By Clive Bernath: If ever there was a perfect example of defending yourself at all times in a boxing ring regardless of a break in the action it happened in the main event at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on Saturday night when Floyd Mayweather Jr sucker punched Victor Oriz.
It may not have been the classiest thing Mayweather Jr has ever done but it was a legal punch and Ortiz should have been defending himself. In fact if anyone was at fault it was referee Joe Cortez. With all due respect, after deducting a point and remonstrating with Ortiz, Cortez half heartedly waved the fight to continue whilst looking in another direction for a split second. And ‘boom’ that’s all it took from an alert Mayweather Jr to finish the job. You can’t blame him.
Of course, morally, it was not the right thing to do but then neither was the intentional head butt Ortiz inflicted on Mayweatyher Jr. Six of one and half a dozen of the other I’d say. I do hope a big deal is not made of this incident, these things happen in the heat of battle when there is so much at stake.
Cortez was at fault and when he sees a replay of the incident I’m sure he will be annoyed at himself for not being more vigilant on the night but he is still an excellent referee and prone to distractions just as much as everybody else in society.
As for Ortiz, he is still only 24 years old and will move on and learn from this. He is an improving fighter and will one day become champ again. By then he will be a wiser, more accomplished fighter and reign for a long time.
As for Floyd, he will just continue to be Floyd, a wonderfully gifted athlete that will always command attention both welcome and unwelcome.
September 17, 2011