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What was it like and how did you feel when you won your first championship?
"Vicious" Victor Ortiz –
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 adrenalin running through my body was like one I have never 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 opponent’s 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. 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 down easy just because he was supposed to win.
After I lost to Maidana and everyone was questioning my heart I was pissed. 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 balls? Well now I’m the one with the belt and I’m not giving it up to anybody.
“STAR POWER” is a mega-event taking place on Saturday, Sept. 17 from two world-class cities with three world titles at stake. Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz will face off in a 12-round fight for Ortiz’s WBC Welterweight World Title from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Canelo Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez will do battle in a 12-round fight for Alvarez’s WBC Super Welterweight World Title from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Also live in Las Vegas, will be Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse in a 12 round fight for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight World Title and an opening fight featuring undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas against top contender Josesito Lopez. “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz” will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Photo Credit: HBO/Will Hart