Victor Ortiz admits he made a mistake Saturday night in that fourth round WBC welterweight title defense against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even if a fighter is supposed to protect himself, at all times, as Ortiz supposedly did not follow, he admits that Mayweather is not good for boxing and that referee Joe Cortez mishandled the entire situation.
It may sound like sour grapes coming from Ortiz. He wants the rematch that his promoters at Golden Boy have been petitioning since that awkward ending. Mayweather did consent for the return bout but is the new and undefeated controversial champion going to consent or take another 16-month hiatus from the ring?
“Golden Boy is pressing for the rematch but it is not classy for him to not give me the rematch,” said Ortiz about Mayweather in an interview with this reporter early Thursday evening. The former champion is relaxing and reviewing went wrong in Oxnard California. He says the championship belt will be his again even if means not meeting Mayweather in the near future.
“It is definitely not the last time I will have that title,” he says. The 147-pound weight is something that Ortiz believes he can handle. There has been no discussion about what would come after the devastating loss. The potential for a rematch is very unlikely at this point, though Manny Pacquiao, someone Ortiz has also expressed an interest in meeting, could be an eventual opponent. The first waves about the rematch with Mayweather came when Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions announced that Oritz deserved another chance at meeting Mayweather.
Though Ortiz may have lost some value after that devastating fourth round knockout, and appeared to be in a mismatch with Mayweather, he believes that the corner head butt in that round was a mistake. But Ortiz still contends, “Mayweather was paranoid what he did,” referring to the so-called sucker punch and right hand that stunned Ortiz and now a fight that is classified as one of the most bizarre endings in the sport.
Again, Ortiz is probably defending himself when he says the punch by Mayweather was not proper. A majority saw that Mayweather had command of the fight until that point, but there is every reason to understand that Ortiz was getting to Mayweather. His punches landed more and Mayweather seemed to have some problems with adjusting to how Ortiz improved his defense. More so, Ortiz and his corner informed Cortez about Mayweather in the pre fight instructions. They wanted to see a clean fight and Mayweather not using the elbow to his advantage.
Ortiz would not fault Cortez for the loss though he felt the experienced referee was distracted with news that his mom passed away earlier that day. That was something not known, though when reviewing the fight, Cortez issued a warning to Ortiz after the head butt and quickly had his eyes off Mayweather when the punch was thrown.
When asked if it was his inexperience that caused him to head butt Mayweather, and why he apologized to him before the punch heard around the world, Ortiz said, “I saw the fear in his eyes. I figured I was in the wrong. It was a mistake.” He also said that “Mayweather has no sportsmanship,” when asked to comment about what was said between the two fighters at the conclusion. Though the video shows Mayweather going to Ortiz in the corner when the fight was over, Ortiz said the new seven- time and five-division champion never said anything to him though the video shows otherwise.
“He never said anything to me,” said Ortiz reiterating that Mayweather has no sportsmanship. People can say what they want to say, my stock went up,” refuting claims that Victor Ortiz, after what occurred, may never see another huge payday.
Pacquiao is the other fighter that Ortiz envisions for the future. And perhaps an Ortiz-Pacquiao fight can be made, assuming Mayweather and Pacquiao don’t meet in the next year. “Pacquiao of course,” says Ortiz, if he does not get another opportunity to meet Mayweather again. And as much as Victor Ortiz gained some stock and value when he dethroned Andre Berto earlier this year, this devastating loss to Mayweather was a lesson and he still has some value because he went in the ring and defended against who many say has established a legacy.
“We can settle this as professional athletes, if he says he is as good as he is,” said Ortiz. He was content that the misery of a bad defeat was over. It is time to move on and continue fighting at welterweight after some long awaited rest and relaxation. “I can hold my weight at 147,” he says. Ortiz said he will also attempt to visit New York City in December and observe Miguel Cotto defending his welterweight title against Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden.
But the voice sounds assertive and so is the confidence that he can gain control over this loss and another meeting with Mayweather will have a different outcome. But the Mayweather attitude is something that he believes boxing should not tolerate.
He did not see the in- ring post fight interview that had Mayweather and HBO commentator Larry Merchant having words that were not appropriate coming from a champion. He later observed how Merchant stood his ground with Mayweather.
“Mayweather showed what type of example he is, a bad image for boxing,” claims Ortiz. And whether you agree or not what Ortiz did to Mayweather, perhaps to save himself from a fight that was going away, one has to also give him credit for speaking out about his new adversary.
It made for good boxing theatre and if indeed there is a rematch surely fight fans will have the interest. They always do because of Floyd Mayweather, but now there is another dimension to it. Because Victor Ortiz finally arrived more so with the loss to Mayweather and not the championship win over Andre Berto.
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