawk logo on the back of his shorts, stood on top of the world three years ago.
The story Ortiz told of his youth — he and five siblings abandoned at 7 by their mother, at 11 by their father — made him such an easy guy for whom to root. He fought his way to a good life, and all along remain fascinated with the Jayhawk logo.
But he has fallen so far since in losing his last three fights that he now must fight the quitter label.
It was a tough week for athletes wearing Jayhawks on their shorts and facing a foe wearing burnt-orange. But unlike Ortiz, KU’s basketball team got off the deck and competed for the second half of an 81-69 loss at Texas.
In a WBA International welterweight title bout at Barclays in New Jersey last Monday, Ortiz didn’t make it out of the second round against underdog Luis Collazo. Ortiz got knocked to his knees and never got up. He was counted out at the 2:59 mark of the second round.
Boxing critics wonder why he didn’t get up to continue fighting, especially in light of his bizarre move vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. In the fourth round of the 2011 bout, Ortiz backed Mayweather into a corner. Instead of continuing to hit him, he head-butted him and then hugged Mayweather.
After the ref stepped in to deduct a point from Ortiz and the fighters touched gloves to signal a return to action, Ortiz dropped his gloves, a gesture of apology. That’s when Mayweather knocked him out. Ortiz received a $2 million purse.
In Ortiz’s next fight, vs. Josesito Lopez, Ortiz was competing well until Lopez broke his jaw in the ninth round, putting an end to it.
That’s three losses in a row for Ortiz, from whom the last thing a good portion of the crowd saw was the Jayhawk on the back of his shorts as he rested on his knees.