Victor Ortiz told MaxBoxing.com that he was attempting to break the nose of Floyd Mayweather Jr. with an intentional headbutt before being dethroned as WBC welterweight titleholder by fourth round knockout in their bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
“I was trying to break his nose. 100 percent. Because he nailed me 16 times with his elbow on my right eye, which made me close my eye. The last one, I kept telling [referee Joe] Cortez, ‘elbow.’ But he says, ‘keep fighting, Victor, keep fighting Victor.’ I said, ‘alright.’ I took four before…and I kept calling them, ‘elbow,’” said the 24-year-old Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) during a recent interview with Maxboxing.com concerning his actions against Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs).
“[Cortez said] ‘keep fighting, Victor.’ [Ortiz responded] ‘Alright, alright, here we go.’ I get him against the ropes, fourth round. Boom! I’m catching him. He catches me right on my eye. One more time on my eye. Just straight in my eye. There’s even pictures of it. Right in my eye. My eye gets closed. So I unleashed a head butt.”
At the moment when Mayweather threw the two-punch combination that resulted in the knockout, 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.
“You want to get dirty, I got dirty…I let the best of me get away. For that, I started feeling bad. That’s why I was like, ‘Floyd, man, my bad, yo. I apologize, man.’ So I gave him a hug. That got me to feel human once again in the ring,” said Ortiz.
“And when I felt human, I paid for it. Although, you know what? I take it as a learning lesson and a learning experience. And the next time, it ain’t going to be that. If I’m going to head butt you I’m going to break your nose the next head butt.”
TRAINER DANNY GARCIA WARNED CORTEZ THAT A FOUL WAS COMING
During an interview with RingTV.com on Oct. 13, in fact, Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Garcia, said that he warned Cortez during the pre-fight instructions in the dressing room that Ortiz would “throw a low blow or a head butt” if they felt it was necessary to retaliate for perceived dirty fighting from Mayweather..
“[Ortiz] headbutted him because I told Joe Cortez right before the fight in the dressing room that might happen. 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,” said Garcia.
“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.’ 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.”
Garcia said that he did not instruct Ortiz specifically to head butt Mayweeather at the time that he actually did, but that he was going to tell him to foul Mayweather later on.
“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,” said Garcia.
“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.”