(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The last two phrases fighters hear from the referee before the opening bell rings are “let’s have a good clean fight” and “protect yourself at all times”. Victor Ortiz failed to do both. The defending WBC World Champion, Ortiz (29-3-2) was in the biggest fight of his career defending his title against the boastful undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather (42-0) on September 17, 2011 live on HBO PPV and in front of thousands at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
On the biggest stage of his career, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz attempted to go after Floyd Mayweather at the opening bell. Ortiz would attempt to bully his way in with punch combinations only to have Mayweather defend and slip his way out of danger. As the rounds went on, Mayweather would slowly get comfortable and started pressing forward with lead right hands following with aggressive punch combinations then slip out again before Ortiz was able to counter Mayweather. During the contest, Ortiz would receive several warnings with using his head when fighting on the inside with Mayweather while Mayweather was against the ropes.
Going into the fourth round, Mayweather continued his assault with leading right hands. A frustrated Ortiz would finally take advantage of the moment by pushing Mayweather against to ropes with a barrage of punches. Able to defend most of the punches without having any significant punches land, Mayweather looked at Ortiz shaking his head as to say “you didn’t land anything with your punches”. The frustrated Ortiz then lunged forward with his head, head butting Mayweather in the mouth with 10 seconds left in the fourth round. Referee Joe Cortez put a halt to the action to penalize Ortiz for the flagrant head butt with a point deduction. Ortiz would hug and kiss Mayweather on the cheek as an apology. As referee Joe Cortez continued the fight, Ortiz would once again apologize to Mayweather by touching gloves. At that moment, Mayweather threw a left hook landing on the side of Ortiz’s head while Ortiz had both hands down. Ortiz then turns to look at the referee as to say he had been sucker punched, while Mayweather throws a crushing right cross to put Ortiz down. Referee Joe Cortez would then count Ortiz out with the fight ending in favor of Mayweather as the winner by knockout and once again the WBC Welterweight World Champion. Out of frustration, Ortiz threw an illegal head butt. And in an attempt to apologize as the fight continued, he was knocked out. As the referee says in the beginning, “let’s have a good clean fight, and protect yourself at all times”. Ortiz did not follow those rules and lost his Championship title.