The story of Victor Ortiz's tragic upbringing is something that has been questioned in certain boxing circles for years. Victor is a charismatic young man who speaks of rising from unbelievably hard to imagine circumstances to near the top of the boxing world with a smile and boyish charm. To expect a journalist to sit in front of him and question that story has probably been too much to ask. And, honestly, it's a bit unfair to question if Ortiz really was abandoned by his parents and left to raise his younger brother before finding his way through boxing.
But the floodgates were opened earlier this week when Floyd said that he knew the "real story" and that Ortiz's father was around until he was taken to California by former trainer Robert Garcia to be mentored in the sport. I discussed Floyd's statements in an article earlier this week and mainly explained that Mayweather's "sources" were Garcia (left by Ortiz for Robert's brother Danny) and former Garcia training camp partner, Brandon Rios.
Now, Rios has gone public with more stories aimed at tarnishing the reputation of Victor. In an article by Corey Erdman at The Score, Rios first claims that Ortiz sent an armed goon to his home:
Last year, Robert Garcia told Ernest Gabion of BoxingScene.com that he received phone calls from someone threatening to hurt him and his family. Garcia heard the man on the phone ask "where does he live, Victor?" and surmised that Ortiz was sending a hitman over a purse he alleges his former trainer stole.
Rios says the threats were far more real with him.
"He had a guy come to my house. He went to my house-at the time it was my girlfriend, now she's my wife. The guy pulled up behind me, I forget which fight we were watching, but he pulled up behind me. And then when he pulled around, the guy that (Ortiz) supposedly got, and we know it was him because the guy even told us. He pulled behind me and he got out with a gun and he pointed it at me, but I took off running," said Rios.
Rios then talked about the Ortiz backstory:
"Victor was embarrassed, he was ashamed of his Dad, he was ashamed of how he was living," said Rios.
"His Dad is still there, his Dad loves him," claims Rios. "Look at it from the first interview where he tells the story, it always changes. It changes all the time. This guy's lived the life of three people already, three lifetimes. What the fuck? The way he's talking about the way he lived at eight years old. That's insane. That's fucking insanity right there."
Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook nails it with it being hard to really know who is telling the truth:
Now of course this is just Brandon Rios' side of things, too. It's basically he-said, she-said, but with no she, and two hes, so he-said, he-said. Their personal rivalry is legitimate. It's very real. These guys are not going to be friendly again any time soon.
Rios and Garcia have spoken about this in the past, which I assumed earlier this week is where Floyd got his theories, his desire to bring it up. Mostly mind games, but perhaps an even more effective mind game if Ortiz believes Mayweather to legitimately be in touch with Rios and Garcia.
In the end, everyone involved is probably lying about certain aspects and telling the truth about others.
Victor seems like a genuine guy, but you can't deny the changes in his stories over the years. But Rios also has a big ax to grind with Ortiz and right now, during Victor's biggest moment, is a hell of a time to maybe exaggerate and get in Ortiz's head.
In the end, we just don't know what the true story is. But the talk of Victor's story being fake doesn't seem like it's going to go away.