By Chip Mitchell
“I was doing just fine and then there was a little slip up”
– Victor Ortiz
Fans, he did it to us again. The 24 year old enigma that we know as “Vicious” found yet another way to breakdown mentally and cause the boxing world to scratch its collective head.
Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos
“Vicious” Victor Ortiz was knocked out on Saturday night by Floyd “Money” Mayweather at 2:59 of the fourth round. It was Mayweather’s first stoppage since 2007 and it didn’t come without controversy. Say what you want, but I think controversy is good for the sport. In this one, the opinions will run about as rampant as any fight in recent memory. If you dislike Floyd Mayweather, then you probably loathe him at this point. However, let’s put personal feelings aside and look at what I feel will be the bigger issue as we move forward.
Prior to the knockout, Floyd Mayweather was enjoying a 3-0 lead on most scorecards and seemed to be winning the fourth. However, there was plenty of action in the fight as both fighters took turns coming forward. Mayweather seemed to be getting stronger and in the fourth round, he decided to press the action a bit. Victor exploded with his own answer to Mayweather’s litmus test and tried to bully Floyd into the ropes. Once there, Ortiz followed with a flurry of punches (most of which were blocked), but pressed on.
Then the inexplicable…
I’ve seen accidental head butts. I’ve seen head butts that were intentional. However, I’m not sure that I’ve seen a boxer use an opponent’s shoulders to launch himself headfirst to commit a head-butting foul. After the head butt, the referee stepped in as Ortiz simultaneously followed with two shots that narrowly missed. Those two shots, as well as the head butt itself could’ve been cause for disqualification. The only reason I don’t think referee Joe Cortez disqualified Victor at that point was because it was a championship fight. One question I ask is if a fighter is down 3-0, why would he purposely foul to lose an additional point? Your answer may be that Ortiz was frustrated because he couldn’t connect with any significant punches on Mayweather. Nice theory. Popular theory. However, in my opinion, it’s the wrong theory.
Victor Ortiz had a Marcos Maidana flashback. He was facing an opponent who not only was getting stronger, but (unlike Maidana) was also a defensive wizard. In other words, Victor Ortiz simply quit. Don’t believe me?
Let’s take look at Victor’s history because I think there is a bigger problem that lies ahead. In 2005, Victor was disqualified for hitting Corey Alarcon after the referee called for a break. Then in 2009, we have the infamous fight with Maidana. I think the quote back then was “I’m young, but I don’t think I deserve to be getting beat up like this…” Huh? But your opponent does, right?
Then we come to Saturday’s main event in front of a packed MGM Grand crowd of 15,000 fans. Once again, Victor Ortiz found a way out. Again, I ask why a fighter would foul when down 3 rounds to none. Frustration played a part but this fight was about a mentally strong fighter defeating a young man with a mental deficiency.
This problem is not going to go away, fans. Victor Ortiz will do this again. Alarcon, Maidana, Mayweather. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me three times….
You can bring Eddie Futch back from the dead and he wouldn’t be able to correct the flaw that Victor has mentally. He can’t control himself. It exists in some fighters and even the fighter himself can’t stop it. Some guys spend an entire career tripping over themselves and Victor seems to be headed that way.
Andrew Golota was winning both fights with Riddick Bowe but couldn’t control himself to keep punches above the belt. Mike Tyson tried to break an opponent’s arm or bite them when things didn’t go his way. Victor Ortiz is slowly working his way into this class. It’s a shame because the kid is such a likeable young man.
Some fans will blame Mayweather for the outcome of the fight. Some will blame referee Joe Cortez. My prediction is that we will see this again from Victor at least once more. If we do, and to thy own self you are true, you’ll backtrack and realize who’s to blame. I hope Victor invests his millions wisely. He’s had a decent career so far and I hope that he makes me a liar by correcting his mental flaws. How many more “little slip ups” will he have before fans see through it? How many “little slip ups” before fans stop supporting him? I’d advise Victor to seek some help, but there is only one person who can make it right at this point. Best wishes to him.