Both former welterweight world champions are adamant they defeated each other in Saturday's showdown—but both are willing for a rematch, or to go down a different path in the stacked 147-pound division.
Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander are former 147-pound champions at similar points of career urgency. They entered the ring with a measure of desperation on Saturday night at the Don Haskins’ Center in El Paso, Texas.
Ortiz was looking to overcome his reputation of coming up just short in major fights, losing to Marcos Maidana, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and a rematch against Andre Berto, whom he had defeated earlier in his career for the welterweight world title.
Alexander had overcome a 25-month ring absence recovering from an addiction to painkillers with a victory over Walter Castillo. Both needed a victory to move into the circle to challenge 147-pound champions Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr.
After battling to a majority draw (114-114 twice, 115-113 for Ortiz) in the main event of Saturday’s FOX-televised card—in a fight that featuring no knockdowns, but plenty of action—it remains to be seen if either accomplished their goals.
“In my eyes, I thought I pulled it out. I thought I won in rounds, 9-3 or 8-4. It’s my first draw and it don’t feel good,” Alexander said. “A rematch would solidify who won, but I feel I can move on from this without that if I have to. I feel like I’m still in the prime of my career. I’ll fight anybody.”
Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs) landed the cleaner combinations throughout the early rounds, highlighted by right hooks, crosses and uppercuts that caused swelling around Ortiz’s left eye.
To his credit, Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) remained aggressive and determined down the stretch, showing no signs of quitting.
“Third round on, I started feeling that my pressure coming forward was making him back up and that I was neutralizing his speed,” Ortiz said. “I was making it tougher for him and landing a lot more punches. I thought I won the last half of the fight. At the end of the day, I strongly feel and believe that I won the fight.”
At worst, the duo remains name opponents for top contenders, if not, potential challengers for Thurman or Spence, who have yet to select opponents for their scheduled returns on May 19, and, June 16, respectively.
“ I’d love a rematch with Devon Alexander. At the same time, I would love to fight Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman. Errol Spence, I’d love that one with another southpaw. Shawn Porter? Absolutely. Andre Berto? Definitely. We need a trilogy. ” Former welterweight world champion Victor Ortiz
There is also former two-division champion Danny Garcia, winner of a ninth-round stoppage of ex-champion Brandon Rios on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“I would love to fight Danny Garcia. I see a lot of flaws in him that can be exposed,” Alexander said.
“I would love to fight Keith Thurman. He’s wide open when he punches, so he’ll get exposed, too. Errol Spence, absolutely, I’ll come up with a tremendous game plan for him. I'm sure they all believe they see flaws in me, also, so why not fight me?”
Where Alexander had lost three of four fights prior to Castillo, Ortiz had fallen in four of five bouts before stopping Saul Corral in the fourth round of his previous fight in July.
“I’d love a rematch with Devon Alexander. He’s a helluva fighter, I’m a helluva fighter, we put on a helluva war,” Ortiz said.
“At the same time, I would love to fight Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman. Errol Spence, I’d love that one with another southpaw. Shawn Porter? Absolutely. Andre Berto? Definitely. We need a trilogy.”
Ortiz, whose son, Royal, turned a year old last month, still has plenty to fight for.
“I’ve already been a champion, but at this point in time, I have a son, and I want him to know me as a champion and to be able to say that his Daddy is a world champion and not that he was a world champion,” said Ortiz.
“Everybody else is running, but I don’t run and I don’t hide from anybody. I’m having a good time with this sport. I’m 31 and I’m not done. I’m working hard to achieve that goal of becoming a world champion once again. There is a lot of fight left in me.”
For a complete recap of Ortiz vs Alexander, visit our fight page.