The upset losses were three weeks apart and under different circumstances, but they happened for, basically, the same reason and to two fighters who have a lot in common.
On June 23, Victor Ortiz had his jaw fractured by Josesito Lopez and was forced into quitting between rounds nine and ten. On July 14, Amir Khan was fighting hard until a wide left hook in the third from Danny Garcia dropped him and eventually led to his TKO loss in the following round.
In both fights, the favorite was winning the contest, enjoying the benefits of having a physical advantage, until the underdog came on and permanently turned the tide.
For Victor Ortiz, his physical strength and athleticism was impressive and, at times, he looked like a tank bearing down on the naturally smaller Lopez. But the brute strength and speed couldn't hide his defensive liabilities and Lopez was taking full advantage with the flush shots he was able to land between Ortiz's offensive surges.
In the case of Amir Khan, the talented British star came out fast and fierce, using full advantage of his elite-level hand speed to try and overpower the underdog, Garcia. He was doing well enough, but in the rush to send his opponent into the third row, he left his vulnerable chin unprotected and it cost him the fight.
The tie-in with Ortiz and Khan is the fact that both, despite having three world titles between them and several marquee bouts on their resumes, are incomplete fighters at heart. They have achieved a lot from pure athleticism, but will always be susceptible to upsets because of the fatal flaws in their game.
Both lose their focus in a firefight and have yet to master the art of defensive fighting. Combine the two flaws and what you have is an upset special whenever either one comes across a fighter tough enough to withstand an early barrage.
Apparently, Ortiz and Khan have one more thing in common as both seem on the verge of changing their trainers in the wake of a big loss. Ortiz may be parting ways with long-time trainer, Danny Garcia and Khan has been rumored to consider an axing of Freddie Roach.
But whether they fire their trainers or not, Khan and Ortiz are forever destined to be going through these ups and downs of all-too-regular upsets until they address their fundamental flaws.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Michael Marley, Vicious Victor Ortiz fires trainer Danny Garcia, Amir Khan questions Roach, Examiner.com
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