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Home Boxing Once Champ. Now Chump. An Embarrassing Win for Mayweather
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Once Champ. Now Chump. An Embarrassing Win for Mayweather

ortiz-mayweather-wbcEven in the sport of boxing there remains an element of ethical behavior that defines the bounds of good sportsmanship. Those bounds were breached in the September 17th WBC Welterweight Championship bout between Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather, resulting in a bizarre and unsatisfying ending.

In case you missed it - there was a clash of heads in the fourth round which referee, Joe Cortez, correctly ruled “intentional,” and he penalized Ortiz one point. Cortez then signaled the fighters together, and as they approached each other, Ortiz began to hug Mayweather in a gesture of apology. Mayweather accepted the hug, but as Ortiz stepped back - looking to Cortez for further instructions - Mayweather blatantly struck with a left hook and straight right while Cortez was still gesturing toward the time keeper. Cortez didn’t see the punches. Unfortunately, neither did Ortiz.

Ortiz, who clearly felt bad about the head butt delivered to Mayweather earlier in the round, did what a good sportsman does - he attempted a reconciliation before the renewal of action. Then, seemingly distracted by something Joe Cortez was saying to the time keeper, Ortiz looked to his left, and in a flash Mayweather delivered his one-two punch while Ortiz’s hands were still by his side. The punch your don’t see, or expect, is the most devastating, and Ortiz fell backward onto the canvas, unable to beat the count. It was like watching a barroom brawl where one guy cold-cocks another guy as he’s distracted by the bartender asking him to pay his tab.

While “protect yourself at all times” is one of the first rules of boxing, these events were clearly outside the realm of good sportsmanship. In my opinion, no count should have been initiated. Ortiz should have been given five minutes to recover as he would have if he’d received a low blow. In a fight of this magnitude, when a punch falls into a gray area between the rules of engagement and gentlemanly ring demeanor, it’s better to err on the side of justice and allow the fight to continue.

Even if Cortez said, “fight,” as he claims he did, his attention was not on the fighters when the punches were thrown. Nor was his body language that of a ref who was ready for the fight to resume. A great referee, like Joe Cortez, never takes his eyes off the action once the command to “box” is given. But in this case, he was focusing all his attention toward somebody at ringside when the punches were landed. It’s clear that even Cortez was not ready for the resumption of the fight at the moment of Mayweather’s assault.

While Floyd Mayweather’s considerable skills are undeniable, and he is perhaps one of the pound-for-pound best boxers in history, he also ranks high among the most classless champions in my memory.  In that quality he is sorely lacking. Yet I hope the Mayweather camp can summon just enough gumption to give Ortiz a rematch. Then perhaps Mayweather can earn the title he heisted on September 17th.

Charles Long
www.convictedartist.com

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Charles Long  - That's a harsh accusation |
Dear Jawbone,

Are you insinuating that Joe Cortez can be bought? Do you have proof of that allegation? If you do, I'd love to see it. It would make a great story.

As far as I know, Joe Cortez is an esteemed member of the boxing fraternity with a long and distinguished career in championship fights - some sources report as many as 170. So unless you have some proof that he's a Bag Man for some promoter or other, I suggest you choose your words more carefully.

And I'll wager that you I've been around a lot longer than you have. :-)

Charles
Jawbone  - The Wizard Knows |
A great referee like Joe Cortez???? How long have you been around? Cortez has been the 'Go to Guy' when the 'Main Powers' want a fight to go a certain way. He is glued to his benefactors in more ways then one. Now the 150million Mayweather/Pacquaio bout can be a reality...guaranteed by Joe cortez;. Don't ya know????
 
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