As I watched the mega jumbo screen set up high up in L.A.’s Staples Center’s roof from my ringside seat at the “Canelo” Alvarez-Alfonso Gomez WBC super welterweight title fight, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Victor Ortiz lunged in with his head and struck Floyd Mayweather Jr. square on the lip. Seconds later, after much apologizing from Ortiz and a point deduction, Mayweather proceeded to cold cock Ortiz during a controversial lull in the action or break from it (depending who you ask). Ortiz was not able to beat the count administered by referee Joe Cortez and Mayweather Jr. walked away as the newly crowned WBC welterweight champion amidst boos from not only the attending Las Vegas crowd but the L.A. one too and I am sure millions in homes, bars and everything in between across the globe.
Everything that can be said regarding Ortiz’s, Mayweather’s and Cortez’s behavior in that fourth round has been said, written and thought since last Saturday. I feel that I must add my two cents so here they are.
Let’s not forget that everything began with Ortiz’s flagrant foul. Ortiz, from the first seconds of HBO’s “24/7” until about ten seconds before the end of the fourth round, always struck me as a kid that was way over his head, immature and unable to control his emotions. That head butt, in my estimation, was nothing but him showing frustration from not being able to execute his game plan against the near perfect Mayweather Jr. His excessive hugging and kissing after the fact only seconded my thoughts. Many might not agree with me but I do consider that actions of “Money” much worse. Yes, it has been said what if it was the other way around and Mayweather Jr. was the one that was punched before he was ready? Will we feel the same way?
What I thought at the end of the bout once I was able to put my thoughts in order was what if Ortiz had gotten really hurt, like suffering some type of head trauma? Would we still think that Mayweather Jr’s cheap shots were legal?
As far as Cortez is concerned, I only have one thought, he must retire.
I think Juan Manuel Marquez put it best when he released the following statement on his twitter:
Yes, you should always keep your hands up and not drop them but professionalism exists as well. If you’re a professional, you should fight as one and win cleanly. There is such a thing as sportsmanship.
Morales Champion Again
On the undercard of Mayweather-Ortiz, we saw a familiar sight once again, Tijuana’s Erik “Terrible” Morales holding once again a WBC green and gold belt around his waist. Many of us thought we would never see such a sight after Morales took nearly a two and a half year hiatus after his close loss to David Diaz for the lightweight version. After ballooning to over 200 lbs., Morales dedicated himself to the difficult task to getting back to somewhat of a fighting weight. The pudgy version of Morales that we saw defeat late sub Pablo Cesar Cano for the vacant super lightweight title was as close as we were going to get.
Twenty years, a super bantamweight Morales in his prime would have made mincemeat of Cano in three rounds but now we must be satisfied with Morales going to hell in back to get his wins.
I am not complaining.
Who knows what is next for Morales but a nice payday when he defends his title. I don’t believe that he has enough in the tank to defeat the elite of the 140 lbs. division but I am not going to turn my head and not watch because if somebody has the will to pull an upset, it is Morales.
Gesta on the Brink
On the other fight card presented last Friday by Top Rank in Parker, Arizona, lightweight contender Mercito Gesta finally found somebody to go ten rounds with him in Manny Perez of Denver, Colorado. The quick as lighting southpaw from San Diego won a unanimous decision that was broadcast on Fox Sports net.
Gesta is tentatively scheduled to appear again on November 11th in Las Vegas, on the eve of Pacquiao-Marquez III, Top Rank’s way of taking advantage of the sizable Filipino audience that will be in the Nevada desert. It is rumored that there is something much more enticing for Gesta instead but we will have to wait and see if that comes to fruition.
Is Orozco Ready?
Another local fighter that took an important step this past weekend was Antonio Orozco. He fought to a six round unanimous decision versus Fernando Rodriguez. Coming into the fight, Rodriguez had a slightly better than .500 record.
Orozco, who suffered an injury last year that took him out for several months and a misfortunate illness earlier this year that made him pull out of a match, got the much needed rounds versus Rodriguez. I understand that this match up was Orozco’s debut under his new promoter’s banner, Golden Boy Promotions. I am ready to see Orozco, who in my opinion has all the intangibles for a world title as well as all the tangibles such as a great amateur pedigree, a solid corner, a world class manager and enough skills in his tool box, to take a slight step up. I’m not asking for a stern test but something a little tougher than the late Humberto Tapia who has been Orozco’s most difficult opponent. I want to see how Orozco reacts to waters a little bit deeper than the wading pool. At 12-0 with 8Kos, I think he is ready but then again, I don’t sign the checks.
Just Like Old Times
Last week, being the celebration of Mexico’s Independence, I attended three different fight cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I could have gone to one on Sunday too but due to my day job, it was not possible. The action reminded me of when I first began to cover fights for Fightnews.com about six years ago. Each of the fight cards I attended was vastly different except for one thing, the boxing inside the ring. At the end of the night, no matter if the fight card is held in a Rosarito Gymnasium like the Thursday night Zanfer Promotions one or in a San Diego hotel hall like the Friday night Bobby D. Presents one or in L.A.’s Staples Center like the one put together by Golden Boy Promotions, two guys are inside a square throwing gloved punches at each other.
Gotta love it!