Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) stepped into the ring after a 16 month lay off and knocked out Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in the 4th round in what will be regarded as one of Boxing’s most controversial endings.
It all started when Ortiz had Mayweather on the ropes and after landing couple of punches, Ortiz lands a head-butt to Mayweather’s chin. Referee Joe Cortez immediately stepped in and takes a point away from Ortiz.
Victor Ortiz then goes to Mayweather, kissed him on the cheek and apologized to Floyd. When both fighters are in the center of the ring, Ortiz gives Mayweather a hug and again apologizes to Floyd. With the referee not even looking, Mayweather appeared to brush off Ortiz apology and out of nowhere delivered a devastating 1-2 punch that knocked out Ortiz with a straight right to Ortiz jaw.
In a matter of seconds the highly anticipated fight became one of the years’ most controversial fights. Victor Ortiz should not have head-butted Mayweather. He got a point taken away and rightly so. Floyd Maweather for his part delivered a legal but unsportsmanlike knock out punch. His argument was “protect yourself at all times.” But, the referee who appeared to have lost control of the fight and was looking away when Mayweather landed the punch, failed to give a clear and loud instruction to resume the fight.
As upset as I was of Mayweathers’ knock out punch, I was also upset at Ortiz for continuing to apologize to Floyd after he had a point taken away. There was no need for him to continue apologizing to Mayweather. Once the point was taken away, Ortiz should have just resume boxing. At the very least, he could have just tapped Mayweathers’ gloves and that’s it.
What made the night more controversial was the way Mayweather responded to Larry Merchant during his post fight interview. Mayweather appeared to have enough of Merchant’s questions, when he just lost it, “You never give me a fair shake. HBO needs to fire you. You don’t know shit about boxing. You ain’t shit. HBO needs to fire your ass!” To which, Merchant replied, “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’ll kick your ass!” Larry Merchant by the way is an 80 year old announcer.
Part of me wanted Ortiz to beat the count because it would have been interesting to see how both fighters started the 5th round. I think the fight would have been a great fight had it resumed. I do think that Mayweather would have eventually won via a unanimous decision. This is as Victor Ortiz stated, “a learning experience,” but will boxing fans be interested in seeing a rematch. Will Mayweather grant Ortiz his rematch or will we finally get to see Mayweather fight Pacquiao?
For those who didn’t get to see last night’s fight, here is the video with a recap of what happened in the fourth round. The first video is in Spanish and covers the complete 4th round along with Mayweather going off on Larry Merchant in the post fight interview. The second video is in English and starts before the head butt incident. The remaining two videos are from the post fight interview.