Floyd Mayweather upped his perfect boxing record to 42-0 last night with a fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz, a win that earned him the WBC Welterweight World Title — but it wouldn’t be Money May without a little controversy.
Mayweather controlled the majority of the first three rounds with his trademark speed, outlanding his younger opponent. The fourth frame was a back-and-forth slugfest, opening with a furious assault by Floyd. But Ortiz turned the tables and battered Mayweather against the ropes in the final minute. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old let his emotions get the better of him.
As you can see in the video above, Ortiz blatantly head-butts Mayweather with 14 seconds left in the round. The referee spots the foul and immediately separates the fighters. By way of apology, Ortiz walks over to Mayweather to give him a hug and kiss. That’s strike one.
The ref pulls Ortiz away to deduct a point, and Ortiz goes back to a still-pissed Mayweather to give him a “my bad” glove tap. That’s strike two.
The referee separates them again, and calls the action back in. But Ortiz — sweet, simple Ortiz — wants to give Mayweather another apology-hug. Mayweather pushes him off, stuns him with a left hook, and puts him out with a follow-up right straight. Ortiz does his best to get to his feet, but can’t pull it off.
It’s a moment that underscores the “protect yourself at all times” concept inherent in all combat sports. Mayweather knocked out Ortiz at a moment when he was completely within his rights to do so. Just because a fighter wants to hug you in the middle of fight, doesn’t mean you have to let him. But in the post-fight interview, it’s clear that HBO boxing commentator Larry Merchant feels that Mayweather’s actions were unfair, and that Floyd should have respected the “ceremony” of the situation.
When Merchant keeps pressing him on the issue, Mayweather snaps. “You know what I’m gonna do? ‘Cuz you don’t never give me a fair shake. You know that? So I’m gonna go and let you talk to Victor Ortiz, alright? I’m through. Put somebody else up here to give me an interview. You never give me a fair shake! HBO need to fire you, you don’t know shit about boxing! You ain’t shit. You’re not shit!”
“I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your ass,” Merchant replies.
Stay classy, boxing.