Boxing's new low: Choice of Cortez sealed Ortiz' fate

Boxing has never been pretty. The blood turns a lot of people off, but die-hard fans (required, with such a dearth of talent in most divisions) know that boxing’s violence is tempered with fairness and grace. At least it’s supposed to be.

If you’re one of the 30 people in America who still gets excited about boxing, you know that with a few exceptions the sport offers little these days in the way of fairness or grace. Yet, Floyd Mayweather’s September 17 win over Victor Ortiz brought boxing to a new low.

Mayweather may have won the WBC welterweight title, but in taking the belt from Ortiz in Las Vegas, he didn’t do much more than further tarnish his stellar but tainted career. The 34-year-old remains undefeated– due as much perhaps to cowardice as ability. Rather than use his legendary speed and footwork to get the better of a lesser opponent, Mayweather fought dirty, a tactic he has employed often since emerging from retirement.

But this time it seems his dirtiness was sanctioned from on high.

Last May’s fight against Shane Mosley was a poor substitute for what Mayweather dangled in front of the boxing world for years: a match-up against the dervish Manny Pacquiao. Itself a decade in the making, the Mayweather/Mosley fight was hyped by Tim Smith in the New York Daily News as “the most highly anticipated welterweight matchup since Sugar Ray Leonard stopped Thomas Hearns in the 14th round in 1981.”

Instead, it showcased one boxer at the end of his career and one emerging from retirement a coward. In the eighth round, after the ref broke them up, Mayweather shot a cheap jab as Mosley was trying to touch gloves. It was legal, but it was dirty, and it seems everyone but Victor Ortiz was paying attention.

The Nevada Athletic Commission knew what it was doing when it picked Joe Cortez to referee Mayweather/Ortiz. For years, the sports media has criticized Cortez for favoring Mayweather (see Ricky Hatton), for insinuating himself into a bout to the detriment of his officiating (see Humberto Soto), and for making increasingly disturbing calls.

Referee Kenny Bayless, known for his fairness and unobtrusive manner, would make sense for any Mayweather fight. But knowing how mismatched the bout was going to be, the Commission members undoubtedly had to do what they could to ensure an exciting event, and they couldn’t risk Bayless, who, despite Mayweather’s ugliness, successfully officiated the Mayweather/Mosley fight to 12 rounds.

It didn’t take long for Cortez to deliver. In the fourth round, after penalizing Ortiz for attempting to head-butt Mayweather, a rare move for referees these days, Cortez didn’t just fail to separate the fighters and restart the fight cleanly, he allowed his attention to be drawn outside the ring. A replay shows Cortez looking away while Ortiz lowered his gloves and attempted to restart the fight on his own by hugging Mayweather and backing away.

Mayweather chose that moment to throw a left to Ortiz’s face, and when Ortiz, with gloves still down, looked to a still-inattentive Cortez, Mayweather threw the knockout punch: a quick right to the chin. Just like with Mosley, the hit was legal, but it was dirty– and most importantly for the Athletic Commission, it was exciting.

The Nevada Athletic Commission catered to Mayweather when it chose Joe Cortez and put Ortiz, who undoubtedly should have been more cautious, at great risk. Employing a questionable referee for a match with a boxer who is known to fight dirty against weaker opponents was an untenable choice, and it has sunk boxing, which needs all the help it can get, to a new low.
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son and many dogs.



Wonder if you could sell enough tickets in Charlottesville to pay for a fight card.

