Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz: Keep Your Hands Up

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 14: Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) Victor Ortiz pose during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino September 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will challenge Ortiz for the WBC welterweight title on September 17, 2011 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

If you missed Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s victory over Victor Ortiz tonight, let me lay out the situation for you. We neared the end of fourth round of a fight that I was set to score 40-36 for Mayweather. Ortiz backed Mayweather into the ropes near one of the corners, throwing a flurry of punches that Mayweather did his usual dance to avoid. All of a sudden, Ortiz, literally, jumps a headbutt into Floyd's chin. Referee Joe Cortez breaks the fighters up and deducts a point from Ortiz. What happens next is tricky.

The only footage I have of the incident is this GIF, which starts with Cortez motioning something to the two fighters. (I've been alerted on Twitter that the fight had officially been restarted, per the post-fight press conference) Ortiz steps toward Mayweather to hug and apologize for the butt. (It should be noted that he already did so while Mayweather stood stunned in the corner.) Floyd brings his hands up as if to defend, Ortiz embraces and steps away, and Floyd clocks him with a vicious left hook. Ortiz, stunned, stares at Cortez, eats a straight right, and hits the canvas. Fight over.

Now, whatever argument was left about the legality of Floyd's attack is out the window with the revelation that Cortez had restarted the fight. The last thing a referee tells a fighter is to "protect yourself at all times." Ortiz failed to do that, and he paid mightily for it.

My Twitter feed, even after the revelation at the press conference, is still full of those condemning Mayweather's left hook-right straight. Some are calling it unethical; others, cowardly. Mayweather did nothing wrong here. He broke no rules, unwritten or otherwise.

The blame rests squarely on Victor Ortiz. Referee Joe Cortez ("I'm fair but I'm firm!") did an underwhelming job of controlling the situation, but the same thing could have very well happened had his eyes been fixed on the two fighters and not at the timekeeper, who he was instructing to restart the clock.

No, Ortiz shares the full blame here. First, for his very illegal and very blatant headbutt in the corner. Second, for not protecting himself at all times -- not only as he disengaged from Floyd, but as he stared at Cortez after the left hook, hands at his sides, a sitting (standing) duck.

I've played sports since I was a little kid. One of the things drilled into my head at a young age is that you play until the whistle. You play until the referee tells you to stop. I've had a long-running hatred of glove taps and hugging in the cage, and it's for this very reason. You're not playing the game anymore.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker