Mexican-American boxer Victor “Vicious” Ortiz was born on January 31, 1987 in Garden City, Kansas to immigrant parents. He began boxing at an early age, shortly after his mother abandoned the family to be with another man. His father left them five years after his mom left, which left Ortiz and the rest of his siblings in the hands of the foster care system. This also led to his involvement with drugs. However, seeing his face in the paper after winning the Kansas Golden Gloves championship moved Ortiz to leave drug dealing and make something of himself. He and his siblings later decided to move in with their sister to Colorado when she became a legal adult.
Ortiz’s first major victory as an amateur was at the Junior Olympics tournament. At the age of 16, Ortiz won the 132-pound division with a 5-0 record. He was later discovered by Robert Garcia, who offered to train him in California, where the latter was based. Ortiz moved from Denver to California to start training at the Oxnard La Colonia Youth Boxing Club. He also attended high school under the guardianship of Garcia.Ortiz later turned pro in 2004 when he was still 17, a few years after he won the Ringside National in 2001 and the National Jr. Olympics in 2002. By 2005, Ortiz was a legal adult and he gained custody of his younger brother while still residing in Oxnard.
Ortiz easily won his first several fights after turning pro. This was punctuated by a controversial disqualification in his fight against Corey Alarcon, when the referee ruled his last punch, which knocked Alarcon out as an illegal punch. This was followed by more wins, among them his victory against Emmanuel Clottey in 2007, whom he defeated by a technical knock-out. Three months later, he won again, this time against Colombian fighter Carlos Maussa. In 2008, he fought his first 12-round bout against Roberto Arrieta, knocking the opponent in the fifth round by a TKO. A year later, he fought Mike Arnoutis in his first HBO World Championship match before facing off with Marcos Maidana for the WBA World light welterweight title, a fight that was stopped after Ortiz suffered injuries in his eyes. He bounced back from this disappointment by defeating Antonio Diaz later on December 2009 for the IBA Light Welterweight Championship.
Although Ortiz had enjoyed an early 2011 victory against Andre Berto, which resulted in his gaining the WBC welterweight title, Ortiz went on a rather controversial fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. later in the year. The fight was held in September of the said year, where Ortiz was defeated after he was punched to the canvas by Mayweather after he put his gloves down while apologizing for an intentional head butt.