Sure you're ass-tired of Ortiz-Mayweather comments. I've would've written earlier but have a 2-year-old daughter and a pregnant wife… so you know how that goes regarding pre/post-work free time.
Felt compelled to write, primarily to applaud you on your take on this affair. I agree with it completely. And while I may not side with all your opinions all the time (what a boring world that would be), I truly appreciate the care and effort you take in crafting your articles & mailbag — mostly that your views come from a very honest and thoughtful place.
Regarding Suckerpunch Saturday, what's truly been astonishing has been most boxing writers' take. Specifically the apparent lack of regard they have for the sport in terms of sportsmanship that most apply as well as how it's perceived. All in that ring did a disservice to the sport: Ortiz's behavior has no place, yet he was penalized. Cortez was keeping consistent to the late model version of himself. Mayweather's action was unsportsmanlike and provided a completely unsatisfactory end to a very hyped PPV event. In a phrase, it was "bush league".
What absolutely dismays me is that Mayweather's action was tolerated, condoned and, even, celebrated by those who write about and, supposedly, advocate boxing. This whole "street fighting", "if roles were reversed" and "deserved it" is pretzel logic reasoning that completely obscures the most salient fact: someone's manipulation of the rules, not boxing skills, won the championship fight. Hope we don't see others see this tactic as an acceptable way of winning.
Everyone I talked to at work (where I'm known as "boxing guy" due to my YouTube show Barstool Boxing Brooklyn) was flabbergasted. One guy said he has Wrestlemania for that sort of otherworldly spectacle. To a person, they thought Ortiz's headbutt (along with his kissing and hugging) was bulls__t and deserving of punishment, yet Mayweather obviously took advantage of the situation in a cheap way. Implied by all: this was a s___ty fight, a lame ending and a big rip off (inferred: and you’re a big fan of this s__t?)
For me — a fan since watching Wide World of Sports in the ‘70s with my dad — that fight did not show the type of boxing that makes the sport nonpareil. It's a brutal, compelling sport that demands amazing mental and physical skills to thrive in (which is why we love it). But Saturday night confirmed the reasons why casual fans stay casual and other people dismiss it. Or why it's not on ABC, NBC or CBS anymore.
What the windy road above is leading to is that I'm glad to have read someone who got that that's not how champions win or does the sport any favors. Controversy in the game's application doesn't build audiences. Perhaps the media was more focused on finding a culprit rather than address the bigger issue. Seems most sports writing (and journalism in general) has become about pointing the finger and assessing blame. Those who accept this level of behavior in championship bouts will never help elevate the sport at any level. More should've recognized that there were no winners in Saturday's fight… and only us true boxing fans as the losers.
Not looking to get printed (too f__kin long, man). Just wanted to pass along my gratitude for your stance and level-headed take on our beloved sport. Will be considerably more concise on my next letter.
Best to you and your family. — Matt
Thanks Matt. First off, I’ve seen a few episodes of Barstool Boxing Brooklyn and have enjoyed them. Regarding your thoughts on Mayweather-Ortiz, I couldn’t have said it any better, which is why I wanted your email to be the last word on the “legal sucker punch” in any of my mailbags (believe me, I’m moving on after this column).
I’m also “the boxing guy” to the regular world of adults who work 9-5 jobs, thanks to my two girls, 3-year-old Jeanne-Imani and 7-year-old Josephine. I come into contact with the “casual fan” every weekday when I see my neighbors as I leave the house to drop the kids off and, of course, at their respective schools, which are in two very different communities (Inglewood and the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles).
EVERYBODY who ordered last Saturday’s pay-per-view expressed dismay and disgust at Mayweather’s fight-ending actions and post-fight interview when they saw me. Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t try to explain or defend what happened, and that really sucks because I love boxing as much as you do.
Sadly, this fight let me know that the boxing industry is out of touch with the rest of society. I’m not 100% sure what that means as far as the sport’s future, but I don’t think it’s a good thing.
Email Doug Fischer at email@example.com