[Brooklyn, NY; Victor Ortiz (White/Red trunks) falls to the canvas after a right hook from Luis Collazo (Tan/Blue/Red trunks) during their bout at Barclays Center. Collazo won via 2nd round KO. Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports]
As comeback fights go, they don't get much more dangerous than Victor Ortiz vs. Luis Collazo. But who predicted that Collazo would knock out Ortiz in two rounds on Fox Sports 1 Thursday? The only solid prediction for an Ortiz fight is "something unpredictable will happen."
The 1st round of the welterweight fight was close, but an excessively bouncy (i.e. possibly very nervous) Ortiz appeared to land the harder punches in something of a defensive showing by both men. In the 2nd, Collazo got very dialed in on both offense and defense, and Ortiz got careless. At the very end of the round, Collazo landed an incredibly short, crisp right hand, and Ortiz spun around, stumbling to regain his balance as Collazo landed another right and left on the stanky-legged, backwards Ortiz. With one second to go in the round, the referee administered a 10 count.
And with that, the Ortiz comeback was stopped dead in its tracks. Ortiz's ditz routine has always been part of his charm or part of the reason fans hate him, but it's the mentality that led him to say in a pre-fight segment about his losses, "At the end of the day, I never lost." Which is exactly what he did against Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather and Josesito Lopez, at the end of the day. So the delusional aspect of Ortiz and this comeback bit him full with its sharp fangs. Some fans saw Ortiz on his knees and believed he made no effort to rise, and their suspicion is well-founded in him quitting twice in fights. I saw a fighter who was badly buzzed, confused, and when he went to try to stand up on one arm, had zero balance. Upon multiple viewings of the replay, I see a fighter who has had heart problems in the past, but Thursday the problem was his chin and Collazo's punch. And that chin problem is a big problem for him continuing as a fighter. Why should he, anyway? He's got his FaceLube product, his Hollywood stuff with "Expendables 3," and his "Dancing With The Stars" fame. One way or the other –chin or heart or both — despite his speed and power, he doesn't have the goods to make it as a boxer anymore on a serious level.
Collazo gets one of his best wins here in a career that has been marked by setbacks and almosts, and sets himself up for a bigger fight, presumably on Showtime. His promoter, Golden Boy, has a million welterweights in its stable. Calling out Floyd Mayweather like he did is far too ambitious, but Keith Thurman? Sure!
On the two supporting undercard bouts, Eddie Gomez won a meeting of two undefeated junior middleweight prospects, taking a unanimous decision over Daquan Arnett that was wider on the cards than it should've been but definitely the right call; Gomez scored a body shot knockdown in the 7th and was the harder hitter, even though Arnett would control things sometimes with his straighter punches and boxing ability. And opening the card, featherweight Gary Russell, Jr. scored his upteenth impressive stoppage of a woefully mismatched opponent, Miguel Tamayo, this time in the 4th round with a sharp right hand. Russell is the sport's biggest waste of talent and it's not even close.