1) How can a punch be both "legal" and "dirty" at the same time? Isn't that a contradiction? And isn't one of the mandatory instructions "protect yourself at all times"?
2) Did you actually watch the fight or at least a replay of the 4th round?
-- Cortez separated the fighters
-- Ortiz apologized and kissed Mayweather on the cheek
-- As Cortez was deducting a point the two fighters walked by one another and touched gloves (Ortiz apologized again)
-- Cortez called "time" and indicated with his hands that the two could begin fighting again
-- Mayweather walked up to Ortiz with his hands up (Ortiz, however, never raised his hands, and there is no explanation for Ortiz's behavior after the referee called "time")

You obviously are not a Floyd Mayweather fan--and that's ok--but if you're going to report on boxing you should at least get your facts straight and comment objectively based on the facts

Attempted head butt ??!!!?? This has to be one if the most pessimistic articles I've ever read. I won't even chime in with a long response... But know that articles like this is truly what hurts boxing. You all mentally get this lost generation into believing the bs you write due to your own personal hatred of an individual and push the fanbase deeper into MMA. You need not write another article in your life... Stick to lifetime Channel leave boxing to us die hard fans.. And take L.Merchant and E.Steward contradicting ass with you. This site should be closed down for allowing this garbage to be posted.

Seriously Juanita, just quit now before you continue to embarrass yourself with your lack of sports knowledge. This is one of the worst articles I have ever read. You clearly did not watch the fight (having it on as background noise doesn't count). Have you ever watched a fight? Ridiculous.

I'm glad to see at least one other person besides me has fallen off of the gayfeather band wagon(Juanita). His dodging and sipping opponents is getting old and his poor choice of ethics and fight tactics is even older. I will never watch another mayweather fight EVEN if it's with the superstar Manny Pacquaio. It was a dirty punch even if they say it was legal. Joe Cortez' head was turned, for all he knows, Mayweather could have elbowed him or even retalliated with a headbutt. In a "fair" break the referee steps in between both fighters before calling time back in, and this was not done. I wouldn't be surprised if cortez is part of Mayweather Promotions and was paid off to ensure victory.

I'm glad I retired from this sport when I did, still on top. Boxing has become corrupt with scandle and cowardice. When I fought, I fought anyone put in front of me. If you called me out, I fought you, no matter you're record. Things have changed greatly in just five years. Pity, this is a sport in which I spent my life in. Nothing can take away all the great times I had boxing but todays generation can sure take away my joy in watching it.

The ref restarted the fight, Ortiz was scared an had a lot of nervous energy an he fogot to protect him self at all times, Floyd is a professional an not to mention the best boxer in the world an he did exactly what he get paid to do, knocked Ortiz straight the f%&k out, gentlemen this ain't tennis this is boxing an the ref can't protect Ortiz an he didn't tell him to sign that contact

Anybody that watch boxing knows the last thing the ref say before the first bell is PROTECT YOUR SELF AT ALL TIMES, Ortiz dropped his hands, remember Floyd on 24/7 saying "IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE U MUST PAY"Ortiz made the mistake of dropping his hands an Floyd being true to his words made Ortiz pay, an for pac-man take the test

Retired boxer u know the rules an there was nothing dirty about that knock out, Floyd is right Larry don't know sh%& about boxing, an from where um looking u don't nether,, u don't have to like Floyd but u do have to respect his skills, pac-man's a%& is next Floyd gone get that MONEY an kick his a%& too

Mayweather is a punk and a coward, always has been. He knows that he does not have the ability to stand toe to toe with an boxer of equal skills without using his wannabe thug like skills. It's a shame this sport has gone downhill like all the other sports. Now it's just about money, it used to be about pride. Boxing is like watching WWE now, it's all about the hype and money. I wish this poor excuse of a boxer would retire for good and let boxing progress a little without his cheating ways.

This writer obviously hates boxing, and is pissed off he had to cover a sports article. He'd rather be writing about what shoes Kardashian is wearing today. I love boxing and the drama. Can't wait for the next chapter.

This article is ridiculously bad and sets women sportswriters back 30 years. I love how boxing is dying and Mayweather is bad for the sport but there have been more articles about this fight than for any UFC Fight EVER! Name me a Pacquiao fight that has had this much post fight talk?

Ortiz got exactly what was coming from him as far as I am concerned when he decided to headbutt Mayweather. Only Mayweather can be intentionally fouled and then called a coward and an embarrassment when he retaliates back.

