Doug Fischer

Dougie’s massive Monday Mayweather mailbag

BAD ENDING TO A BIG FIGHT

Hi Dougie,
I noticed that the reaction of myself and others are definitely not the reaction of the national media that covered the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight. Many members of the media are taking the “protect yourself at all times” rule and applying it here. But Mayweather could have waited until Ortiz was ready. Of coarse that is not a courtesy Floyd wanted to offer. It felt like both fighters lost their cool. And if you're not going to fault Ortiz for headbutting (even though he was penalized) or Floyd for punching a defenseless fighter (classless) then you've got to fault referee Joe Cortez. How can you take your eyes off the match? Aren't you supposed to send the fighters to their neutral corners if you have to deal with something, and then let them fight. So many things were wrong about the ending and I feel the media is taking the easy way out.

Floyd was great. His name became more infamous. And people will continue to wait on the Pacquiao-Mayweather matchup. It's frustrating because we wanted to see more. Floyd had him. He didn't need a cheap shot to get the job done. I can understand the frustration, but at this level I expected Floyd to have gone through all this before and be able to handle it. I guess I was wrong. Everyone is human.

How does this impact anything? Does he lose fans? Does he lose viewerships? Does his legacy take a hit?

Please give us your thoughts. Thanks. — Jey, Mississauga, Ontario

Thanks for your thoughts, Jey. My immediate thoughts on the abrupt and bizarre ending to Mayweather-Ortiz is that both fighters behaved unprofessionally and the manner in which the fight ended was bad for the sport. Ortiz blatantly fouled Mayweather (at a time when he was finally scoring some effective shots) and the 34-year-old veteran took advantage of the 24-year-old man-child’s excessive desire to apologize in the moment. What Ortiz did to Mayweather during their infighting was wrong, and Cortez rightfully penalized him a point for it. The manner in which Ortiz completely lost his focus, while literally trying to kiss and make up with Mayweather immediately after initiating the foul, was unprofessional. What Mayweather did in order to land two cheap shots was extremely unprofessional.

In my opinion, it was just a step above Mike Tyson’s ear biting incident in the first Evander Holyfield fight. Mayweather, being a better boxer and slightly less bipolar than Tyson was in 1996, retaliated in a manner that wouldn’t get him DQ’d. He saw an opportunity to get a quick ending, or an offensive advantage at the very least, and he took it. It was a mean-spirited, vicious (no pun intended) act, and unless you’re a big Mayweather fan or someone who can’t stand Ortiz, it was upsetting. It left you with an ugly feeling about the sport.

Unless, of course, you’re a member of the boxing media. We’re all too jaded to become that upset about the way the fight ended. We all picked Mayweather to win, so our egos were appeased by the outcome of the bout. And our need to assign blame was also appeased by Ortiz. His actions opened the door for Mayweather’s actions, so he’s at fault. End of story. I know it sounds harsh. That’s because it is harsh. We (the boxing media) are harsh. We don’t have much patience or empathy for a young fighter who acts like a wild barbarian one moment and then becomes a touchy feely hippie the next. We believe a mixed-up goof ball like that deserves to get KTFO. I kind of felt like that Saturday night. I thought Ortiz blew it by committing a foul and then totally dropping his guard, and I’ve become so jaded following Mayweather’s career that I wasn’t shocked by his under-handed retaliation. 

However, I appreciate your perspective. I’m glad you think the media is taking the easy way out in the manner in which the outcome was covered. You’re probably right.

And I’m glad you believe that Mayweather could have waited until Ortiz was ready to continue. He absolutely should have. That would have been the honorable thing to do. Boxing should be, or at least strive to be, an honorable sport.

How does this impact anything? Apart from the sport losing more casual fans, I don’t believe it does.

Does Mayweather lose fans? I’ll answer that question with a question. Does he really have fans? He says himself that the people who pay to see him lose are his “fans.” If that’s the case, no, I don’t think Mayweather loses fans because of Saturday‘s fight.

Does he lose viewerships? It’s hard to say. It depends on who he fights next. He wears the black hat very well. He‘s a good promoter. I don’t think he or Golden Boy Promotions can sell a rematch with Ortiz, but maybe they can sell a showdown with Amir Khan or with Saul Alvarez in a year or two. Mayweather against Khan or Alvarez would sell just as well or even better than Mayweather-Ortiz did.

Does his legacy take a hit? No. Fans and media who thought he was great before the Ortiz fight believe this victory was further proof of it. Fans and media who don’t think he’s great believe his actions in the fourth round is further proof of it.  

BACKING MAYWEATHER

What's up dude? We have talked. You know I'm no Mayweather fan but not only do I back him in his actions against Ortiz, I question anyone who doesn't. Victor was getting picked apart and decided to blatantly foul Floyd. Just like any of us out here who have half a sack, Mayweather responded by punishing him like a pornstar's tonsils. I have no problem with how this fight ended.

I do, however, have a problem with Larry (I only like you if you come forward and eat shots) Merchant. That dude needs to be retired. I wish he WAS 50 years younger so PBF could kick his ass! At any rate, I'm glad I didn't pay for this crap! Went to my boy's house to see it. He had food, drinks and women over there. I'm retired from the playa game but I can still look, dawg. Holla back! — Fleetwood

I think the fact that you were glad that you didn’t shell out any money for the pay-per-view show is proof that Mayweather mishandled the situation that Ortiz helped create. Mayweather may have been within his rights to retaliate or punish Ortiz for the intentional head butt, he didn’t NEED to do that in order to humble the young man. He was a 5-to-1 favorite for a reason. Ortiz wasn’t ready for him or an event of that magnitude. All Floyd had to do was bide his time and he could have scored a SATISFYING late-rounds knockout that would have rivaled his late stoppages of Chico Corrales and Ricky Hatton.

