The bout with Ortiz will be Mayweather's first fight in 16 months.
Mayweather to Face Victor Ortiz for WBC Welterweight Title on September 17th
After a 16-month hiatus, six-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) has officially announced that he will return to action on September 17th to meet WBC World Welterweight Champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs). Mayweather made the announcement on Tuesday via his Twitter page (@floydmayweather), and early indications look like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be the location of the encounter.
"I am ready to return to the ring and give my fans a fantastic night of boxing by fighting the best out there and for me, that is Victor Ortiz," Mayweather remarked. "He is the current champion and an extremely talented fighter who showed amazing skills and heart in his last performance against Andre Berto. At this stage of my career, these are the challenges I look for, a young, strong, rising star looking to make his mark in boxing by beating me. Like the rest of my opponents, he is going to try to prove that he can beat me. I commend him for accepting the fight, but on September 17, Ortiz is just going to be another casualty, the 42nd one who tried and failed. Trust me, I will be ready."
Ortiz is currently one of the hottest fighters in the sport, coming off a huge bout in April that saw him claim the WBC Welterweight Title by handing Berto (27-1, 20 KOs) the first loss of his professional career. The win was also his sixth consecutive victory in a row.
"I respect Mayweather because he has been a champion for many years, and I know he will be ready, but so will I," Ortiz commented. "I'm a strong fighter, and I have worked really hard to silence my critics. I'm a world champion for a reason, and I am not going to let go of my title any time soon. This is going to be a great fight, but I will remain a world champion for many years to come."
This pairing will be the first appearance by the 34-year-old Mayweather in the ring since May 1, 2010, when he handily defeated Shane Mosley via unanimous decision. Before that bout, he cruised to a unanimous decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in September of 2009, but those two fights are the lone pair of encounters he has faced since 2007.
"When Floyd fights, everyone stops to watch, and this is an exciting time for boxing as it always is when Floyd steps into the ring," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "There is no better showman than Floyd, and he backs up his legacy with amazing, one-of-a-kind skills. Victor Ortiz has shown us that he is a great fighter, too, and for the two of them to meet makes for a gigantic night for fans all over the world. It's always a thrill to see Floyd fight, and it's even better when he faces the best out there, such as a true champion like Ortiz. This is going to be a fight to remember. Sports fans have a lot to look forward to on September 17."
On the flip side of this promotion is Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who also sees this bout as being a sensational affair.
"There is no doubt that September 17 will again be this year's biggest night of boxing worldwide," he remarked. "When Floyd Mayweather fights, it is an event which brings fight fans, sports fans and the general public together to see this truly gifted athlete perform. Every year, Floyd sets the bar and standard for most pay-per-view buys, and this year will be no different. In Victor Ortiz, he is facing a young, strong and highly motivated world champion who knows that a win over the pound-for-pound champion will catapult him into superstardom. The stage is set, and I can't wait for the showdown of the year."
To promote the fight, a nationwide press tour is being planned for the week of June 20th.