Floyd Mayweather’s vicious ‘cheap shot’ to claim the WBC welterweight world title against Victor Ortiz in 2011 is still clouded by controversy and viewed by many as a hollow victory.
Mayweather stopped Ortiz in the fourth round in highly contentious fashion after landing two brutal strikes.
Ortiz hadn’t landed much on Mayweather until the fourth round, but he connected with a few stinging shots before delivering a nasty and intentional headbutt.
Referee Joe Cortez immediately separated them and signaled for time out before deducting a point off Ortiz. Rightfully so.
He received a verbal warning from Cortez who resumed the fight.
Ortiz then hugged Mayweather who offered a half-hearted hug in return before smashing him with a thunderous hook and straight right-hand.
His destructive combo knocked out Ortiz who was unable to beat Cortez’s count.
Cortez waved off the fight with Ortiz stumbling around the ring.
Speaking after the fight, Mayweather defended his finishing blow: “In the ring, you have to protect yourself at all times.
“After it happened, we touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left hook and right hand after the break. You just gotta protect yourself at all times.”
Was it unfair? No. Was it sportsmanlike? Not necessarily. But, in short, Ortiz’s naively led to his downfall and failing to protect himself resulted in a devastating defeat.
Mayweather then exploded on veteran announcer Larry Merchant who questioned his conduct in a remarkable post-fight interview.