When it comes to boxing, you can’t realistically argue that Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters. In fact, with a record of 42-0 with 26 Kos, many believe he’s one of the best in history. But when it comes to Mayweather as a person there are all types of opinions. And after his cheap-shot knockout win over WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 Kos) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, the majority of fans feel he’s nothing more than a street punk.
After watching Mayweather’s act for the past few years it’s not a bad conclusion to come to. His infamous battles with the law and his own family on the HBO show 24/7 give evidence to the type of person he is and now his win over Ortiz and argument in the ring afterwards with ancient announcer Larry Merchant definitely haven’t made him any new fans.
But Mayweather’s not concerned about that. What the public thinks about him is one of the last things on his mind, and sad to say, his bad publicity may just be the shot in the arm that boxing needs these days. You can bet there will be millions of people around the world talking about the Ortiz fight and the Merchant rant days and even weeks after the incidents. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity.
While Mayweather’s actions in the Ortiz fight were unquestionably unsportsmanlike, they weren’t against the rules. Ultimately, Ortiz has nobody to blame but himself for getting knocked out. It was obvious Mayweather didn’t take too kindly to the head butt his opponent launched at him earlier in the fourth round and he made him pay for it by nailing him when he wasn’t expecting it.
Other than another win on his record, Mayweather didn’t gain anything in the fight and could have even lost a good number of fans. With Ortiz’s arms at his side and in a relaxed stance after touching gloves with and apologizing to the new champion for the head butt, he was nothing more than a sitting duck. It didn’t take any bravery, skill or talent to knock him out at that point. Anybody could have decked him if they had landed a clean shot, even Larry Merchant.
Referee Joe Cortez said the shots were legal and according to the laws of the sport, there’s no arguing that point. Even Ortiz seemed to realize this when being interviewed in the ring after the fight. Ortiz didn’t protect himself and paid for it dearly with his title when Mayweather landed a vicious look hook and straight right hand to his head, putting an end to the fight with just one second to go in the fourth round.
The controversy will drag on for months to come and thousands of fans will be hoping Mayweather gets his someday. But that means people have become interested in boxing again, even though it might be for all; the wrong reasons. As for the rest of the fight, the 34-year old Mayweather look like he hasn’t lost a beat in the 16 months he was out of the ring.
Ortiz had some good moments, especially in the fourth round when he had Mayweather pinned in the corner, but then blew whatever momentum he had gained by trying to butt his opponent. A rematch could prove to be interesting. However, Ortiz if they do fight again, Ortiz may want to watch the 24/7 show a lot more closely to realize just what type of person Mayweather really is.