Ortiz: Proud to fight on Independence Day

Fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend is very important to me. Mexico, similar to my career, had to go through a lot in order to become the country the people have today.

It is a day of celebrating when the underdogs such as Hidalgo and courageous indigenous people of Mexico raised their arms to freedom from oppression by defeating overwhelming odds, and I feel as though I strongly relate to those struggles. I had to overcome difficulties beyond my race and I never would have been given any of these opportunities if not for our country’s independence and those who gave their lives for people like me who they would never even get to meet.

Secondly, Mexican Independence Day is when the great Mexican fighters of our time fought and I plan on carrying on the tradition. I am very proud of the fact that I get to go out there every day and train in order to represent the Mexican people and I can only hope they look up to me in a similar fashion.

When you’re growing up it’s always nice to have someone you can relate and look up to. I’m proud of my accomplishments and how I conduct my business and hope I can be a positive influence on not only the Mexican community but also young boxers and people all around the world.

I, and my people, know what its like to struggle. We know what it’s like to be regarded as inferior and that is something I carry with me every moment of my life. Fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend has always been a dream of mine. I will not walk away without my belt and I will fight the hardest fight of my life. I am regarded as the underdog but I will prevail, just as I have in the past. Being the underdog gives me nothing to lose and will make it that much sweeter when I finally make it to the top as the world’s best boxer. I am honored and privileged to be fighting in front all the boxing fans and Mexican boxing fans and am excited to make this already memorable weekend even more memorable.

Episode No. 3 of the all-access reality series “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” premieres Saturday, Sept. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Episodes Nos. 1 and 2 are available at HBO on Demand and HBO Go in addition to multiple replays on the network. The four-part series premieres on three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.

Mayweather-Ortiz headlines the “STAR POWER” event – during which three titles will be on the line in separate fights – on Saturday, Sept. 17. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

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Updated Thursday, Sep 8, 2011