FanDuel - WFBC

September 18, 2011

1961 Larry Merchant Would Kick Floyd Mayweather's Ass: After Floyd Mayweather's controversial sucker-punch knockout of Victor Ortiz in their welterweight title fight Saturday night, Mayweather went off on ring announcer Larry Merchant during a live interview (video). Merchant responded to Mayweather's insults by telling the enraged boxer, "I wish I was 50 years younger and I'd kick your ass."

posted by Mr Bismarck to boxing at 01:31 PM - 58 comments

Well that was an absolutely bizarre finish to the Mayweather fight.

Ortiz loses a point for a headbutt, tries to hug Mayweather in some sort of apology... The ref finishes marking the point off with the judges, the two fighters come together in an embrace again, Ortiz takes one step back and Mayweather pops him twice with the ref not even looking.

Ortiz down for ten.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:14 AM on September 18

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:56 AM on September 18

Well that was an absolutely bizarre finish to the Mayweather fight.

How about Mayweather and his crew talking shit to Larry Merchant after the fight, and his response:

"I wish I was 50 years younger, I'd kick your ass."

posted by grum@work at 11:35 AM on September 18

I guess it was an easy way for Mayweather to stop the Pacquiao question coming up.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:43 AM on September 18

What is left for Mayweather to tarnish his reputation with? Steel wool?

posted by yerfatma at 03:00 PM on September 18

Cheap shotting piece of shit.

posted by Drood at 04:35 PM on September 18

Ortiz should've stopped trying to make out with Floyd and remembered that he was in the middle of a fight.

posted by BornIcon at 05:03 PM on September 18

Still a punk move.

posted by outonleave at 05:28 PM on September 18

Wasn't this just wisdom and experience? Both the referee and the Nevada Athletic Commission thought it was fine. Ortiz shouldn't have headbutt him in the first place, and then he should have left it at one apology. Lesson learned, I'd say.

posted by bperk at 06:12 PM on September 18

Absolutely! People making a bigger deal of Mayweather doing exactly what he was there to do and that's box. Remember that it was Ortiz that fought dirty and blatantly headbutted Mayweather in the first place. I don't see anything wrong with what Floyd did, people just despise the fact that he keeps on winning and want to see his perfect record tarnished.

First rule in boxing: Keep your hands up at all times.

I guess Ortiz just forgot.

posted by BornIcon at 07:29 PM on September 18

The ref looked oddly distracted.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:24 PM on September 18

I don't see anything wrong with what Floyd did ...

It was incredibly unsportsmanlike to hit a boxer who had his gloves down and wasn't fighting. Even if it was somehow within the rules, Mayweather has been boxing long enough to know that Ortiz was mistakenly waiting for a signal from the ref that the fight had resumed.

Ortiz said, "I was called to break by the referee (after the head-butt) and I obeyed exactly as I was told. And then, boom, he blindsided me."

Instead of relying on the knee-jerk assumption that a successful athlete's critics are just a bunch of haters, how about applying some logical reasoning to the situation at hand?

posted by rcade at 09:07 PM on September 18

I didn't see the fight. Was Ortiz losing before the weird KO? He seemed oddly happy after the fight. I wondered if he was seeing a chance to get a second payday that a normal loss to Mayweather wouldn't have offered.

posted by rcade at 09:17 PM on September 18

It was incredibly unsportsmanlike to hit a boxer who had his gloves down and wasn't fighting.

Perhaps he was pissed because he was hit with an actual against-the-rules headbutt that left him bloodied? Is Mayweather the only one that is supposed to show good sportsmanship in the ring? Or is Ortiz's poor sportsmanship forgiven since he lost? Don't fight dirty and then expect the other guy to show good sportsmanship.

posted by bperk at 10:48 PM on September 18

"I didn't see the fight. Was Ortiz losing before the weird KO? He seemed oddly happy after the fight."

He was losing fairly handily for a fight that had only gone four rounds. If you're one of those judges who like aggression and punches thrown, rather than landed, (he landed fewer than seven punches a round), then the fourth may have been Ortiz's best round, but even if he'd won it it would have been scored 9-9 due to the docked a point.

