Ortiz Shamed, Mayweather Champion AgainWritten by Dave McKee
By now you know how the Ortiz vs. Mayweather WBC welterweight title fight ended. It ended essentially as most expected. Mayweather won. He now has a new belt for his collection.
But that is hardly the whole story. It's not even the correct story, though in its details it is all true.
Those who dislike Mayweather have already begun the campaign to cast him as 'ungentlemanly'. They say he sucker-punched Ortiz. This is not possible to do against another fighter who is upright and facing his opponent in a prize fight. Ortiz acted deplorably in the fight, using his forehead more effectively than his hands and showing extreme lack of wisdom by ignoring the first rule of boxing: protect yourself at all times.
In the first round Mayweather landed lead rights with ease, winning the round. Ortiz was nonplussed, and he seemed confident returning to his corner.
The second round was compelling as Ortiz stamped his own imprint on the fight. With 1:35 remaining Ortiz threw a left and a right hook to Mayweather's body. Shortly thereafter Ortiz backed Mayweather into the ropes with a left hook. This is a position in which Mayweather is traditionally comfortable. He is slick enough to lean back into the ropes and make opponents look foolish as they throw punch after ineffective punch.
Ortiz had apparently concocted a solution to this specific problem. He began to grind his head into Mayweather's face. This is hardly an acceptable tactic, but it did force Mayweather out of the ropes.
At one minute remaining Ortiz struck with an overhand left, and followed with a right. Ortiz appeared confident, and Mayweather adopted a counterpuncher's demeanor, retreating, pawing with his jab, and observing. Ortiz landed another left hook low and drove Mayweather into the ropes. He attempted to use his head once again. At the conclusion of hostilities Ortiz appeared to have done enough to win the round, having effectively attacked and shown little effect from Mayweather's right hands. The round was close, however, and could have been scored for either fighter.
The third period saw Mayweather dominating. Ortiz spent the most of the round hopping around, refusing to throw punches. Once could empathize.
Mayweather's right hand was ready each time he lunged in. With one minute remaining Ortiz narrowly avoided Ricky Hatton's fate, driving straight at Mayweather, whose back was to the corner. Mayweather attempted the check hook with which he destroyed Hatton, narrowly missing. Still, Ortiz could have felt nothing but frustration as Mayweather vanished from the corner and set up his right hand for more business in the middle of the ring.
Then, the already infamous fourth round.
Mayweather started the round with combinations that had not been in evidence previously. His first few punches were off target, Ortiz looking unusually poised for a fighter on the receiving end of so many punches from Mayweather. Finally a flurry of gloves touched Ortiz high and low, hooks and uppercuts looking to spoil the Vicious one's night.
A few seconds later Ortiz had Mayweather in the corner, and again he attempted to use his head, grinding it into Mayweather's face. This time, the third time, he finally received a warning from referee Joe Cortez.
At the two minute mark something miraculous happened. Ortiz got off on Mayweather in spectacular style. Left, right, left right. All up top and hitting Mayweather in the head. It should have inspired confidence in Ortiz. He should have felt he had a chance, if only a small one.
Once more in the ropes at the 1:15 mark, Ortiz used his head more than his hands.
One minute later, having eaten a number of Mayweather rights, Ortiz again found himself at the edge of the ring with his opponent's back against the ropes. He continued to look better than most against Mayweather, but his attempts to hit Mayweather in the head were largely ineffective. One wonders why he did not take the opportunity to dig into Money's gut when he has him stationary on the ropes.
Then Ortiz landed the most effective punch thrown so far: with his head. He leaped up and forward, driving his forehead into Mayweather's teeth. Cortez was forced to stop the action and deduct a point. The head-butt was so obviously blatant Cortez could be thought generous for not taking two points.
During the time out Ortiz apparently has a meltdown. He walked over to Mayweather to hug and kiss him, offering cynical apologies. Cortez deducted the point, admonished Ortiz and called, 'time'. He made the hand signal that indicates the time-out is over.
At this moment, two men whose job description is 'hit the other guy' are on the clock. They approach one another, Ortiz wanting to further insult Mayweather and observers with an apologetic hug. In the middle of the biggest fight of his career, Ortiz approaches his opponent with hands lowered. Mayweather half-heartedly engages him, his hands also low. They both lean in while Ortiz says something into Mayweather's ear.
With seconds remaining Mayweather lands a left hook, followed by a right. Ortiz's head bounces off the canvass. He cannot rise. Mayweather wins.
Against Marcos Maidana Ortiz gave reason to question his heart by quitting in the sixth round, having knocked Maidana down three times. This night Ortiz again leaves objective observers wondering about his heart. Sadly, he has also brought his own character and intelligence into question.
Dave McKee is a contributing editor for Fightsaga.com and feature writer for Secondsout.com. He also contributes to HotBoxingNews.com and WBAN.com.
His work has appeared in The Ring, Boxing Digest and Ringsports Magazine. He is the former Lead Writer for Ringsidereport.com and co-hosted Ringside Radio with Mark Graves on 1140 AM in Kansas City.
Dave is currently writing the biography of Paddy Monaghan, friend to Muhammad Ali and Jack Dempsey and world's greatest bareknuckle boxer, with 114 wins and no losses to his credit.
He has a Masters in Social Science from UC Irvine and is working on a Ph.D. in history, with a dissertation focusing on the broad impact of Jack Johnson on the sport of boxing. Dave is a member of the International Boxing Research Association.
Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org