Is Boxing’s Oldest Adage Under Fire Following Floyd Mayweather’s Controversial and Crushing KO of Victor Ortiz?
This past Saturday night, following a seemingly intentional head-butt to his mouth and conciliatory kiss and hug by “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, Floyd (Money) Mayweather, Jr. scored a spectacular fourth round knockout which will have a permanent home in boxing infamy.
While Mayweather was ripped by fans and boxing cognoscenti alike for his facially unsportsmanlike conduct, there is no real consensus as to who of the three individuals in the ring should truly bear the brunt of the post-fight firestorm.
Did Ortiz get what he deserved for setting off Mayweather, who has a history of forcefully laying waste to boxers such as Diego (Chico) Corrales, Phillip (The Time Bomb) N’Dou, Ricky (Hitman) Hatton, and Arturo (Thunder) Gatti when he is facing an actively dangerous opponent? Should Mayweather be deemed the epitome of a bad sportsman for landing the two worst-intentioned punches in his career when Ortiz tried to apologize again after touching gloves? Should referee Joe Cortez have been looking away during a volatile moment in the bout?
More important perhaps than any of these questions, however, is the question of whether boxing’s oldest adage, protect yourself at all times, survives a bout such as Mayweather-Ortiz and is truly the exclusive responsibility of the boxer himself anymore and not a referee. A quick analysis follows...
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