The high-profile boxing bout between the undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather and rising star “Vicious” Victor Ortiz ended in a controversial fashion. The win will go down as one of the most controversial of Mayweather’s career, but it was by no means “cheap.” His reaction was simply the product of Ortiz’s action.
After apologizing again, for delivering a deliberate head butt to Mayweather, Ortiz was caught off guard by a left hook, which was followed by a stiff right that put him down and gave Mayweather the knockout victory.
The question being raised by many is whether or not Mayweather’s winning combination was a cheap shot. Some say that Ortiz wasn’t ready and that Mayweather took advantage of his kind gesture. Others feel that Ortiz was too worried about apologizing that he forgot about the most important rule in all combat sports: never leave yourself open.
While both of these are viable arguments, they don’t touch on the fact that Ortiz threw the unnecessary head butt in the first place.
Had Ortiz’s head butt been more casual or unintentional, it would have been cheap of Mayweather to punch him while he wasn’t ready. However, the motion and force behind Ortiz’s head butt were grounds to throw respect out of the window.
Mayweather had won all previous three rounds before the fourth-round knockout occurred, according to expert scorecards. This must have meant that Ortiz was frustrated to the point of head butting his opponent. Although Ortiz had connected on Mayweather with a couple of blows, he felt the need to drive his head in to his opponent, resulting in a brief stop to the fight and a point deduction for Ortiz.
There’s a certain unspoken rule of conduct that boxers have for each other. Sportsmanship is usually maintained as long as they both fight clean. Ortiz’s head butt clearly threw sportsmanship out of the window for Mayweather. Known for his arrogance, Mayweather seemed unmoved by Ortiz’s attempts at apologizing, and quickly showed him how he felt by knocking him out while his hands were down.
Also, Ortiz was already giving his third apology to Mayweather before he got knocked out. He put himself in a vulnerable position and paid for it. The two apologies before should have been enough for both Ortiz and Mayweather. The third came after the referee had backed both fighters in to their respective corners and had called for a return to action.
Ortiz was probably trying to save face, but it was a huge mistake on his part to apologize for a third time once action was returned. It was ultimately his actions that did him in. Even though Ortiz was losing the fight up to that point, he had been highly touted to be the strongest puncher that Mayweather ever faced.
What the head butt and subsequent knockout did was shorten the inevitability of Mayweather winning another fight. Though his victory’s prominence was jaded by controversy, the theme of Mayweather dominating his opponents seemed to be playing out once more prior to it.
Ortiz can’t blame the outcome on anyone but himself. Though it wasn’t exactly biting another opponent’s ear off, it was an act that doesn’t belong in boxing and one that deserves a knockout.
Boxing fans can now hope for the super fight that never was: Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. This fight should have happened already, but was cancelled due to controversy between both fighters’ camps. What would a Mayweather fight be without controversy?