By Karim ‘Kato’ Godfrey: A little over a week has passed, the dust has settled but the debate rages on. Is there such a thing as a”legal” sucker – punch? (I define a sucker – punch as, hitting someone who is not in a fighting stance.) In my opinion I think Floyd was well within his rights to take advantage of the opportunity Victor Ortiz offered. Seriously, how many apologies should be given to someone who was fouled? I think 1 apology, 1 hug and 1 kiss is more than enough. With that said, I don’t blame Mayweather at all for the incident. But for all the Mayweather fans out there, Mayweather was not a victim here.
During the weigh-in the previous day, Mayweather grabbed Ortiz by the throat as they both got into each other’s personal space. That incident alone meant that there would be some retribution on Ortiz’s part and it would be warranted. Boxing is a gladiatorial sport. Both men enter the ring prepared to kill each other, (not in the literal sense, but it could very well happen). A fighter has to do whatever he has to do in order to get into the correct frame of mind. “Kill or be killed”. With that said, I dispense with all the sportsmanship and niceties. There’s more than enough time after the fight for me to show you my appreciation and good sportsmanship but in the heat of battle, I don’t care for trivial acceptance. There’s no need for me to tap gloves after every round. There’s no need for me to be overly – apologetic for an accident, intentional or not. That is what the third man in the ring is there for. It pisses me off to no end when Pacquiao is overly nice to his opponents and I guess that’s where his self confidence or his nice – guy persona comes into play. Maybe I’m not as civilized or humble as he is but I need to be in a certain frame of mind when I’m trying to knock someone the hell out.
Ortiz had a good game plan for the most part. Everyone knows that Floyd’s a master tactician and a superb boxer, so why would anyone try to outbox Floyd? His opponents need to take Floyd out of his comfort zone, if there is one. And one way to do that is to muscle Floyd around the ring, turn the boxing match into an all out street fight. Floyd is apt to use elbows, back hands, etc… so why not use them against him as well. If the referee admonishes you for doing so, take the point loss and head back in there a little wiser. I have no idea what happened to Ortiz after the head – butt incident. The referee took a point away and Ortiz had a brain fart. Was he that remorseful? Is he that nice of a guy? Was he star struck? The bottom line, defend yourself at all times no matter who it is.
This isn’t the first time Mayweather did this. He almost caught Mosley with the same punch but Mosley was able to dodge it as it glanced off his head. At the time I thought to myself, “That’s what you get for trying to give Floyd daps after every other punch. Get in there a fight!”
Floyd also caught Arturo Gatti with a similar punch. Floyd used his elbow and forearm to hold Gatti down and then came up with a right uppercut that staggered Gatti. As Gatti turned to the referee to let him know that he was just hit with an illegal punch, Floyd saw an opening and jumped in with a quick straight that put Gatti on the floor. Gatti got up and was visibly upset with the referee, who didn’t even notice that Floyd did anything wrong and gave Gatti a standing count. Holding Gatti down with one arm while you uppercut him with the other is totally illegal, something the referee should’ve caught. Taking your eyes off your opponent while you whine to the referee and then getting floored by a punch is totally legal. If the referee misses a call or is blatantly letting your opponent get away with murder in the ring, you MUST take matters into your own hands. This is war.
Based on Floyd’s actions outside of the ring and during the 24/7 series, no one could possibly mistake Floyd for a ‘good sportsman’ or an honorable guy, so I’m not quite sure why everyone is so upset about what he did. In my opinion (and this is only my opinion), this is further proof that Floyd doesn’t care anything about boxing and his so – called crusade about ‘cleaning up the sport’. How can someone with no honor or very low morals really care about cleaning up boxing? An honorable person wouldn’t have to win a fight with a sucker – punch, especially a guy who beats his chest and stands on the highest mountain and declares that he’s the greatest boxer in the universe. Someone with those credentials shouldn’t have to stoop so low in order to win a fight that way. But Ortiz deserved it for acting like a Justin Beiber fan.
On another note: I was not impressed at all with Justin Vargas. If Mayweather thinks his protégé is as good as he claims he is and ready for Amir Khan, both of them are sadly mistaken. Sounds like Mayweather’s fabricating another wrinkle in order to avoid another tough matchup. Pacquiao has to take the test and Khan has to fight an untested, boring fighter. Floyd has to remember, no one is impervious; no one is unbeatable. Even Uncle Roger once said, “An undefeated fighter don’t mean shit, just means he hasn’t fought everyone yet”. Floyd is undefeated because of a great work ethic, even better boxing and defensive skills and a whole lot of selective match making. This just seems like more creative ways to avoid the tougher challenges. Let’s see what happens next. Hopefully his vacation won’t last another 18 months.