by Hans Olson
Floyd “Money” Mayweather defeated Victor Ortiz, improving to 42-0 in front of a packed house of 14,687 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In a dominant performance, Floyd Mayweather won nearly every second of every round en route to winning the WBC Welterweight Championship, clearly reclaiming his ranking as the best fighter in the world, pound for pound.
Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos
After an obvious head-butt that forced referee Joe Cortez to deduct a point from Ortiz, Victor attempted to touch gloves with Floyd. Not having any of it, Floyd landed two punches that put Ortiz on the canvas, knocking him out.
After the fight, I caught up with Floyd’s trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather. I asked him how it feels having Floyd back in action.
“Floyd never went nowhere,” said a proud Roger Mayweather.
I then mentioned to Roger how Floyd made Victor Ortiz, a great fighter…look normal.
“He is normal! He’s just an average Joe,” said Roger. “It wasn’t like he was special because he beat up Berto. My nephew would whoop him and Berto! The other thing is that the guy…he didn’t think my nephew would back him up! I tell my nephew ‘keep walking to him, keep walking to him’…eventually he’s gonna start wanting to fight. Then, everybody said to me the fight wasn’t going to go past 6 rounds! The whole thing is people probably say my nephew doesn’t have that much power at welterweight…but it ain’t power that win fights. It’s this (points to eyes). It’s what you don’t see. That will get you knocked out…and that’s what he got knocked out with—something he didn’t see. It’s part of boxing.”
The obvious topic of Manny Pacquiao came up. I joked that maybe Top Rank is looking to Victor Ortiz as Manny’s next opponent, continuing on the trend of Manny fighting guys Floyd has already defeated.
“Pacquiao don’t wanna fight my nephew! Anytime a guy is getting a $100 Million dollars and don’t want to get his ass in that ring, that tell you that you don’t want to fight. The whole thing is…yeah you gotta take the motherfuckin test ‘cause you got something in you! Everybody knows what he got in him. Everybody knows what fuckin Pacquiao’s got in him. Why would you complain about the test if you’re getting $100 Million dollars! If you get knocked out for $100 Million dollars who gives a fuck? So that’s the whole thing about Pacquiao. You gotta take the test.”
Larry Merchant got an ear-full from Floyd during his in-ring interview. I asked Larry how he felt as I ran into him in the lobby.
“I think he was unhappy the crowd was booing. He thought he gave a great performance—and he did, and it ended badly. And he started going off on me ‘you don’t like me, you don’t this’ and I said to him “If I was 50 years younger I’d kick your ass!”
In the last two minutes I’ve had a lot of people tell me we’ll come with you!”
You gotta love Larry Merchant. If nothing else, you’ll never have to wonder what he’s thinking. He’ll always let you know, and viewers should appreciate it…even if they don’t agree with it…which in this case, I didn’t.
The topic that will be certainly be discussed over the next few days is whether or not it was right for Floyd to hit Victor as Victor offered to touch gloves. Hey, I’m not alone when I say I hate it when fighters repeatedly touch gloves. Victor clearly intentionally head-butted Floyd as well. Referee Kenny Bayless, who had worked fights earlier in the evening, offered his expert opinion on the matter.
“As an official we tell the fighters all the time to protect yourself at all times,” said Bayless.
“You know, Ortiz did the head-butt. Joe stopped it and called time, deducted a point….and at that point when Joe steps back calls time back in, the fight continues. Now the extra apology thing that they did—that’s on them. But you have to protect yourself at all times. It’s just unfortunate that Victor had his hands down and got hit with those shots. But we tell them all the time—you have to protect yourself at all times! We make the rules very clear. Protect yourself, and if you don’t protect yourself it’s on you now.”
WBC President José Sulaimán was impressed with Floyd Mayweather’s performance.
“My impression of the fight is that Floyd Mayweather proved that he’s one of the most complete—all around best—fighters in the history of boxing,” said Sulaimán.
Earlier in the evening, Erik Morales won the WBC’s vacant Jr. Welterweight Championship in a thrilling bloodbath of a fight. I asked Sulaimán about the criticism the WBC has received from the press regarding the stripping of Tim Bradley which vacated the title.
“Well because they are not involved in boxing,” said Sulaimán. “You know, Bradley…it’s almost a year now without fighting. We believe that a division frozen like that, and having so many boxers standing in line just because he doesn’t fight…we have rules. The rules state that after 6 months of inactivity, the champion is out. We waited on him for one year. He didn’t fight. The world goes around, and life continues. We had to give the opportunity to Morales, who is a legend in Mexico—and a legend here also. When Bradley is ready to come back, he has the door open to fight Morales or whoever is champion next.”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @hansolson