Five keys for Victor Ortiz
Plotting a path to victory in Thursday's welterweight bout against Luis Collazo
After suffering a broken jaw in his last fight -- a TKO loss to Josesito Lopez in June 2012 -- former welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz has been busy outside the ring.
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Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) returns to action Thursday following a 19-month layoff when, during his recovery, he was a cast member of the film "The Expendables 3" and participated in the TV show "Dancing With The Stars."
Now under the leadership of trainer Danny Smith, Ortiz will face a fellow former welterweight titleholder in Luis Collazo (34-5, 17 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. (9 p.m. ET).
Here are five keys to victory for Ortiz against Collazo:
Fast and furious
|Ortiz is coming off a serious injury and a long layoff. If he doesn't start fast, Collazo could gain confidence and take over the offense. Ortiz should set the pace immediately with speed and power shots, looking to demolish his opponent's confidence.|
Punch and move
|Collazo is a disciplined fighter with good defense and is very patient during fights. If Ortiz's straight-ahead attack isn't enough to get Collazo out of sync, hitting with hooks from multiple angles will definitely disrupt his opponent's plans of countering.|
All about the setup
|Collazo has one major flaw in his defensive strategy: He tends to lower his right hand too much. Against an opponent who can release fast combinations like Ortiz, a left hand could do some serious damage, and Ortiz knows it. Ortiz must set up the left hook with the jab and double up his combinations.|
Win or bust
|Ortiz should forget about the rust. He's only 26, but his recent past condemns him. If he doesn't win Thursday, things will get difficult for him. Many even believe that if he doesn't win, he should go back to the film industry or to dancing on TV. The stakes are too high, and he needs to meet that expectation with responsibility and serious concentration.|
You are not alone
|Ortiz returns after a 19-month absence with a new coach in Smith, who has also manned the corner for Fernando Vargas. Smith's role will be crucial. When a young pupil such as Ortiz returns after a long layoff, they could lose focus and pace. If this is the case, the corner should have the necessary means to solve such problems immediately.|
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