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Crumble or conquer? Ortiz’s reaction to increased pressure is big fight’s big question

Steve Cofield
Boxing

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Ortizsmiling

Victor Ortiz is a tough guy to read. Trash talk and bravado just aren't part of his nature, but that doesn't mean he lacks confidence. He just doesn't exude it like many of the traditional boisterous fighters of the past.

Yesterday during the prefight conference, the attempts at putting on a confident front were laughable. His manager Rolando Arellano trotted out some botched line from the movie "300" and trainer Robert Garcia said Mayweather was scared. Come on now fellas.

Getting back to reality, everyone wants to see how Ortiz will deal with main event status against the biggest name in boxing. Frankly, it's anyone's guess.

"It's a completely different stage," said Oscar De La Hoya, who lost a split decision to Mayweather in 2007. He's also Ortiz's promoter. "Either you crumble under the lights or you shine like there is no tomorrow. It's 50-50, and with Victor, especially with what he's gone through in life, what he has experienced, he will use it all as fuel to go out there and do great."

That's a brutal dose of honesty. Ortiz shrugged off the massive crowd expected at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and worldwide viewing audience.{ysp:more}

"Maybe there will be more people," Ortiz said. "So what? Why does that make it any different?"

But Arellano is ultra-confident after seeing Ortiz overcome just about every challenge thrown his way during his 24 years.

"You have a young man (in Ortiz) who is committed, a young man who is dedicated, a young man who smiles in the face of adversity," Arellano said. "The coaches put him through a lot about the Gates of Hell, and he goes right through them, and when he comes out the other side, he smiles, he laughs, and he is looking forward to entering the ring and taking supremacy of the 147-pound division."

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