CORDOVA: well-prepared for clash of hot prospects
Dodge Arena, PHOENIX, Jan. 19
Graham's Odds: 
Ortiz -185; Cordova +155
Over 7.5 -190; under 7.5 +160

When two hot prospects meet it is always something to look forward to, and that is what we have in the ShoBox eight rounds curtain-raiser on Friday when Victor Ortiz, of Oxnard, CA, meets Marvin Cordova Jr. from Colorado in a clash of unbeaten light-welters.

Ortiz, a southpaw with a record of 16 wins and one controversial loss by DQ, is the higher-profile fighter, someone who has been seen regularly on TV. Cordova (12 wins in a row, eight opponents stopped) has not had the same sort of exposure but he was glimpsed on Wednesday Night Fights last July when blowing right through Canadian trial horse Darelle Sukerow in the first round.

I understand that Ortiz and Cordova know each other from the amateur circuit and were on friendly terms, but this will change on Friday. A loss by either of the prospects (Ortiz is 19, Cordova 21) would by no means be a career disaster but everything I know about them tells me that these are young men with great pride who are absolutely committed to winning.

Each was a national junior Olympic champion. Ortiz also won the national PAL title; Cordova reportedly had 186 wins as an amateur with one of his 12 losses coming against hard-punching state rival Mike Alvarado in a Colorado tournament.

Ortiz’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, told me: “It’s a tough fight but I have faith in Victor. He’s getting better all the time and I’ve always said he’s going to be a champion."

But what of the lesser-known Cordova? His promoter, Zef Ramirez, said over the phone from Phoenix: “Marvin’s sparred with fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Steve Forbes and definitely given them a lot of trouble. He’s been preparing for this fight at the Olympic training centre in Colorado Springs and sparring with three southpaw Olympic alternates and they’ve been giving him very good work. They’ve been sparring four-minute rounds with 20-second breaks and doing 10 to 12 rounds a day, with the guys alternating, a couple of rounds with one guy, a couple of rounds with the next guy. Marvin will be in very good shape. We’re taking this very seriously.

“I really think Marvin is going to put Colorado back on the map as far as boxing. Victor Ortiz is a very strong southpaw with a decorated amateur career like Marvin and I think they’re evenly matched, but as far as speed and footwork I have to give a little edge to Marvin, and that’s how I feel we’re going to pull it off. They’re both strong fighters, educated fighters, it’s as close as it can get.

“This one’s a very big step for us. Usually you want to nourish a fighter’s record and wait for the big chance but if we didn’t feel Marvin would beat Victor we wouldn’t have taken the fight. Marvin is the complete package, and I’m very confident he’s going to show it on ShoBox."?

Looking at the records of the two fighters, Ortiz seems to have faced the stiffer opposition. He has stopped two previously unbeaten fighters and he easily outpointed the ageing but still durable Alfred Kotey.

Cordova has one win over a previously undefeated boxer— a shutout decision. I do not believe he has lost a round as a professional — Ortiz has not lost too many, come to that.

Everything points to a skilled, spirited fight. Ortiz has always impressed me. He does seem to be something special — but Cordova could be, too.

I will go for Ortiz to win by decision. I think he might be a little better all-around, perhaps with a slight edge in punching power, and he has been matched against a better standard of opponent. The Cordova camp is very confident, though, and this is the first of Ortiz’s fights where I feel there is a real chance that he could lose.

Last Updated: 
January 14, 2007 - 11:21am