According to some critics, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. can be a dirty fighter at times during his bouts. After the outcome of Mayweather's fight with Ortiz, those same analysts are going to cite more examples to support that viewpoint.
On Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (42-0, 26 KO's) made a successful return to the ring, dethroning "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO's) via fourth-round knockout to claim the WBC Welterweight title. Instead of silencing pessimists with another victory, Mayweather gave more ammunition to his enemies due to the fashion in which he won.
Mayweather opened the first round by unleashing sharp, lead right hands. Mayweather did what he said he was going to do; He stood his ground, and was the aggressor.
In round two, Mayweather peppered Ortiz with additional lead right hands in the first thirty seconds of the round. Then, he grimaced at Ortiz, mocking the 24-year-old titleholder. After that, Ortiz connected with a straight left-hand, and briefly trapped Mayweather in the corner.
Mayweather easily walked Ortiz down in the third round, landing countless right-hand punches at will.
Mayweather calmly kept control of the fight in round four, teeing off on Ortiz with multiple head shots. In the middle of the round, Ortiz landed a wide right hook with Mayweather leaning back against the ropes. As Mayweather continued to frustrate Ortiz with his stellar shoulder-roll defense, Ortiz intentionally lunged forward and head-butted Mayweather, cutting the boxing savant's lip. Referee Joe Cortez immediately deducted a point from Ortiz. Mayweather approached Ortiz, acting as if he was going to touch gloves in show of sportsmanship. Instead, Mayweather threw and landed a left hook when Ortiz' hands were down. Ortiz turned to Cortez expecting him to do something. However, it was Mayweather who did something; He landed another punch, a powerful, straight right-hand to Ortiz' face, sending the champion on the seat of his trunks. Cortez counted to ten, and Mayweather triumphed again at 2:59 of round four.
Clearly, Mayweather was within the rules. A fighter is told and expected to protect himself at all times during the course of a bout. The perception is going to be that Mayweather is unsportsmanlike, a villain who unfairly struck Ortiz despite being brutally head-butted. Two wrongs may not make a right. Then again, one fighter was not in the wrong at all. If Ortiz does not adhere to the instructions told to him by an official before a bout, it should not lead to Mayweather being criticized as unprofessional when he takes advantage of a situation totally within the guidelines of the sport. Is it really proper to label Mayweather as a deceitful fighter? You can bet Mayweather is going to take a lot of heat for his actions, but the finger-pointing this time is certainly unjust.
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