The short left hook and the straight right that immediately followed were legal and within the bounds of the pugilistic regulations. And while those punches ultimately gave Floyd Mayweather the WBC welterweight title, those shots also tainted an already a darkly stained legacy.
Sure, Victor Ortiz was stupid enough to intentionally propel his cranium to Mayweather’s chin in that fateful 4th round of their welterweight championship fight last Saturday (Sunday here in the Philippines). But he got deducted. The act cost him a point. But classless Mayweather had to get even and took advantage of an overly apologetic Ortiz, who should have held his guard up instead of letting them dangling at the sides.
And third man Joe Cortez should also be scrutinized for what could be an unacceptable lapse of refereeing. His eyes were definitely away from the fighters and the only time he took notice of the action was when a blitzed Ortiz fell on the flat of his back.
Looking at the big picture, Mayweather is now welterweight titleholder. But will a unification bout with his WBO counterpart and nemesis Manny Pacquiao follow his besmirched triumph if and when Pacquiao takes Juan Manuel Marquez out of the equation in November?
The answer, based on what Mayweather is spewing, is a big no. Which is unfortunate to say the least. Pacquiao already agreed to Mayweather’s demand for random drug testing. Now, Mayweather requires, on top of the unprecedented drug testing protocols, a humongous 70-30 share of the purse, with 70% channeled to Mayweather’s bank account, win, lose, or draw.
Negotiations have not even begun and Mayweather is too quick to price himself out from a fight with someone perceived by the boxing world as his only equal.
How will the world remember Mayweather? A defensive boxing genius who cherry picked opponents in the later stages of his career and refused to face a prizefighter who has the highest chances of beating him. That’s how.
And that short left hook and straight right he knocked Ortiz out with, yeah, those were legal shots. Legitimate yet cheap nails hammered to his legacy’s coffin.
Taking on Pacquiao will salvage Mayweather’s tarnished reputation. But then again, it’s all wishful thinking.
Photo credits: Daily Telegraph Australia
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