If you weren’t one of those who dished out $70. bucks last weekend to watch Mayweather vs. Ortiz on PPV, HBO has a special on the fight which goes behind the scenes with interviews, recaps, and shows the controversial match itself with slow-mo replays of Ortiz’s dreaded head butt and Mayweather’s ensuing sucker punch.
As someone who lost all respect for Mayweather when he royally punked out of fighting Pacquiao with his ridiculous last minute demands of drug testing, I was already rooting for Ortiz… especially now that Pacquiao has agreed to Mayweather’s demands and he’s still running scared.
For the first three rounds, it looked like Ortiz was holding his own. He wasn’t dominating the fight but he wasn’t necessarily getting schooled, either. Mayweather did a lot of blocking and dancing around and was mainly waiting for opportunities to land his hard rights on Ortiz which while it earned him a point advantage didn’t exactly make for very thrilling boxing. I actually found Ortiz a lot more exciting to watch.
It did seem as though Ortiz attempted a head butt or two earlier on in the fight which, of course, is against the rules and generally frowned upon. As we’ve seen with Tyson and Holyfield, headbutting can cost you an ear if you’re not careful. Speaking of which, ironically, Holyfield is siding with Mayweather saying that Ortiz brought this on himself with the head butt.
Ortiz had Mayweather backed into the corner and was delivering a flurry of punches (or attempting to) when he headbutted Mayweather. This wasn’t one of those bend your head back and snap it forward headbutts, either. This one was the culmination of Ortiz launching himself off his feet and sort of flying at Mayweather with his chin down. Later on Ortiz would say that he got pushed back and then he pushed forward and it wasn’t intentional. I can see where in the heat of the moment he probably just did it out of frustration. At least that’s what it looked like to me. But that’s where it got weird.
The ref stops the fight and reprimands Ortiz who starts apologizing to Mayweather profusely. Then the three move to the other side of the ring where the fighters touch gloves but Ortiz seems to think it’s more of a handshake obviously as the ref is looking away from the boxers. Ortiz gives Mayweather another hug and then stands back and looks toward the ref because the ref’s looking at the timekeeper. That’s when Mayweather sucker punches Ortiz the first time. Ortiz looks at the ref again, probably because he didn’t think they were supposed to be fighting and that’s when Mayweather knocks him out. The judges call it legal and Mayweather wins. While Ortiz knew what he was doing with the head butt, Mayweather definitely knew he was sucker punching Ortiz, which is evident by his defensive tongue lashing of HBO’s announcer Larry Merchant after the fight.
While the win is legal, it’s still a lame assed way to win a fight. Mayweather said something about what comes around goes around and stands behind the basic premise that boxers are supposed to “protect themselves at all times.” It seems to me that’s the dude’s motto both inside and outside of the ring and probably explains why he’s still bobbing and weaving a match with Pacquiao. Don’t expect a rematch anytime soon, Ortiz. Mayweather’s got a record to protect. As for his reputation, well that’s another story entirely.