Victor Ortiz: Marcos Maidana owes me a thank you, I gave him his name

23 Jun

Robert Delgado – Los Angeles

Heavy-handed Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana, the current incumbent of the ‘Regular’ WBA junior welterweight title, is in debt to 147lb southpaw Victor Ortiz as, according to the fighter himself, it is he who gave Maidana his name due to their 2009 thriller where both fighters exchanged multiple knockdowns. Ortiz believes he is owed either a thank you, or a rematch…

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Ortiz refuses to take replacement opponent Lopez lightly. Credit: Craig Bennett/Showtime

Exciting Oxnard power-puncher Ortiz, 25, was stopped by Maidana three years ago and, even though he has gone on to capture a world title at welterweight and secure a lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr (albeit one he was unsuccessful in), Maidana too saw his status rise since ’09 and has shared a ring with Amir Khan, Erik Morales and Devon Alexander.

“[Maidana] owes me a thank you or a rematch because I gave him his name,” spat Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), who is in action himself on Saturday, June 23 as he takes on Josesito Lopez in a 12-round duel for the lightly-regarded silver title sanctioned by the WBC.

“Right now the main focus is on Lopez because he’s no walk in the park,” he continued. “I don’t disrespect anyone. There’s a dangerous fighter in front of me who is on the same path as I was a year ago before I fought [Andre] Berto, but the difference here is I’m too hungry to let my chance go.”

Ortiz has not fought since his defeat to Mayweather nine months ago. A rematch with Berto, slated for earlier in the year, was postponed as the Floridian suffered an injury to his bicep and so the bout was pushed back to June 23, however, Berto then failed a drug test. Ortiz’s opponent was duly changed but the date was salvaged as Lopez (29-4-0, 17ko) was brought in and, even though he has not locked leather in a professional environment since September last year, Ortiz is eager to return to the ring with a bang.

“If [Lopez] wants to go to war, we’ll go to war. If he wants to box, then we’ll box. It doesn’t really matter.  I’m there to take what is rightfully mine.”

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