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All in the Ortiz Family

Victor Looks to Impress Siblings With Debut Tonight at Country Club

June 26, 1997|VINCE KOWALICK

His family dubbed him "Li'l Haus" when he was young.

Victor Ortiz, the youngest of four boxing brothers, has emerged as the largest member of Simi Valley's self-titled First Family of Boxing.

But will he make as big an impact as his brothers?

Ortiz, 28, makes his professional debut as a light-heavyweight against Fredrick Parks in a four-round bout tonight at the Reseda Country Club. Ortiz will fight for the first time since 1991 and will enter the ring about 60 pounds lighter than the 247 pounds he carried into brother and trainer Robert Ortiz's gym last February.

Still, Ortiz hopes fans will find him familiar.

"People know the name from my brothers," Ortiz said. "They'll be cheering for the name. But after [tonight], they'll be cheering for my name."

Robert Ortiz, who opened Kid Gloves Boxing Fitness Studio in Simi Valley earlier this year, and Danny Ortiz fought regularly and were crowd favorites at the Country Club during the 1980s.

Robert, known as "Two Sweet," was 7-4-1 as a bantamweight before retiring seven years ago. Danny, who answered to "Big Shorty," enjoyed considerably more popularity and success, going 22-4 as a lightweight.

"People have said to me, 'I didn't know you had a little brother, Victor,' " Robert said. "His decision was just a little bit later in life. He wasn't very sure. He didn't really have the desire at the time we were fighting."

Victor, 42-3 as an amateur, rekindled his passion for fighting when his brother opened his gym and agreed to be his trainer.

" My brothers, their careers. . . it's somewhat of a motivation," Victor said. "But this is about me. I'm doing this to show what I'm capable of doing."

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