Personally I think Ortiz was happy because he was being out-boxed and had deliberately headbutted someone and yet knew no one would be talking about these things.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:19 PM on September 18

Time to rank the SpoFi right frame ad displays:

The Hoser's NFL picks: Golf swing training video.

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Mayweather Merchant discussion: Filipino singles

posted by beaverboard at 11:41 PM on September 18

Instead of relying on the knee-jerk assumption that a successful athlete's critics are just a bunch of haters, how about applying some logical reasoning to the situation at hand?

I would love for you to show me where I gave a "knee-jerk assumption that a successful athlete's critics are just a bunch of haters". I stated facts, people are talking more about Mayweather knocking Ortiz out and how "unsportsmanlike" that was but in all actuality it was in fact Ortiz that displayed unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Personally I think Ortiz was happy because he was being out-boxed and had deliberately headbutted someone and yet knew no one would be talking about these things.

Couldn't agree more.

posted by BornIcon at 07:43 AM on September 19

I stated facts, people are talking more about Mayweather knocking Ortiz out and how "unsportsmanlike" that was but in all actuality it was in fact Ortiz that displayed unsportsmanlike behaviour.

It's not an exclusive choice. Ortiz can have displayed unsportsmanlike behaviour, and this can have been followed by Mayweather displaying unsportsmanlike behaviour.

In fact, I would suggest that this is pretty much how the scenario played out. And anyone who has a basic understanding of moral behaviour should know that your opponent's breaking of a rule or convention doesn't give you free license to do whatever the hell you want.

posted by fabulon7 at 07:58 AM on September 19

Or is Ortiz's poor sportsmanship forgiven since he lost?

No one is excusing Ortiz's poor sportsmanship on the head butt. It was penalized. It's just not in the same league as knocking out an opponent who wasn't defending himself.

posted by rcade at 08:09 AM on September 19

And anyone who has a basic understanding of moral behaviour should know that your opponent's breaking of a rule or convention doesn't give you free license to do whatever the hell you want.

What exactly did Mayweather do that showed him doing whatever the hell he wanted? The ref Joe Cortez re-started the fight, they touched gloves and Mayweather took advantage of Ortiz not following the first rule of boxing and that's to keep your hands up at all times. If Mayweather actually did something wrong Cortez would've done to Mayweather what he did to Ortiz and that's deduct a point but instead he counted to 10.

It's just not in the same league as knocking out an opponent who wasn't defending himself.

So who's fault is it that Ortiz wasn't defending himself? It's not like they were in a club and Mayweather blindsided him from behind. Is it Mayweather's duty to tell Ortiz to put his hands up because the fight was re-started?

posted by BornIcon at 08:13 AM on September 19

Is it Mayweather's duty to tell Ortiz to put his hands up because the fight was re-started?

Yes. Mayweather has been boxing long enough to recognize that Ortiz did not think the fight had restarted. He was facing the ref and had his gloves down.

posted by rcade at 08:35 AM on September 19

What I learned from this is that two wrongs don't make a right, but a right following a left makes a sucker punch knock out.

posted by apoch at 08:45 AM on September 19

What I learned is that illegal isn't as shocking as unsporting. Perhaps because it happens more often? I don't know.

Either way, it's a bit sad as it was a simply terrific undercard and a pretty intriguing main event to that point. Yes Mayweather was comprehensively outboxing Ortiz, but Mayweather hadn't shown any ability to hurt Ortiz, (though you had to think that the accumulation of shots over a number of rounds would have done it). Plus Ortiz's tactic of the left-lead had clearly caught Mayweather out, so I was interested to see how the supposed best defensive boxer e-e-e-ever was going to deal with that.

The finish was a bit WWE - a sucker punch with the ref looking the other way - but it's Mayweather, so I'm unsurprised there was a jerk move involved somewhere.

Post fight it sounds like he's still not interested in Pacquiao, which is disappointing.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:34 AM on September 19

Mayweather has been boxing long enough to recognize that Ortiz did not think the fight had restarted.

He'd already "apologized", so what he was doing there was probably confusing at best and stupid at worst.

