Victor Ortiz (of California)
Name: Victor Ortiz
Born: 1987-01-31 (Age:28)
Birthplace: Garden City, Kansas, USA
Hometown: Oxnard, California, USA
Height: 5′ 9″ / 175cm
Reach: 70″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions
- 2008 ESPN.com Prospect of the Year
Early Life and Amateur Career
Ortiz was born and raised in Garden City, Kansas, the second of three children of Mexican immigrant parents. When he was seven years old, Ortiz's mother abandoned his family for a relationship with another man. Shortly thereafter, Ortiz began boxing at the Garden City Boxing Club at the insistence of his father, an alcoholic who often beat his children following his wife's departure.
When Ortiz was 13 years old, his father also abandoned the family, and Ortiz and his two siblings were turned over to the Kansas foster care system. However, he continued to box and won a Kansas Golden Gloves championship. After a brief foray into drug dealing as a teenager, Ortiz found his true calling.
After Ortiz's older sister became a legal adult and moved to Denver, Colorado, Ortiz and his younger brother moved in with her. While training at a Salvation Army boxing center, he was noticed by former heavyweight boxing contender Ron Lyle, who had become a supervisor at the center. In 2003, Lyle guided Ortiz to a Junior Olympics tournament, where, at the age of sixteen, he won the 132-pound weight division with a perfect 5-0 record. This time, he was noticed by another former boxer, Roberto Garcia, who had held the IBF super featherweight title during the 1990s and whose father was the trainer of Fernando Vargas.
Though Garcia was based in Oxnard, California, he offered to train Ortiz, who accepted and moved from Colorado to California, where he began training at Oxnard's famous La Colonia Gym. Garcia later became Ortiz's legal guardian, and Ortiz graduated from Pacifica High School. At age seventeen, Ortiz reached the United States Olympic boxing trials in the 132-pound weight class, where he was eliminated in the final stages. (The weight class was instead won by Vicente Escobedo.)
Ortiz turned professional later in 2004 while still only seventeen years of age. When he reached the age of eighteen in 2005 and became a legal adult, he gained custody of his younger brother.
He was trained by 5 trainers who all worked together to get him ahead in his boxing career. His original trainers included Ignacio "Buck" Avilia, Antonio Orozco Sr., Juan M. Aldana Jr., and Alfred Ritz. He won the Ringside National Title in 2001,and 2002 and the National Jr. Olympics in 2002. Additionally, Oritz won the PAL.