Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0), one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of his generation, returns from a 16-month absence to fight for Victor Ortiz's (29-2-1) WBC welterweight title on September 17th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Ortiz, like Manny Pacquiao, is a right-hander who uses a southpaw stance, and has plenty of power. The 24-year-old has a reputation for taking risks, and having the risks pay off. The Kansas-born champion throws flurries of heavy punches and should he connect on one of then, he could find himself as the upset winner over the brash Mayweather.
As for Mayweather, he is perhaps the best defensive fighter of his generation, and among the best in the history of the sport. He is strong with both hands, and has a powerful left hook. He is an extremely smart boxer who is skilled at throwing off his opponents' rhythm.
Though Mayweather has predicted a victory and that the fight won't go the full 12 rounds, it's very easy to forsee Ortiz taking the bout the distance. Forget rust, Mayweather has the stamina to be effective the entire way based on his impressive training regiment, so it will be up to Ortiz to impress the judges round by round.
Mayweather should dominates the early rounds by weaving and ducking while landing some well-timed blows to Ortiz, who probably will mistakenly leave himself open to be hit on more than one occasion.
Ortiz will have to take chances if it's clear that Mayweather is winning the first four rounds. Taking risks is what Ortiz does, and with success, but this not a typical opponent. Should Ortiz swing wildly he may become fatigued and, more importantly, become susceptible to a punishing cross or hook from Mayweather.
The 34-year-old Michigan native will continue to attack should he have an obvious lead, or if the thinks he can exploit an Ortiz cut, or if Ortiz proves to be vulnerable to power punches.
Ortiz is very resilient, so it's hard to see him getting knocked out. This is by far the biggest fight of his career, and he has no reason to not give it his best shot.
Mayweather has speed and timing on his side, and in the welterweight division those are two tremendous assets that Ortiz won't be able to compensate for. The younger fighter can still try to take the fight as far as possible with the intention that he could score a late-round knockout.
Ortiz is an excellent boxer, but Mayweather has been a brilliant fighter for too long to lose to someone who is not at the pinnacle of their career.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORECARD: Mayweather wins 10 rounds of 12 rounds.