If he's not paying enough attention to know the fight has started again, then what is he doing at this level? How can you mind read what a fighter is thinking when he's doing something that's very out of the norm (coming in for a second, weird, awkward apology) while the fight has started?

Put another way, if Mayweather missed and Ortiz was setting him up for a counter, would you think that was unsportsmanlike? Because to me, it was pretty cloudy what the hell Ortiz was doing until after the fact. To assume that a championship level fighter isn't paying attention is kind of tricky territory at that level. You take the opportunities given.

posted by dfleming at 09:53 AM on September 19

Yes. Mayweather has been boxing long enough to recognize that Ortiz did not think the fight had restarted. He was facing the ref and had his gloves down.

If you truly believe that then your view of boxing is misguided. Mayweather isn't there to help Ortiz, he's there to win and that's exactly what he did. Ortiz should've been paying attention.

The finish was a bit WWE - a sucker punch with the ref looking the other way - but it's Mayweather, so I'm unsurprised there was a jerk move involved somewhere.

Again, people want to talk about what Mayweather did, which wasn't illegal by any means as opposed to what cost Ortiz the fight which was an illegal headbutt.

posted by BornIcon at 10:06 AM on September 19

Put another way, if Mayweather missed and Ortiz was setting him up for a counter, would you think that was unsportsmanlike?

C'mon. Do you think there's even a remote possibility Mayweather misses a defenseless boxer who isn't looking at him? I think we can dismiss the theory that Ortiz was setting something tricky up there.

posted by rcade at 10:06 AM on September 19

Again, people want to talk about what Mayweather did, which wasn't illegal by any means as opposed to what cost Ortiz the fight which was an illegal headbutt.

The headbutt didn't cost Ortiz the fight. He was docked and the fight would have continued. Stick to the facts.

posted by rcade at 10:08 AM on September 19

The headbutt didn't cost Ortiz the fight. He was docked and the fight would have continued. Stick to the facts.

What followed after the headbutt is what cost Ortiz the fight even though he was already losing so technically the headbutt cost him the fight.

Ortiz was docked for the illegal headbutt, the fight did continue and he was knocked out. Those are the facts.

posted by BornIcon at 10:14 AM on September 19

Put another way, if Mayweather missed and Ortiz was setting him up for a counter, would you think that was unsportsmanlike?

Worst. Boxing movie. Ever.

What if Mayweather knew that Ortiz was faking and threw the first punch knowing that Ortiz was actually ready for it. Then he counters Ortiz's counter. Boom, knockout. Would you think that was unsportsmanlike?

What followed after the headbutt is what cost Ortiz the fight even though he was already losing so technically the headbutt cost him the fight.

I think you're talking yourself in circles.

Ideally, both of them get off their cheap shots and nobody gets knocked out and they go on to have a good fight. Mayweather took that possibility away from us by ending the fight with his cheap shot. If that headbutt had dropped Mayweather we'd be pissed at Ortiz. Probably without anyone defending Ortiz, though you guys do suprise me sometimes with who you choose to defend.

posted by tron7 at 10:38 AM on September 19

C'mon. Do you think there's even a remote possibility Mayweather misses a defenseless boxer who isn't looking at him?

The first punch, his face is directly facing Mayweather. Mayweather has his fists up. Outside of sending him a telegram stating "I am going to punch you now. Stop." I'm not sure what Mayweather (or the ref) could've done to let Ortiz know he was ready to fight, considering he missed a bunch of signs that the fight had restarted.

posted by dfleming at 10:41 AM on September 19

The first punch, his face is directly facing Mayweather.

Scroll up and look at that animated GIF again. He's turned towards ref Joe Cortez. Ortiz said he was asking the ref, "What?" at the time he was punched.

"The ref said something and I was like 'What?' I thought he called a break. I'm pretty sure he did. Then, I woke up."

posted by rcade at 10:44 AM on September 19

"Again, people want to talk about what Mayweather did, which wasn't illegal by any means as opposed to what cost Ortiz the fight which was an illegal headbutt."

Mr Bismarck wrote : What I learned is that illegal isn't as shocking as unsporting.