Instead he took advantage of the space cadet that stood defenseless in front of him. I guess I can’t fault him too much for it, but I don’t like it and I can’t say that I don’t have a problem with it, even if Ortiz got what was coming to him. It was ugly and without honor. I’m not going celebrate the way that fight ended.

I’m not going to celebrate the silly verbal exchange between Merchant and Mayweather, either. I like Merchant and I still think he’s the best TV boxing analyst and in-the-ring post-fight interviewer ever, but I think he should have taken the high road and not allowed Mayweather’s typically childish outburst to ruffle his feathers.

By the way, if I’m ever in St. Louis around the time of a pay-per-view fight and I’m not covering it, I’m going to accompany you to your buddy’s house to watch the show. That sounds like a good time.

BOXING FANS GET SUCKER PUNCHED

Ah Dougie,
This was one of those weekends where hardcore boxing fans become masterful apologists to all the "others" who tuned in. First we have the early stoppage of Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfonso Gomez. I mean if the ref was Gomez's own mother, she'd have let him go for another 10-15 seconds to see if he could withstand the Canelo’s onslaught. Oh well..

And Vicious Victor… Man… he sure does have an odd sense of timing on when to make good on that moniker, doesn't he? In truth, yes Floyd was winning the fight but Victor didn't seem bothered much by being pot-shotted. In fact, I thought he was starting to touch "Money" up a bit by swarming him against the ropes. The jumping headbutt thing? I'm going to go out on a limb and translate that as this: "He isn't hurting me, I'm starting to come on, but just can't seem to hit this guy clean. Dude has talked all that trash and can't handle my size/strength and reverts to this defensive elbow crap that I keep running into." If you look at the entire fight, Victor seemed to be driving his head at Mayweather during clinches the entire time as if it was going to prove how powerful he is and break him down.

Now I translate a sucker punch in two ways here. Ortiz sucker punched Mayweather by beadbutting him in the mouth (causing cuts to his lower lip and inner cheek). I'm sure the sting of that sunk in as Victor was trying to make up for it with all his hugging and kisses and crap. Remember when Shane complained late in the Floyd’s fight or seemed to want to hold a conversation in the ring and Mayweather popped him? I don't think it's good sportsmanship, but I'd rather see a fight than a conference like the excess glove bumping Mosley did with the Pacman. So Floyd wants to get back to work and just fight. PLUS, he was popped in the mouth and probably wanted to avenge that too. Still, it's a crappy way to get a win within the unified rules of boxing or not.

Overall, we as fans get sucker-punched from the weekend’s events. There was no need to go off on Larry Merchant, either, regardless of how jaded he can be.

I think Floyd looked a little slower than he did against Mosley, lunging with shots in a way I haven't seen from him before. I used to think he'd handle Pacman (not easily) but now I may be a bit in-between on that. I cannot see Floyd fighting ANYONE else at this point. Not sure anyone else wants to see him fight anyone else either. — JB

I still think Pacquaio-Mayweather is an even fight. Fans and boxing people who think Mayweather’s KO of Ortiz proves that Floyd’s got PacMan’s number are straight-up crackheads. Ortiz does not fight like Pacquiao and he doesn’t approach the Filipino’s class and experience.

I also believe Mayweather has slowed down a bit in recent fights. I think Pacquiao has slowed down a bit, too. As for the lunging, I think Mayweather always does that a bit in the early rounds when he fights lefties.

I agree that Mayweather’s right-hand pot shots were not hurting Ortiz through the first three rounds but that doesn’t mean they weren’t affecting the young man. I think Mayweather’s ability to touch Ortiz and the younger, bigger man’s inability to touch him back was taking a toll on the defending beltholder.

I think Ortiz had expected to get some kind of positive result with his vaunted power in the early rounds. And why not? He’s dropped or seriously rocked something like 80% or more of his opponents within the first three rounds. But he wasn’t able to hurt Mayweather and I think that bugged him. I think Mayweather’s clinching and Cortez’s immediate separations, which prevented him from getting any kind of rhythm going in close, also bothered Ortiz. He tried to head butt Floyd in one of the rounds before the blatant fourth-round butt, which tells me the young man was unraveling a bit.

This doesn’t mean Ortiz wasn’t going to eventually get to Mayweather and do some damage. He was close to breaking through when he let Floyd’s talking and holding piss him off enough to commit a foul. But the over-the-top manner in which he tried to apologize is an indication that Ortiz simply wasn’t ready for Mayweather or the big stage. The young man just completely lost his focus and edge.

Floyd zapped him while he was mentally napping. Like you said, he was ready to get back to work and fight. Ortiz obviously wasn’t.

Regarding the Gomez stoppage, I agree that it was premature. Gomez is a tough cookie who has been in with bigger, stronger and better fighters than Canelo. He deserved a chance to fight through adversity. And Alvarez doesn’t need any referee’s help in putting a fighter away. The redhead is a damn good finisher. All Wayne Hedgepeth’s stoppage did was cause Alvarez haters to say that he’s protected, and that’s not fair to the kid.

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