As a result of admitting that he tried to break the nose of Floyd Mayweather Jr. during September’s fourth-round knockout loss at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz might not be licensed for his scheduled Showtime-televised Feb. 11 rematch with Andre Berto until after addressing his actions to the Nevada State Athletic Commission during a Jan. 11 hearing.
Keith Kizer, the commission’s executive director, told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times on Friday night that Ortiz must appear before the NSAC and explain the “nose-breaking comments” he made during an interview with MaxBoxing.com.
“It’s true. Just tweeted it,” wrote Pugmire in an e-mail when contacted by RingTV.com. “Kizer told me as I was going to the MGM arena for the UFC [event].”
Pugmire tweeted that Kizer said Ortiz “needs to explain himself,” adding that he “would likely be summoned to Jan. 11 Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting.”
In a new development, Kizer confirmed the situation in an e-mail to RingTV.com on Saturday.
“Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman, Skip Avansino, has put Mr. Victor Ortiz’s application for a 2012 professional boxer’s license on for hearing before the Commission,” stated Kizer.
“The hearing will probably take place on January 11th, and is the result of Mr. Ortiz’s conduct in the ring in Nevada on September 17, 2011, and issues related thereto.”
Ortiz could not be reached, and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, declined comment.
“We’re very thankful and grateful for the opportunity that the Nevada Athletic Commission has afforded us to hear any and all of their concerns and to further discuss any concerns which relate to the health, safety and welfare of all fighters. So we’re really looking forward to going there,” said Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano.
“We really appreciate what they’re trying to do. We’re going to have an open forum where they discuss their concerns, and to discuss some concerns that we have as to the health and safety and well-being of all fighters, and not only Victor. So you have to applaud them.”
“I was trying to break [Mayweather’s] 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) in the inteview.
“[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 failed to 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 in his interview with Maxboxing.com.
“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.”