Ortiz: No intention of losing the belt

Victor Ortiz checks in ahead of his Sept. 17 fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.. In this blog entry, Ortiz discusses how he felt when he won his first championship.

It was amazing. It was what I was waiting for and working for my entire life. When you’re a young fighter you always think about that first championship, when you can finally make a name for yourself and tell all of the other amateur fighters, “Hey, I’m a champion now.”

You know, you go through so much in boxing from youth leagues to the intense training and it all is for this one goal of getting a belt. The adrenaline running through my body was like nothing I have ever felt before. When it was over I just felt so relieved and almost in shock that it all just happened. You know as a boxer you train for months for one fight that can be as short as one round if you don’t play it right. Winning your first belt is just truly something you will never forget because at that point your mindset changes.

At first I was chasing after the belt. I was doing anything I could to achieve something that many boxers before me have. Now it’s about defending my belt; knowing that my opponents want it as bad as I wanted it but still training as hard as possible in order to never give it up again.

I was going up against Andre Berto, who was the heavy favorite at the time. It went 12 rounds and I think I got him down twice, maybe three times. It was tough but I knew I had to win that fight in order to get on the map. Nobody thought I had a chance against him. He was undefeated and I was kind of coming out of nowhere.

Victor Ortiz.
(HBO Sports)

Through my training and in the weeks coming up though I knew I could beat him if I just went out there and played my game. The worst thing a boxer can do is allow for his opponent to dictate the tone of the fight. I set the tone that I was going to attack him and that I wasn’t going to go down easy just because he was supposed to win.

After I lost to Marcos Rene Maidana and everyone was questioning my heart I was [angry]. I fought with a broken wrist against a good fighter and when I challenged him to a rematch and he refused, I was still the one with no courage? I was the one with no [guts]?

Well now I’m the one with the belt and I’m not giving it up to anybody.

HBO’s Emmy Award-winning all-access series “24/7” premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts Saturday, Aug. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The four-part series will air for 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 Friday, Aug 19, 2011