In a move that will likely go down in history as one of the more snarky and underhanded in-ring moments of his career, Mayweather sucker punched the young Ortiz during an awkward moment of miscommunication between the fighters and referee Joe Cortez.
It’s funny too, ’cause for all of the 4 rounds it lasted, the contest was actually shaping up to be an entertaining bout.
Ortiz didn’t look all that comfortable with Floyd, as he ate right hands all night and never really managed to create any angles or cut off the ring; but to be honest, he was a lot more competitive than I initially expected.
On several occasions, Ortiz was able to bully Mayweather to the ropes and get some punches off, however most of it was just for show, not really dealing any significant damage.
Even so, instances in which a fighter is able to bully Floyd, or put him in a position where he isn’t 100% in control of the flow of the fight are very much a rarity in boxing, so I’d consider that an achievement in and of itself.
In all fairness to Ortiz’ pluck and tenacity though, Mayweather looked to be in charge throughout.
Oddly enough, I’d go so far as to say this was one of Floyd’s best performances in years.
He threw combinations.
He threw an inordinate number of punches per round.
Hell, he even pressed the attack and went on the offensive early in the 3rd round!
Despite all this, Floyd’s accuracy with his lead right was easily the star of the show.
I don’t know if it was Mayweather speed or Ortiz porous defense, but watching Floyd slip straight right through his opponent’s guard was a thing of beauty.
In all honesty, despite the eventual outcome of the fight, the puffiness of Ortiz’ face in the 4th coupled with his inability to seemingly get comfortable with Floyd’s movement and speed suggested that he’d likely be hurt or felled by a right hand at some point in the fight.
We’ll never know of course, but I’m just saying is all.
After 4 rounds of an occasional flurry on the ropes from Ortiz in a Mayweather dominated fight, few could have predicted the end to the fight.
From what I saw, Ortiz caught Mayweather on the ropes towards the very end of the 4th round, whereupon he began to throw combinations.
As is typical of employing such tactics against Mayweather, most of the punches bounded off of the undefeated fighter’s elbows and shoulders, though in this case 1 or 2 actually did make their mark pretty solidly.
During all of this, Mayweather found an opening in Ortiz’ flurry, and attempted to sling his arms over the younger fighter’s shoulders, likely in an attempt to tie-up.
At this moment, Ortiz lowered his gloves and proceeded to hike himself up onto his toes, lurch forward, and slam his cranium into Floyd’s chin.
Fouling in boxing is an art, one that some fighters have built their entire style off of.
Fouling can be useful to offset an opponent’s mental state, open up a cut, or to buy a moment to breath.
The thing is, fighters that make use of fouls as a tactic, usually know how to do so subtly and in manner that doesn’t call attention to their wrongdoings.
Hell, I’ve seen instances where ‘ole B-Hop managed to trick the ref so bad he actually managed to get away with a foul and cost the other guy a point!
What I’m driving at here, is that Ortiz has never shown himself to be a “dirty” fighter, but his amateurish and blatant use of an intentional headbutt was in very poor taste nonetheless.
The guy claimed it was unintentional, that Mayweather “leaned into” the butt; but if you watch the replay, the footage paints a picture that plainly supports the contrary.
Besides, since when does Floyd “lean into” anything?
Anyway, following the headbutt, Ortiz approached Floyd and gave him a friendly hug and apologetic kiss on the cheek.
To be honest, I really wouldn’t think a fighter, least of all Floyd Mayweather, would really be down with the idea of his opponent kissing him during the fight.
Maybe it’s just me, but Floyd doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would respond well to a gesture like that, even in jest.
Following this, Joe Cortez jumped in and hastily deducted a point from Ortiz, separating the 2 fighters in the process.
Upon returning to the center of the ring, Ortiz appeared to continue his apology, to Floyd as the 2 touched gloves.
During this exchange, Ortiz’ gloves remained no higher than chest level, often dwindling as low as his thighs.
Mayweather on the other hand, approached the center of the ring with his gloves held to his temples and at the ready, even during the ceremonial touching of gloves.
If anything was to be deduced from this image, it was that the 2 men were in very different states of mind at this moment in time.
Ortiz was working on perhaps a 3rd gesture of apology, while Mayweather was good and ready to continue the fight.
What followed was of course Mayweather clean clocking Ortiz with a left hook, followed by a straight right hand that ended the night.
During this entire process, Joe Cortez made no indication for the 2 fighters to continue.
Truth be told, he was probably the least informed individual at the time of the knockout considering he seemed to be eye-fucking the judges/officials during the seconds preceding the sucker punches.
While many view this event as disgraceful to the sport of the boxing, and a stain on Mayweather’s reputation, I look at it as just another silly moment in boxing.
Sure, I was looking forward to the fight, and I was a little upset that both fighters didn’t get to show everything they had, but I’m not gonna’ lose sleep over it.
After all, the guy I was backing won, and he looked phenomenal leading up to the KO.
“Protect yourself at all times” is the golden rule in boxing, and Ortiz simply got too cute for his own good.
The funny part is, while Floyd will likely take most of the flack for knocking out a virtually defenseless opponent, personally I think Ortiz deserves some shame for the headbutting.
Seriously man, butting is fine, but not when you do it in blatant and malicious fashion.
Ultimately, it was a fight that could potentially do harm to both fighter’s reputations for the forseeable, however business is business, and boxing marches on.
You’ll see, a few months will pass and, surprise!:
Mayweather will still be bankable, and Ortiz will still be on his way to becoming Oscar De La Hoya Mk. II.
Oh well, boxing fans will moan and howl over this silly “sucker punch” ending until either something dumber/more controversial happens, or there’s a rematch and Floyd wins it the way most of us figured he would in the first place.