“Vicious” Victor Ortiz’s stirring April victory over Andre Berto not only earned him the WBC Welterweight World Championship, but it also showed the power of perseverance against all odds, and not just in the ring, but in life as well. As a result, Ortiz was honored yesterday with a proclamation signed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as well as with the declaration of May 10 being named “Victor Ortiz Day” in his home state. Ortiz also visited the Kansas House of Representatives and was honored with a standing ovation during the final legislative meeting of the term.
“I wanted to take this chance to honor a Kansas champion,” said Governor Brownback. “Victor’s story is not only a lesson in the value of positivity – it’s also a lesson in determination, patience and hard work. He exemplifies the spirit of not getting bitter over the circumstances of your life, but rather to channel your energy into making yourself better.”
“I’m honored that Kansas has love for me, because eight years ago, I was Victor who? Now I’m hanging with the Governor,” smiled the 24-year-old world champion, a native of Liberal, Kansas who grew up in Garden City. “I’m excited by all the attention this world title has brought to me in the last two weeks. It was an honor and a privilege for the government and the people of Kansas to acknowledge my hard work. Now, my gift to them will be to continue to work hard and always perform like I did on April 16.”
Added Ortiz’ longtime manager Rolando Arellano, “Victor’s win was one of the sweetest moments in my 15-year career. Getting to celebrate this momentous occasion with him in Kansas is a very humbling experience for me.”
Abandoned by his parents as a child, Ortiz and his siblings were forced to deal with unbelievable hardship, but through boxing, Victor found his light at the end of the tunnel. Through the ups and downs every fighter goes through in the ring, he persevered and eventually earned his first world title in a bout many are calling the first great fight of 2011.
“It is my hope that no child in Kansas ever has to face the circumstances that Victor had to,” said Governor Brownback said. “But now, everyone that knows Victor says that he can’t keep a smile off of his face. That positivity has served him well in his boxing career, and it’s that positivity that I would like to celebrate and honor today. Victor didn’t get bitter-he got better.”
“Victor’s story is such an inspiring one and to see him rise the way he has makes me feel fortunate that I know him and that we have him on our team,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “The best part of this is that this story isn’t finished yet, as he has a bright future ahead of him.”