I decided to give it a few days after the Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0-0) vs. Victor Ortiz (29-3-2) fight result before I wrote anything, since I knew that my voice would be lost amongst the other hundreds of opinions and criticisms all over the net.
Yes, I did attend the bout, and yes I did see exactly what happened. Before going a little further into my opinion, let me tell you what I think won the fight: experience; it should be back to square one for Ortiz.
Before the beginning of the bout, I was running around the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, trying to find someone with knowledge and experience to ask for their prediction. As I was scavenging, I noticed a man with braided hair walk past me, a man that was either former heavyweight champion David Haye (25-2-0), or his identical twin. So I caught up with David to talk about the fight. What surprised me most was that David had nothing of value to say, being ambiguous with his response: “Well it all depends on what happens in that ring tonight.” What he did want to talk about, was the fact that he wants to fight and beat Vitali, and that Vitali is full of it thinking that he can knock David out.
As I was finishing up with Haye, the light welterweight Zab Judah (41-7-0) came in. Judah was far more direct and confident in his prediction. Somehow, I am pretty sure that Judah did not see his prediction come to fruition in the fashion it that night.
After the fight, welterweight Paulie Malignaggi (29-4-0) spoke to me about his opinion of the result. Paulie was fair but firm, and made it clear that boxing has its rules, and without breaking them, nothing is illegal and all is fair.
Before I get into my personal opinion and you begin your argument against my case, please consider the following solid facts: Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated the fight, pressed the action, didn’t run and stood his ground, was too quick and slick for Ortiz, was 10 yeas older than Ortiz, came off of a 16 months layoff and knocked out a much younger and supposedly hungrier Ortiz.
Now my take on the whole situation and the result of what turned out to be a very controversial bout:
First and foremost, when people were saying that Ortiz was way over his head and too green to face someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr. inside the ring, they were absolutely on the dot. How you leave your hands down in a world championship fight is a mystery to be solved.
Fighters, even after being broken apart and separated by the referee, still keep their hands up until ordered to "box." What Ortiz was doing with his arms by his side before the hook and most amazingly after, is simply novice.
After being hit with the first punch, the kid still kept his defense out of his mind and his eye off of Mayweather Jr., looking at the referee instead. Does he have no fear? Did he not take Mayweather Jr. seriously? No, I don’t think that that’s it. He is a nice guy with decent boxing skills, but was way too inexperienced and full of himself when it came to fighting a fight like this.
His jump/head-butt moment was something that no one saw coming, and after it had happened, I had a feeling this fight was going to go sideways from that moment on—I just didn’t expect it to tank so quickly.
As far as Mayweather Jr. and his sportsmanship goes, I certainly have issues with what he did, but I have absolutely no argument with his explanation. The man was in a world championship fight, was cleared to continue by the referee (I saw no major flaw in the way Cortez’s handled that specific event) and hit his opponent, who was just standing there with his defense out of the way. He won the fight, kept his record flawless and made a lot of money.
Most folks have a problem with the fact that Ortiz was trying to say sorry by hugging Mayweather Jr. right before the knockout happened, as do I, but in the end, nothing illegal or unprecedented occurred.
Floyd was dominating the fight before the incident, and would have dominated it for the remainder in my opinion; so technically, he didn’t have to do what he did. But how do you not? How do you not take advantage of something like this? Essentially, Mayweather Jr. was handed a knockout win on a silver platter.
Victor Ortiz lost this fight due to his inability to follow one of the oldest boxing rules in history of the sport: keep yourself protected at all times.
A rematch would make money, but the result would be similar; experience will prevail. For Ortiz, a rematch with Andre Berto (28-1-0) makes all the sense in the world, and would bring some of the credibility back to Ortiz if he was to win again.
Now that this is over, let’s see what the result of the Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight comes out to be, and maybe then, we can all hope together once again for the mega-fight to take place sometime in the near future.
PS: It’s a shame that Larry Merchant is so much older than Floyd.