MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada– The story is getting just a little bit old as the HBO broadcast team once again made Mayweather the underhanded, classless villain, even in a series of events precipitated by a Victor Ortiz flagrant headbutt.
Still, the former five-division world champ, Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) came out on top with a controversial fourth round stoppage of defending WBC welterweight titlist, Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) in front of the assembled masses at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Up until the odd ending, the fight was actually a lot more competitive than many had predicted as Ortiz was able to push the action at times and walk through just about every shot landed. Mayweather boxed well, but, either by design or because of the gradual deterioration of a slick boxer in his mid-30’s, was nowhere near as elusive as usual.
The craziness began in the fourth round with Mayweather pressed up against the ropes and Ortiz pressing the action.
It was then that Ortiz launched a clear and flagrant headbutt, appearing to split Mayweather’s lip and causing referee Joe Cortez to deduct a point from the defending champ.
Then, as Ortiz was making the effort to apologize with a hug, Mayweather let loose with a big left hook and a bigger straight right hand that dropped Ortiz and rendered him unable to beat the count. It should also be noted that throughout this entire fight-ending sequence, Cortez was looking away from the action, seemingly focused on consulting the commission officials rather than handling the in-ring action.
After the contest, Mayweather railed against HBO’s Larry Merchant, issuing a “You don’t know sh*t about boxing” tirade before storming away from the post-fight interview.
Ortiz, armed with a smile and the typical “aw shucks” attitude in his post-fight piece, insisted that the headbutt was purely accidental, brought about by his surge of offense against a trapped Mayweather. Replays revealed, though, that the foul was about as flagrant as possible with neither glove being thrown at the time of the rocket-launched butt.
In the co-feature, Saul Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs) made the second defense of his WBC junior middleweight title by stopping Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2) in six rounds at the split-site venue of the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Prior to the stoppage, Gomez was giving the 21-year-old prospect/champion a tough contest, mixing things up and making Alvarez appear flat-footed and unsure at times despite a flash knockdown suffered in the first round.
Alvarez, for his part, seemed to be timing Gomez for something big– a strategy that worked in the sixth and final round when a sharp uppercut and thudding right hand from “Canelo” put Gomez in bad shape.
Alvarez would pounce on the buzzed veteran, landing several solid shots before the referee waved off the contest. Despite Gomez being legitimately hurt, the stoppage did appear to be a bit premature to most observers.
In the Las Vegas co-feature, Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) entered the record books as the first Mexican fighter to win world titles in four different weight classes when he stopped 21-year-old unknown, Pablo Cesar Cano (22-1-1, 17 KOs) in the tenth round of their scheduled twelve. However, it should be noted that this “title” bout for the vacant WBC 140 lb. strap was between two fighters unranked in The Boxing Tribune’s Top 20 at junior welterweight.
Morales showed flashes of solid work against his untested opponent, but Cano worked hard to keep the bout competitive right up until the final two rounds of the fight.
With a long gash over the left eye and swelling around both eyes of their fighter, Cano’s corner would wave off the bout between the tenth and eleventh rounds, saving the young work-in-progress from sustaining more damage in a contest that was starting to become one-sided.
In the opener of the pay-per-view telecast, Mayweather Promotions’ junior welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas (17-0, 9 KOs) won a close ten round split decision victory over Josesito Lopez by scores of 96-93, 95-94 with one dissenting judge scoring the bout 95-94 in favor of Lopez. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight 95-94 in favor of Vargas, who was penalized one point in round eight for a low blow.
In Off-TV action, Carson Jones (32-8-2, 22 KOs) stopped Said Ouali (28-4, 20 KOs) in the seventh round when the ringside physician determined that Ouali could no longer see out of his right eye.
Also, Canadian super middleweight prospect, Adonis Stevenson (15-1, 12 KOs) stopped Dion Savage (11-2, 6 KOs) in the first round of their scheduled eight rounder.
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