Sometime in the wee hours straddling Saturday night and Sunday morning, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz will clash for the right to capture Ortiz's WBC welterweight title in Las Vegas.
Mayweather (41-0) is considered the heavy favorite against Ortiz (29-2-2), but Ravens strong safety Tom Zbikowski, an occasional professional boxer, said he thinks Ortiz has a shot at pulling off the upset.
"Any puncher has a chance," said Zbikowski, who is 4-0 as a cruiserweight. "That's why boxing has always been in the interest of the public. Especially for a strong puncher like him [Ortiz] who has that kind of punching power, he stands a chance. If he makes it a rough fight, he's got a chance. But once it gets past the sixth, seventh, eighth [round], Floyd's going to take over. Floyd's going to catch him on the chin. He's too fast. The thing is, if Ortiz catches Floyd like 'Sugar' Shane [Mosley] did [on May, 1, 2010], Floyd's going to go down. But he's not nearly as fast as Shane. It's all about who fights his fight. If he's able to sustain those pop shots and can keep coming forward, Ortiz will be all right."
One area that Ortiz might have an advantage in is his youth. Ortiz is 10 years younger than the 34-year-old Mayweather, but Zbikowski said Ortiz's energy may not be a factor in a long bout.
"It's not necessarily the endurance," Zbikowski. "It's the mental side of it that after round four or five, Floyd's pretty much going to have everything that the dude does figured out. Good fighters like that have somebody figured out and are changing as they go, which is why the longer it goes, the more it's going to go in Floyd's favor."