I also mention the headbutt in my first post in-thread and then in my second I say "Ortiz was happy because he was being out-boxed and had deliberately headbutted someone and yet knew no one would be talking about these things."

I should probably pass your posting-standards examination enough to not be quoted as someone who's ignoring the headbutt.

Post-fight Cortez stated time was "in" and in replays you can clearly hear him say "let's go" and then does that hand tap thing Ref's do to show it's time to hit each other again. Ortiz either didn't hear it, or liked Mayweather's cologne enough that he really wanted that second hug.

I do have a rainbows and butterflies view where the way the fight ended isn't the behaviour of a champion, but, whatever, I have no problem with it at all. One fighter did something illegal and it wasn't Mayweather.

I just wish he'd fight Pac.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:50 AM on September 19

Scroll up and look at that animated GIF again. He's turned towards ref Joe Cortez.

He was looking right at Mayweather. Where you say he "turned towards" Cortez, it was Mayweather's punch to the face that turned Ortiz' head that direction.

One fighter did something illegal and it wasn't Mayweather.

I agree.

I just wish he'd fight Pac.

I think we all do.

posted by BornIcon at 10:57 AM on September 19

Scroll up and look at that animated GIF again. He's turned towards ref Joe Cortez.

No he isn't. Check the second angle. Cortez is coming from behind him as Ortiz finishes his hug. Ortiz then angles his face to aim at the right side of his face/over Mayweather's left shoulder. Perhaps he's turning, but he definitely doesn't get there until Mayweather clocks him in the cheek. The "what" you see I don't, because his lips open a little just as they finish embracing but there's really no movement after that. Is that when you see it?

On punch two, his face is squarely at Cortez, but at that point, who knows how much of that movement is voluntary. Ortiz readily admits he made a mistake, and whether or not he needed clarification from the ref, it was an appropriate and legal time to hit him.

"The ref said something and I was like 'What?' I thought he called a break. I'm pretty sure he did. Then, I woke up."

Ortiz is pretty sure he called a break too, and considering Cortez doesn't corroborate that, I'm not sure how much we can trust Ortiz' testimony to be accurate.

posted by dfleming at 10:57 AM on September 19

Scroll up and look at that animated GIF again. He's turned towards ref Joe Cortez. Ortiz said he was asking the ref, "What?" at the time he was punched.

This is the frame where Mayweather's left is thrown and lands.

He's clearly facing Mayweather at that point.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:05 AM on September 19

I guess I'm wrong about where he's facing, but he's still defenseless. He hadn't even finished backing away from that weird second hug.

I don't know that a Mayweather-Ortiz rematch is worth it, because he was outclassed regardless, but it's still a chump move for Mayweather to win the way he did. I'd be pissed to have paid to see that.

posted by rcade at 11:30 AM on September 19

I'd be pissed to have paid to see that.

Oh, I totally agree, but who I was pissed at would probably be different than you.

His defencelessness was a rookie mistake against a guy who will take a foot if you give him an inch. He should've been better coached than that, but seemed to get caught up in the moment and let his guard down and forgot who he was fighting. At that moment, Ortiz was stuck somewhere other than wanting to win and you're probably going to lose the moment you end up there against Mayweather every time.

posted by dfleming at 11:45 AM on September 19

Fortunately, the undercard was excellent.

Although the lady that scored the Vargas-Lopez fight 96-93 needs to be at an opticians this morning.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:51 AM on September 19

Isn't the ref supposed to separate the fighters to their corners if he's docking a point or not otherwise focusing on the fight?

posted by cixelsyd at 12:20 PM on September 19

What Mayweather did was right for several reasons. Time was in, which makes it legal. Ortiz wasn't paying attention, which makes it his own fault for not putting up his guard. But most of all, Mayweather had just sustained a headbutt to the mouth, which made it all but necessary for him to end the fight as quickly as possible. Once you take a headbutt and the inside of your lip is all cut up, every subsequent punch taken there is serious business. You have to change your fight to protect your mouth. Who knows how that would score out. Plus, I can easily imagine Mayweather thinking, this cheat just headbutted me, as soon as time is in I am going to knock his ass out, and doing exactly that.