Chi-town, I'll forget more about boxing than you'll ever learn in a lifetime. It may have been called "legal" by the ref and ringside officials, but if Mayweather boasts to be the best in the world why take a cheap shot. And I used to be a Mayweather fan so I have the right to criticize. No longer will I follow his pathetic career or try to justify his stupid actions. Sorry, you can keep following that loser and defending him, I'm done.

As for Marion, Ortiz made a foul and had a point dedutced, Mayweather shows unsportsman like conduct and what many other people considered a foul but he gets a win. Did you listen to the crowd? Mayweather may have gotten the official win but at the end of the night he KO'ed two opponents, Victor Ortiz and Mayweather's own career.

You all can argue, I'm out. I'm not wasting any more time arguing over Fraud Gayfeather Jr. He's not worth my time, nor are his thug followers.

You guys are lost. Yes, bias plays a part in our view but the bottom line- how can a champ feel like a champ when he clearly knew he was throwing a sucker punch? o excuses, yes Ortiz is a dumbass for the headbutt but come on. He shoulda just beat him in the ring, would made him look better, and boxing. I lost respect for both fighters Saturday. Boxing is the new WWE, that all.

first of all it was the punk ortiz fault simply because he is a punk, it started during weigh in by letting floyd choked his throat right from that moment he already lost the fight. if you are a real fighter you will not let anybody choke you infront of national tv. then he started the headbutt, and started hugging and kissing floyd instead focusing on the fight. its either the fight was scripted or ortiz is just a punk.

you headbutt your competition you better expect he is coming right at you the minute there is an opening. Ortiz was grasping for a longer break and to slow the fight because he could sense his chances tanking rapidly.
and the 24/7 specials on hbo before these fights have been amazing television

Mayweather is to boxing what Bonds is to Baseball. Ortiz is just plain dumb too though, so who is better? MMA

As a former amateur boxer myself this article is bias not fact based.It clearly states in the rules to protect yourself at all times period. Mayweather did nothing outside of the rules so do not bash him that is a low blow.

Juanita, you need to do something else in your spare time. I hope this is not your full time job. Ortiz's headbutts were "dirty." He tried to headbutt Money several times in the fight. That was the one he finally landed flush. And you want to talk about dirty...where was this article when Margarito got bagged for having loaded gloves? How is it he is fighting Cotto at MSG in December when he doesn't even have a boxing license in any state but Texas? Did you see how Manny Pac is getting raped by Arum and Top Rank? How dirty is that? The man is a superstar and great fighter yet he has to take an advance from his next fight to pay bills. There is a lot of dirty things going on in boxing, lets not just focus on Money and his legal punch no how much we may have disliked the outcome.

Bla,Bla,Bla thats all I hear from most of you guys that hate the Mayweather tactics, but keep in mind that Ortiz not only tried to headbutt Mayweather but also throw a left that missed as well. I say that to say he got what he deserved. plus he could have gotten up to fight.....

I'm tired of writers writing like boxing is dead - Is baseball alive now that everybody stopped using PED's? College sports are more corrupt than the catholic church. America needs boxing because it is one of the few sports that didn't sell out to make athletes a bunch of panzies two men standing toe to toe fighting it out aka the sweet science. When our ancestors got off their boats from Europe one of the few sports they embraced was boxing maybe we ought stop and learn a thing or two from them.

This is one of the worst boxing articles I have ever read - one-sided, out of touch with the realities of the sport. How Juanita can have a job (I'm assuming she's paid) writing about boxing is beyond me.

Hey lets all face it, boxing is so corrupt because the Navada Athletic Commission refuses to do the right thing and make the fighters fight, and enforce the rules and regulations thats in its own rule book.

Boxing is much better than ultimate fighting. Who wants to watch two tough guys locked in sexual positions anyway???? Homos

yes, Floyd is low class, but he is the only one NOT to blame in the debacle. Ortiz fought dirty and acted just plain weird, and the ref was not in control of the fight and did not do what he was supposed to after the intentional head butt (which is a 2 point penalty by the way) ultimately, it is the ref who must take the blame because he did not do his job well.

Boxing is a low rent sport.............

I wish Mayweather would at least fight Cotto if he won't get things straight with Pac-Man.