Boxer Victor Ortiz is going to see if his prowess in the ring can translate onto the dance floor. As the latest in a parade of athletes to compete on “Dancing with the Stars,” Victor has high hopes that his partnership with one of the ABC show’s new pros, Lindsay Arnold, proves he made the right decision to temporarily set aside his boxing gloves for a pair of dance shoes.
While boxers Evander Holyfield and Sugar Ray Leonard have also competed on the show, Victor has an explosive history with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who finished 9th on “DWTS” on Season 5. The two clashed in a controversial 2011 fight in which Floyd won by decking Victor in what many called a sucker punch.
Will Victor bring more flair to the dance floor than Floyd? Here, the charming boxer, 26, spars with xfinityTV about his new competition and how he wants to lose 15 pounds dancing.
Why did you sign on for “DWTS”?
I decided to do the show because it’s a different way of competing. I have a great partner in front of me, Lindsay, and with her help, I’m sure we’re going to be just fine.
Have you danced before?
My previous experience with dance was about three seconds before I met Lindsay. Well, I do dance a little bit but it’s not her style of dancing. Lindsay’s style of dancing is professional. Mine is just like [freestyle], “Hey, what’s up? We’re going to have a good time!”
Most stars who do the show lose weight but you don’t look like you need to!
I’m definitely looking forward to the body changes because I do that in my field anyway—I trim down, I get lean. Right now I’m a little pudgy [laughs] so I’m going to come down and feel good about myself while we’re rocking the stage.
How much would you like to lose?
15 pounds, just so I can lean up and look nice and proper and fit the suit.
How’s your chemistry with Lindsay?
Lindsay and I are having a great time. I mean, her personality speaks volumes; it’s awesome. I wouldn’t have changed it because from the moment we met, ‘til now, we talk so much, we communicate, and communication is very important, especially because I’m not a dancer and she’s trying to get through to me.
Of course you know Floyd Mayweather did “DWTS” before—
Yes, yes. I heard about Floyd doing the show. I heard he was not that great. That’s what I heard! I have no idea.
Are you a little biased?
[Smiles] I’m not biased! I say how I heard it.
But you didn’t get any tips from him!
I did not. But a good friend of mine gave me some tips—Mario Lopez [who was on Season 3 of "DWTS"]. He and I are big friends for years. He wants to have coffee with Lindsay and I soon to go over some stuff. I hope he can guide me. Why not? Get some two cents from a person who’s done it!
Many have been injured on “DWTS,” even athletes. Any concerns?
I definitely don’t fear any injury. I’m just open for it all. We haven’t spotted any weaknesses.
Do you have a girlfriend who will be cheering you on?
I sure don’t. I have a gal FRIEND now [referring to Lindsay]. She’s cheering me on.
Season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday, March 18, at 8/7c on ABC.