Mayweather doesn't endear himself to his detractors. He's an undefeated boxer with a mouth on him. This was an ugly finish but it was entirely Ortiz' fault for taking way too long to get back into gear. I think Merchant was out of line for calling Mayweather a cheat right there in the ring after he won the fight, and his grandstanding after Mayweather's predictable response played well to the crowd, but it was a setup, a bigger cheap shot than anything Mayweather threw.

If I was fifty years older, I wouldn't have to put my money where my mouth is, either.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:22 PM on September 19

Lopez looks as if he's waiting on the ref to re-engage, even after the first blow. Mayweather is a dickhead, but it's hard to fault him for resuming fighting if time was back in ... looks like a ref screwup to me.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:31 PM on September 19

I didn't see it live, but looking at the gif my question would be: why are people moaning about either of the boxers? What the hell was the third man in the ring doing? He was clearly talking to someone outside the ring - maybe making sure the scorers had clocked the fact that he was docking a point or something - but for my money, he's the one causing the problem. He should have done all that before he told them to start hitting each other again (which he clearly had done). Ortiz is obviously distracted, but Mayweather's a highly trained and gifted fighter - he spotted an undefended chin and he smacked it. You can call it classless, but I'm fairly sure he doesn't care, and as much as I dislike him, I doubt he thought he was taking a cheap shot when he did it.

It's a shame for the fans, but there was nothing wrong with it in terms of the rules of the sport.

posted by JJ at 12:35 PM on September 19

The ref said he was looking at the timekeeper.

posted by rcade at 12:58 PM on September 19

I'm torn:

"Defend yourself at all times" is THE cardinal rule of boxing. Ortiz should have been ready, regardless of what he thought the ref was doing.

But...

There's a ref for a reason: this is boxing, not street brawling. Hitting people when it's unclear whether the ref has rejoined the fight take it out of the realm of sport and into hand-to-hand combat. Mayweather should have held back, regardless of what he thought the ref was doing.

So I can't really decide, except to err on the side of civilization and say Mayweather was in the wrong.

posted by Uncle Toby at 02:16 PM on September 19

"The ref said he was looking at the timekeeper."

From the article there : "Ortiz was looking at Cortez -- not Mayweather -- when the knockout came."

Heh. I posted there that Ortiz was looking at Mayweather along with a link to the image and they deleted my comment!

I am being oppressed by the man!

My mother will be so proud.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:51 PM on September 19

He was only looking at Cortex because Mayweather's left hook had just sent his head in that direction. The left hook was delivered when Ortiz was looking directly at Mayweather, who looked every inch the man ready to box, as he had done even before the second "come on, gimmie another hug" weirdness. The more I see it, the more I see a professional boxer going about his business and sloppy amateur flattening the floor with his arse. It definitely wasn't a sucker-punch for me. Nothing like it.

posted by JJ at 09:30 AM on September 20

I thought this was a good take on things.

posted by yerfatma at 10:13 AM on September 20

The left hook was delivered when Ortiz was looking directly at Mayweather ...

... and still pulling back from a hug without his gloves up. Mayweather accepted the hug -- he could have pushed Ortiz' gloves away -- and then knowingly struck when his opponent had not readied himself to fight.

It's legal, I guess, but I can't believe so many people think it's not a cheap shot.

posted by rcade at 10:16 AM on September 20

It's legal, I guess, but I can't believe so many people think it's not a cheap shot.

Mayweather accepted the hug pretty reluctantly; you could see before Ortiz even leaned in that Mayweather was ready to box. He tried to tap his gloves and go, but Ortiz led in.

A cheap shot to me is something that is contrary to the nature of the sport and its laws; hitting someone when they're not expecting is really what you're supposed to be doing because that fight could've changed at any time. You don't leave opportunities hanging out there.

It's like when MMA fighters keep hitting a guy when they've obviously finished; it's brutal, yes, but it's how you ensure that the fight is over for sure, which is the point I think.

posted by dfleming at 10:57 AM on September 20

Hitting a boxer when he's still in the process of apologizing for a penalty and thinks the fight has not resumed is contrary to the nature of the competition. There's no comparison between this and a fighter finishing off someone in the midst of exchanging blows.

posted by rcade at 11:33 AM on September 20

It's legal, I guess, but I can't believe so many people think it's not a cheap shot.

