Raised in poverty, Ortiz took to boxing as a means to please his alcoholic dad and protect himself against school bullies. Taken under the wing of several retired expert combatants, Ortiz turned professional himself in the age of 17. He got the welterweight title in 2011, but lost it after that year in a fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Along with his two sibs, Ortiz weathered a tough youth. He was only 7 when his mom out of the blue picked up and deserted her kids, leaving them in the control of the alcoholic dad.
They were wrenching years, to make certain, ones that found Ortiz grow up in a trailer without electricity and work cornfields to make enough cash to consume, before foster care eventually entered his life. But as Ortiz after reflected, the adversities helped shape him for later success. “[They] made me more starving,” he said.
School offered little help. Timid and big-boned, Ortiz entered the boxing gymnasium so he could quit getting beaten up. When Ortiz was 8, his father beat him following the son lost an amateur fight.
Ortiz’s abilities were finally understood by the health club’s supervisor, Ignacio “Bucky” Avila, who took the young combatant under his wing and taught him the basics of the sport.
“He was the father I never had,” Ortiz has said. “He constantly told me to dream large and that the sky’s the limit. I believed that.”
A mixture of ability and powerful mentorship helped guide Ortiz to achievement. In his early teens, while training in a Salvation Army boxing facility in Denver, Ortiz got the attention of former heavyweight boxing competition Ron Lyle. Under Lyle’s guidance, the 16-year old combatant won a Junior Olympic title using a perfect 5-0 record in the 132-pound division.
Less than a year after Ortiz was in Oxnard, California, working closely with another former fighter, Robert Garcia, who had requested Ortiz to come train at his well-known health club. Garcia finally became the young fighter’s legal guardian.
Ortiz started his professional career having a sequence of easy successes and by 2008 was named by ESPN as the boxing possibility of the year.
Ortiz’s possession of the belt, however, was shortlived. Five months after getting the title, Ortiz lost it to Floyd Mayweather, who stopped a 16-month hiatus to take on the newest champ.
The next year, Ortiz lost again, only the fourth defeat in his career, to Josesito Lopez.
Known for his good looks and engaging grin, Ortiz has been shown to be a natural before the camera. The combatant continued several weeks before he along with his partner, Lindsay Arnold, were knocked off the show.