|Boxers Floyd Mayweather (L) and WBC World Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz (R) stare at each other during a news conference in New York, June 28, 2011, to announce their September 17, 2011 World Welterweight Championship bout in Las Vegas. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)
We just might see a paradigm shift on the boxing landscape Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The bookies are listing unbeaten Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) as a 6-1 favourite to beat WBC welterweight champ Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) — but the more telling numbers are on their respective birth certificates.
A 10-year age difference is the main reason I can see Ortiz pulling what would be a monumental upset — but the 24-year-old southpaw has lots more going for him.
For starters, he's the only current world champion that's knocked down everyone of his professional opponents - including in his two losses.
His sledgehammer right hand, combined with swarming, relentless aggression, could add up to a long, long night for Mayweather.
If Ortiz can replicate the down-and-dirty style he showcased in his April slugfest with Andre Berto, he’ll win. Ortiz survived two knockdowns in that fight before twice flooring Berto to take the title.
That results also silenced whispers that Ortiz was a quitter - a theory that appeared to gain credence after his loss to Marcos Maidana in 2009.
Another factor: Mayweather hasn’t fought in 16 months and spent most of that down time dealing with legal and personal issues.
If Ortiz can keep his cool through the first four or five rounds without getting caught, he’ll keep his belt, too.
Time for Trupish?
What’s shaping up as a precedent-setting action by the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) could exponentially help put Edmonton’s Adam Trupish in the international spotlight.
In the aftermath of Britain’s Jamie Cox being awarded a dubious decision over defending champion Obodai Sai for the Commonwealth junior middleweight crown last Saturday in London, the CBC has been deluged with complaints that could trigger an investigation into how the title changed hands.
Trupish, the unbeaten (9-0) Canadian Boxing Federation middleweight champ, is currently ranked No. 15 in the world at junior middleweight and is at the top of the list of contenders for a Commonwealth title shot in 2012.
No matter how the CBC investigation shakes down, he should be first in line for a crack at the champion — especially considering he’s beaten much tougher competition than either Sai or Cox.
With three British judges doing the scoring, Cox (15-0) got the nod over Sai (15-1) despite being deducted two points for a repeatedly hitting the Ghanaian with low blows.
In an interview with BoxRec News, Simon Block, honorary secretary of the CBC, said the backlash was immediate.
“I cannot recall receiving the amount of e-mails that I have following this contest. Clearly, the decision was controversial and I have received an official protest from the Ghana Boxing Authority. Consulting with directors all over the Commonwealth renders any immediate announcement unlikely, but I can confirm that the protest I have received will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.”
The Commonwealth Council — on which Edmonton’s Ed Pearson serves as president — released this official statement on Sunday: “Following last night’s successful challenge for our light middleweight championship by Jamie Cox, we have received an unprecedented number of e-mails of complaint — the majority from British fans.
“Included is a formal protest from Mr. Samir Captan, chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority, who is critical of both the decision of the judges and the refereeing of Mr. Mark Green.
“The protest will be forwarded to our member federation, the British Boxing Board of Control, who as the host nation was responsible for the appointment of the officials. The Directors will consider what would be the most appropriate course of action in the interests of the contestants, our Commonwealth championships and the image of the sport of boxing.”
If the CBC is genuinely concerned about “the image of the sport of boxing,” at the very least it should order an immediate rematch between Cox and Sai, with the winner mandated to fight Trupish within six months.