This was one of the few bouts in recent years that attracted attention outside the circle of hard-core boxing fans, with nearly 15,000 turning out to see the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and millions more watching via pay-per-view and closed circuit in more than 100 countries.
It was supposed to be a fight. It turned into a circus.
Mayweather, 34, dominated his 24-year-old opponent for three rounds. In the fourth, Ortiz intentionally head-butted Mayweather, causing the ref to temporarily halt the bout and deduct a point from Ortiz, who actually kissed Mayweather on the cheek as part of his apology.
The fighters were moved to the center of the ring and touched gloves. Time was called “in,” but Ortiz still seemed to be looking toward the ref for a signal to resume. Mayweather pounced, tagging Ortiz with a left and then flooring him with a right.
End of fight. The consensus seemed to be that Mayweather’s punches were legal cheap shots. You gotta protect yourself in the ring at all times.
Post-fight, Mayweather grew weary of veteran TV analyst Larry Merchant’s grilling and yelled at Merchant, “You don’t know s— about boxing,” prompting the 80-year-old Merchant to reply, “I wish I was 50 years younger, I’d kick your ass.”
Another sorry spectacle for a dying sport.
By Richard Roeper