Joe Cortez believes he handled the Mayweather vs Ortiz debacle well, which makes one person. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Joe Cortez was on Fox Sports Radio with JT the Brick, and said in the interview that Victor Ortiz was frustrated by Floyd Mayweather Jr on Saturday night:
“He dug himself into a hole. They were the ones that were talking about ‘watch out for Mayweather, he comes in with an elbow, he has sharp elbows,’ so I said okay kid no problem. That didn’t happen last night. I guess he got frustrated after he felt like he was getting hit with so many right hands. I guess he lost his cool. He had Mayweather up against the ropes ready for the kill and he goes in with the head butt. I go ‘wow why did he do that?’ Then after you sit back and look at the whole picture and say I’ve seen this before with fighters taking punishment and then when they feel they have a disadvantaged or are getting outclassed, they start going low, they start doing other things unsportsmanlike. As a referee I follow the rules to the ‘t.’ My commissioner last night and you didn’t hear one of the commentators say anything about Joe Cortez. Everything was about why did Ortiz lower his guard? I called time in. Time was in. Why would he lower his guard again to apologize was to my surprise. That’s where inexperience fell in and Mayweather took advantage with his experience. He said ‘this is an opening for me. Nobody told him to put his hands down’ and he capitalized on it as a fighter.”
You can listen to the interview by clicking here, and it starts at 13:45.
I continue to believe that the ending was fair, but that Cortez still deserves some of the blame. His restart was not as clear as he lets on, or believes, or is telling people, whatever it is. I don't disagree with his assessment of what went down, but I think he did a poor job handling the situation, and I've yet to see anyone BUT Joe Cortez feel that Cortez handled it well. What Mayweather did was legal, what Ortiz did was stupid, and what Cortez did was perhaps not incompetent, but it wasn't what you'd expect of a veteran referee assigned to an important fight. There were better referees in the building. But then, there usually are.