A hug and a kiss.
A cheap (legal) shot.
And that was all she wrote.
Floyd Mayweather (42-0), undefeated, undisputed champion of everything not MMA, knocked out local(ish) boy Victor Ortiz (29-3-2) in the fourth round of Saturday night’s battle in Las Vegas. The hook he threw that connected solidly with Ortiz’s chin was about as hard of a punch as Mayweather throws—but it didn’t come without controversy.
After a fairly intentional looking Ortiz head-butt, an awkward apology where Ortiz kissed and hugged Mayweather (?), and a separation, Ortiz left his hands at his side, waiting for the ref’s signal. Unaware that all was a-go, he took a shot to the mouth and went down like a whore on prom night.
And that’s too bad, really.
Ortiz is a real-life Rocky. An underdog kid with a less than stellar upbringing that would make Sally Struthers cringe. He grew up in Garden City, KS, the product of a mother who left the family when he was seven and an abusive, alcoholic father who mercifully checked out not too long after. He spent the rest of his childhood in foster families before discovering his outlet and winning the Golden Gloves.
Mayweather is the brash, unblemished asshole with impeccable defense, amazing stamina and enough arrogance to make Ali blush.
It was pretty clear who should have won this bout, at least in the court of public opinion.
But unfortunately, Ortiz’s inexperience—why was your guard down, kid?—ultimately corrupted his efforts. He was losing, he made a very illegal head butt and he ended up taking a very legal punch.
So where do they go from here?
Well, Ortiz is young. A loss to ‘Money’ Mayweather is nothing to be embarrassed about. He’ll continue to fight and will undoubtedly see more success down the road. Unfortunately, no challenge is likely to be as big as the one he had Saturday under the hot Las Vegas sun. This may have been a once in a lifetime shot at eternal notoriety and he blew it by getting frustrated.
Mayweather, everyone’s favorite love-to-hate boxing personality, will continue to dodge Manny Pacquiao, the only person who really poses any tangible threat. To Mayweather, his untarnished record is his legacy… but he’s failing to realize that until he faces off with his greatest competition, he’ll never join the pantheon of great pugilists.
And that’s a shame.