By Reni M. Valenzuela
Much of the boxing world is in darkness nowadays. Notably the part where Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is involved as he leaves many people “groping” again. And the recently concluded teeth-gnashing Mayweather-Ortiz comedy-drama is just another ugly attestation to the sad plight of the sport wherein the innocent fight fans have always been at the “receiving end.”
Here’s the score:
Mayweather didn’t win against Victor Orttiz and wasn’t able to grab the
Welterweight belt from the champion who ripped Money Floyd in a flurry of
solid punches in a couple of rounds. Mayweather was simply and foolishly
declared the “legal winner” and was handed the leather symbol to wrap
around his waist. But heaven can’t be fooled, for all is meaningless about
the silly outcome of that fight.
Watching the replay of the bout on video, things are clear as crystal. First
is that Victor Ortiz was very much in the fight up to the bizarre round four
and it’s not far-fetched that Vicious Ortiz could be on his way to knocking
out Money Floyd as both of his power-laden left and quick right hands were
successful penetrating the head of the shoulder-rolling defensive boxer.
Second is that referee Joe Cortez was a huge blunder. He failed to give a
signal understandable enough for both fighters to resume the fight during
the head-butting incident in the fourth round. Note that Cortez was talking
to some ring officials (which added to the confusion) when the sucker
punch took place and it’s ridiculous that the “referee” didn’t even see the
initial “knockout blow” coming.
It was either due to unclear or mixed signals from Cortez (unless the whole
show was scripted to “sucker” the fight fans further in another drama
of “rematch” in the future) . Hence it took awhile for Mayweather to
unleash his “illegal” punches to the head of Ortiz. And the reason being is
that Mayweather appeared to be in doubt if the fight was already “called in”
that Mayweather himself, along with Ortiz was also waiting for further
words from the referee.
Though in any case, what Mayweather did in hitting Ortiz during
the “break” or break violates all codes of ethics, decency, propriety and
sportsmanship there is in every sports book. Hence they were lucidly
malicious and intentional sucker punches of Mayweather that shocked
Ortiz. But what is even more shocking and “sucking” is that certain self-
blindfolded eyes argued they were not.
Call the sucker punch “legal” a million times, but I will call it only once, it
Larry Merchant is one of the few remaining competent, credible, admirable
and great figures in boxing for the past forty years. Money’s stubborn
image-makers would always justify his rant and rage before a TV camera
against the eighty year-old grandpa of boxing in media as merely natural
reactions of the “man” to Merchant’s questioning when it was obvious and
most telling that Money Floyd (with his blind defenders) may indeed be
Arum told you so. Just never mind this time that it came from Top Rank