By James Slater: The fans seem set to argue long and hard over how last night’s WBC welterweight title fight between champ Victor Ortiz and challenger Floyd Mayweather Junior ended. Some claim Ortiz – who was embracing with Mayweather after having landed a blatant head butt on his opponent and was under the assumption that the action was not yet set to resume – got what he deserved when he was iced in the dying seconds of the 4th round. While others claim that at the very least the actions of Mayweather were of the cheap, classless variety.
The only thing we can all agree on is that we certainly have a winner when it comes to the award for most bizarre world title fight of the year! Another question is, does Ortiz, who feels he was cheated out of his title (even though he was strangely subdued when speaking about the fight’s stunning ending with HBO’s Larry Merchant, even smiling almost constantly instead of hollering how he’d been sucker punched – maybe due to his senses having not yet fully returned) deserve the rematch Floyd said he’d give him?
Most people will probably say no, due to how easily “Money” was dominating Ortiz, winning all four-rounds with his boxing brilliance. Still, it’s tough not to have some sympathy for Ortiz. Yes, he started the ugliness that ultimately resulted in the fight’s sudden termination, and the type of crazy butt he landed smack on Manyweather’s chops can never be tolerated – but Ortiz lost his head, as a number of fighters have done over the years. Even if Mayweather sticks to his offer of granting a rematch, though, will the fans be happy? Mayweather, the thinking goes, has bigger fish to fry.
We’ve all lost patience with the ongoing Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao possible fight, and we still have no idea if the mega-match will actually happen. But for as long as Floyd and Manny keep fighting and winning, each man will hear the other guy’s name after he has triumphed. Even if this fight doesn’t happen, it at least looks like Mayweather will remain active instead of embarking on yet another “vacation.”
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy apparently said words to the affect that Mayweather will have three fights over the next 12-months (Steve Bunce spoke about this after last night’s live transmission of the fight on PrimeTime). So, whether it’s Pacquiao or someone else, Floyd looks likely to box again quite soon – with talk of a possible fight before Christmas. Certainly, the damage to his bottom lip aside, Floyd picked up no physical damage that would necessitate another layoff.
Mayweather looks set to continue to call the shots and, along with Pac-Man, dominate the sport for some time yet. No-one aside from Pacquiao seems to have a chance against his speed, his defensive abilities and his all-round talent. And, as he showed last night, Mayweather can still fight well as the aggressor when the mood suits him. This blend of skills makes “Money” a nightmare of an opponent for any fighter out there.
As for Ortiz, he’ll be extremely lucky to get that rematch. The 24-year-old is still young enough to come again, however, and there could be future big fights out there for him. But he must learn to keep his head and not get frustrated. Ortiz is understandably angry at what Mayweather did to him, but the general thinking seems to be that he began the controversy and Mayweather ended it.