I still can't believe that people make a bigger deal of Mayweather knocking Ortiz out with 2 legal blows to the face but fail to mention that Ortiz was the one that got docked a point for an illegal headbutt.

Hitting a boxer when he's still in the process of apologizing for a penalty and thinks the fight has not resumed is contrary to the nature of the competition.

And how many more times was Ortiz going to apologize? It was the weirdest thing to see him apologizing over and over again but one apology is enough. Ortiz apparently was the only one that didn't know that the fight had resumed considering he was completely focused on apologizing to Mayweather which is his own fault. He only got himself to blame for getting knocked out because he wasn't paying attention.

posted by BornIcon at 11:48 AM on September 20

Hitting a boxer when he's still in the process of apologizing for a penalty and thinks the fight has not resumed is contrary to the nature of the competition.

And apologizing repeatedly, not keeping your hands up, and not being ready when the fight resumes is what exactly? Ortiz was in over his head. He made a rookie mistake, and Mayweather made him pay. That's on Ortiz, not Mayweather. It's not like Mayweather punched him after the first apology. He did it after the second inexplicable and unwanted one when he should have been ready to fight. I don't think sportsmanship requires letting your opponent get away with a lack of concentration.

posted by bperk at 11:49 AM on September 20

Which was really the third apology.

Apology 1 : After the headbutt Ortiz goes in for a hug and tries to kiss Mayweather on the cheek.

Apology 2 : As Cortez leads Ortiz on his tour of judges to take off a point they walk past Mayweather heading to the neutral corner. Mayweather shouts something and Ortiz puts out a glove in the more traditional boxing "oops! I sorry!" gesture. Mayweather looks set to bat the hand away, but eventually taps it.

Apology 3 : Cortez says "It's on" and taps his hands. Mayweather comes forward, Ortiz puts his hands out low. Mayweather raises his hands and is nodding. Ortiz taps Mayweather and appears to want to hug it out some more - during this whole exchange Mayweather has his gloves up at shoulder height or higher.

And then... civilisation as we know it ends.

All three judges had Ortiz ahead on the apology scorecards.

In other news, I like yerfatma's Grantland link.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:01 PM on September 20

And apologizing repeatedly, not keeping your hands up, and not being ready when the fight resumes is what exactly?

Really dumb. One of the dumbest things I've ever seen in a boxing ring. I don't think that makes it any less of a cheap shot.

posted by tron7 at 12:59 PM on September 20

I like Yerfatma's link...

Me too. I think we're making it's point, too.

posted by JJ at 01:02 PM on September 20

I don't think that makes it any less of a cheap shot.

So what would you call Ortiz' intentional and illegal headbutt?

I call it a desperate attempt to end a fight he knew he was going to lose... but that's just me.

posted by BornIcon at 01:31 PM on September 20

I still can't believe that people make a bigger deal of Mayweather knocking Ortiz out with 2 legal blows to the face but fail to mention that Ortiz was the one that got docked a point for an illegal headbutt.

Fail to mention? Perhaps you should read the discussion you are participating in.

Really dumb. One of the dumbest things I've ever seen in a boxing ring. I don't think that makes it any less of a cheap shot.

Exactly. It was colossally dumb for him to think the ref had not restarted the fight. But the sucker punch was a cheap way for Mayweather to win, and I think it will hang around his neck for a while.

posted by rcade at 01:43 PM on September 20

Fail to mention? Perhaps you should read the discussion you are participating in.

Poor choice words on my part. Maybe I should have said that rather then making a bigger deal of Ortiz' headbutt to Mayweather, people choose to speak of Mayweather's knockout of Ortiz.

But the sucker punch was a cheap way for Mayweather to win..

You call it a sucker punch but I'll continue seeing it for what it really was, a complete lack of focus for Ortiz. Mayweather was going to win that fight regardless of the outcome.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

posted by BornIcon at 01:54 PM on September 20

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