Danny Garcia warned referee Joe Cortez that his fighter, Victor Ortiz, would “throw a low blow or a head butt” if they felt it was necessary to retaliate for perceived dirty fighting from Floyd Mayweather Jr., the trainer told RingTV.com on Thursday.
Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) was dethroned on Sept. 17 as WBC welterweight titleholder by fourth round knockout against Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs).
Ortiz’s hands were down at his sides after attempting to apologize — in the form of a hug — to Mayweather for a headbutt. With Cortez nearby, Mayweather took advantage of the opening and nailed Ortiz first with a jarring left hook and then a powerful, straight right hand that sent the ex-titleholder sprawling to his back.
Ortiz rolled over and tried to get up, but did not rise in time to beat Cortez’s 10-count.
Garcia shared his thoughts about the fight with RingTV.com below.
DG: I still think that we can beat him and that we were going to beat him. The fight was pretty even and it was going the way that I expected.
RingTV.com: How do you mean?
DG: I expected the first four or five rounds that we were probably going to be losing the fight for a few rounds. I knew that. But we were doing better than I thought.
I knew that after the fifth or sixth round, that Victor was going to fight harder and harder and that he was going to start coming on and that we were going to put him down.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on the intentional headbutt?
DG: Yeah, well, he headbutted him because I told Joe Cortez right before the fight in the dressing room that might happen.
RingTV.com: That Victor would headbutt him?
DG: Well, I told him that, “You’re a good referee, you have a lot of experience, and I really like the way that you do your job. But please, please keep in mind that Floyd Mayweather throws a lot with the elbows.”
I told him that I don’t want a dirty fight, because Victor’s going to fight a good clean fight. But I told him, “if you don’t take a point from Floyd or something and control his elbows and stop him from fighting dirty, then Victor’s going to do something wrong too.”
RingTV.com: You told Cortez that?
DG: I told him that Victor is going to throw a low blow or a headbutt. I told him that, yes, in front of Victor. Within the first four rounds, Victor was getting hit with elbows two or three times good in the mouth.
RingTV.com: So you didn’t tell Ortiz to headbutt Mayweather in the fourth round, did you?
DG: No, I didn’t tell him to do that. But I was going to tell him to do that in the next round, or maybe in the sixth, seventh or eighth round if Mayweather was still continuing to use his elbows.
I was going to tell Victor to do maybe a low blow or to hit him, because that way he can know that we can be dirty too. But at the time, Victor, he headbutted Mayweather on his own, yes.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com