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Victor Ortiz: If Brandon Rios Wants To End His Career Early


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Victor Ortiz: If Brandon Rios Wants To End His Career Early


By Mark Vester


During a recent interview with BoxingScene.com's Rick Reeno, junior welterweight contender Victor Ortiz discussed his ongoing feud with lightweight contender Brandon Rios and the rest of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, which is located in Oxnard, California. During a few recent BoxingScene interviews, Rios has blasted Ortiz on a personal level. The feud has several subplots, including the fact that Rios is handled by Ortiz's former promoter, Top Rank, and managed by Ortiz's ex-manager, Cameron Duncan. Rios is trained by Robert Garcia, who used to work with Ortiz.


In late 2008, Ortiz broke away from Top Rank and signed a contract with Golden Boy Promotions. He also left manager Cameron Duncan and signed with Rolando Arellano and Shelly Finkel, who purchased his contract. Ortiz filed for bankruptcy to break his contract with Top Rank, who later filed a successful appeal to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Top Rank and Golden Boy would eventually reach a settlement on Ortiz's contract.


"It's one of those things since we were kids, where he could never quite amount to what I've done. I had seven national titles. He didn't do a whole lot. What can you say? He's a kid. Maybe some kids do grow up and some kids never do. I can never hold that against him. I just hope that he grows up one day. Since we were little kids, we trained at the same gym in Kansas. He was trained by his father and I was trained by Bucky, his name is Ignacio Avila. He was like a dad to me, converted me southpaw and trained me. There has always been that little thing on his end, and never on mine," Ortiz told BoxingScene.com.


"I've always been happy for him with whatever he decided to do or did. I don't know why nowadays with all of that animosity but if he wants to end his career, just let me know. He's looking for a payday. It is what it is. I'm not even focused on that. I have bigger things to focus on. And if he really wants to prove himself, let him climb in the ring at 140 and I'll see you there."


The feud doesn't end there. There is clear animosity between Ortiz and the rest of the Rios' team, and that includes trainer Robert Garcia and others from their gym in Oxnard.


"They actually can't stand even looking at me. They can't even stand my name. Saying Victor Ortiz around them is like saying Voldemort on Harry Potter. It's like the name that he shall not say. It is what it is. I looked at it in a grown-up sense. I went my way and [said] I wish you the best of luck, but it was too hard for him [Robert Garcia] to swallow that," Ortiz said.


"At the end of the day, I'm taking care of myself and I'm not taking care of anybody else but me. I don't come home and get a phone call every day with someone saying 'are you okay, do you need anything.' It's not like that. I've grown up very rough and in doing so I've picked my people that I like to be around, and those were not people that I wanted to be around."


Even former champion Fernando Vargas is involved in the neighborhood feud. Vargas, who was idolized by Ortiz as a kid, is supporting Rios. In the past, Vargas has taken some shots of his own against Ortiz.


"How can you be a grown-up if you can't even give [respect to] a person who actually looked up to you since he was a little kid? That's all I had was a poster [of him]. Maxboxing gave me an interview asking for my opinion on De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas. I just gave my opinion. I said how it was. I don't think anybody would have said different," Ortiz said.


"I said that I loved Fernando's animosity and his rage in the ring, but I felt that he needed to slow things down a little bit with Oscar De La Hoya, who is a great person in and outside of the ring. That's all I said. I didn't say anything bad on anyone. I guess that was enough to end the friendship there."




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