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Mayweather vs. Ortiz: The Recap

“Protect yourself at all times.”

Those words are heard right before most professional boxing matches around the world. Tonight, we found out why.

In the most promoted fight in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather Jr. knocked out Victor Ortiz by a 4th round one-two that will surely have people talking for weeks on end.

Coming off a long layoff (16 months), Mayweather looked as sharp as ever as he hit Ortiz with precise right hands and guarded himself with his usual stellar defense. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t flashy. But it sure is efficient.

The fight began how most Mayweather fights begin: a short feeling out period then gradual increase in punch output. While Ortiz wasn’t looking as hapless or lost as De La Hoya, Hatton, Marquez or Mosley did; he sure wasn’t looking like someone who was about to take down the now 42-0 Mayweather.

Mayweather was landing his right hand with ease for the first few rounds. With that shoulder roll defense Ortiz wasn’t landing much and Mayweather looked on his way towards another Mayweather-esque victory. Then the 4th round came.

If Ortiz was showing any signs of giving Mayweather a test it was in the 4th round. Ortiz landed some shots which were quickly followed by headshakes by Floyd, a sign that they actually landed. Ortiz managed to get Mayweather on the ropes and hit him with even more shots. Floyd, ducking and weaving, blocked a lot of those shots but was still feeling the pressure from Ortiz. Ortiz then proceeded to launch himself towards Mayweather in an attempt to seriously hurt/cut Floyd by way of a head butt.

Why?

The one moment in the fight where Ortiz managed to put some pressure on Floyd he stupidly lifts himself off the ground head first and clearly head butts him, cutting Mayweather’s lip in the process. At worst he was down one round to Floyd on the cards, so why the need to land a cheap shot? If he truly believed he could win the fight he wouldn’t have attempted that head butt, simple as that. He sensed the fight was going Floyd’s way and proceeded to attempt a cheap shot. It couldn’t be any clearer. At least try and make it look accidental. Joe Cortez noticed it and quickly docked one point off the cards.

What happens next?

Cortez quickly breaks up the scuffle against the ropes and docks a point from Ortiz. Ortiz immediately walks toward Mayweather to apologize, hugs him, and then kisses him on the cheek. Now, if you told me an athlete was going to apologize to his opponent during a game with a kiss, boxing would probably be the last sport I would guess. But yes, Ortiz did in fact kiss Mayweather immediately following his failed head butt attempt.

Cortez then calls them back in. Time is called in and Ortiz attempts another “Let’s hug it out bitch” moment. Mayweather obliges, touching gloves but not hugging. After time is called in and they both touch gloves, Ortiz still has his hands down. Mayweather, seeing an opportunity where his opponent has his hands down, clocks Ortiz with a left hook and right hand.  Ortiz was out and the fight was over.

Mayweather did nothing illegal, nothing dirty.

If anyone was at fault, it was Ortiz and Joe Cortez.

Nothing would have happened without the attempted head butt by Ortiz. To attempt a head butt, in such a clear fashion nonetheless, was atrocious. Not to mention the fact that it was during his only good flurry up to that point in the fight. If it was the 11th round when down by five rounds on the cards, OK, I get it. But to lift yourself off the ground, making it look so intentional, in a fight where you weren’t mathematically out of it by any means was such an idiotic move.

The attempted apologies were also awful. Hey Victor, YOU’RE IN A BOXING MATCH, the purpose in the sport being to beat up and knock out your opponent. Stop trying to hug and apologize to your opponent. I’m not saying you can’t touch gloves, but don’t do it multiple times after you already did it. After Cortez breaks up the initial head butt, touch gloves, get called in then get back to fighting. Instead, Cortez broke up the initial head butt, Ortiz touches gloves, kisses Mayweather, gets called in, attempts a hug, touches gloves, leaves his hands down, then gets hit. It was Ortiz’s fault from the beginning.

Some blame also goes towards Joe Cortez. Not with the deduction of the point but with the handling of getting the time back in. After time is called back in, Cortez looks at the timekeeper and asks him if the clock had started. Cortez should have checked with the timekeeper before calling time back in. Instead, while Mayweather begins his onslaught on Ortiz, Cortez isn’t even looking and looks like a fool in the process. He handled this like the first bout on a weak undercard, not the main event on a major PPV event. Cortez handled the fight very poorly, with the time clock issue being the biggest fault.

The media will spin this as Mayweather hitting a defenseless opponent. Real boxing fans know that Mayweather wasn’t at fault and did nothing wrong. Time was officially called in, they then touch gloves and his opponent still has his hands low. What was Mayweather supposed to do? Ask for permission to hit his opponent? Time is called in and his opponent touched gloves…seems like enough confirmation to me.

It was Ortiz’s fault in the first place after attempting the head butt. No head butt, no point deduction, no time clock mishap, no hands low, no knock out. Period.

One point that can’t be overlooked: Danny Garcia. Ortiz’s trainer was consistent in his disapproval of Mayweather’s elbows and dirty play. It began during 24/7 and continued pre-fight when Cortez was in both fighters locker rooms. Garcia went out of his way to make Cortez know that Mayweather likes to flare out his elbow. We didn’t hear it In between rounds but I think Garcia told his fighter to throw the head butt. Ortiz had no history of being a dirty fighter or throwing cheap shots until tonight. I think Garcia told Ortiz to attempt the head butt at some point during the fight. Now, obviously, Garcia didn’t want his fighter lunging so obviously towards his opponent but the intent was definitely there. Floyd wasn’t the dirty fighter tonight, Ortiz was.

Mayweather won’t get much credit for this victory. He proved once again that he is the most skilled fighter in the sport. This wasn’t Mayweather’s best or most complete win, but it was still a win. Now comes the big question: will the mega-fight happen? Will the fight we all want to see finally be agreed to? Let’s hope it does. The world is waiting. Ortiz was just another notch on Mayweather’s still unbeaten record. Will it stay unbeaten is another question. Time will only tell.

—Jordan

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