Is Oscar De La Hoya really confident that Victor Ortiz could have gotten into the fight with Floyd Mayweather? (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
In what may be the worst defense of Victor Ortiz's flagrant, dangerous headbutt to date, promoter Oscar De La Hoya went on Twitter last night, apparently watching the HBO replay of the Mayweather vs Ortiz fight, and unleashed this series of tweets:
(1) Watched the Ortiz fight again and I have to say Ortiz was coming on. it was only the 4th round and Ortiz was letting his hands go. (2) He was just warming up putting may weather on the ropes. then the cheap shot came along and the ref was lost looking at someone ringside. (3) Ortiz wanted to make it a street fight not an unfair fight. (4) I'm not trying to sell I'm just saying that at 24 years young victor was going to come on strong. 4 rounds u are just warming up. (5) The head butt was penalized. wasn't it? (6) You cannot tell who's going to win just by seeing 4 rounds especially when u have a young strong puncher like victor in front of you. (7) I'm just still fired up because of victor being young and strong and was in amazing shape and was hungry to win.
I will respond, just for kicks, with my own thoughts:
(1) Ortiz was letting his hands go, and landing next to nothing.
(2) He was putting Floyd on the ropes, but this is skipping over a little something here: It's the headbutt. The flagrant, absurd, headbutt. It wasn't "Mayweather's on the ropes and then the cheap shot." And Joe Cortez could have been staring right at them and what was he going to do? Erroneously jump in and stop the punches?
(3) This is the worst excuse I've ever heard. "He just wanted it to be a street fight, not an unfair fight!" OK, well, then what's the problem? He wanted a street fight. He got flattened for it. Legally. Also if he wanted a street fight so badly, why did he keep hugging him, apologizing to him, and kissing him? Why not shrug it off and say, "Yeah, that's how it is"?
(4) Yes, you are trying to sell.
(5) Yes, the headbutt was penalized. That's nice. But so what? It should have been. What is with this idea that penalizing the headbutt made it OK? For another thing, for a guy who quotes the rulebook so much, Joe Cortez missed this part from the Association of Boxing Commissions regulatory guidelines:
If an intentional foul causes an injury and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee will notify the authorities and deduct (2) points from the boxer who caused the foul. Point deductions for intentional fouls will be mandatory.
If that wasn't an intentional foul, what was? And it caused an injury. Nothing significant, but an injury. But yes, the headbutt was penalized, half as much as it was supposed to be, and then what happened in "return," the "cheap shot," was completely legal. So everything was kosher, yes?
(6) It's kind of easy to tell who's going to win by the fourth round when the fight ends in a knockout in four rounds.
(7) That's great that he was "hungry" and "strong" and "young," but he also was naive, foolish, breaking the rules, and he got, quite frankly, punked out for it all.
The more times I review the fight, personally, the less I feel anything for Victor Ortiz, and the less I have any interest in seeing a rematch where Floyd toys with a mentally fragile fighter for a second time. What would be the upside? Finding out if Victor tries to kick him?
I can understand Oscar's frustration, actually. As a promoter here, maybe he feels let down by Ortiz, the supposed heir to the Golden Throne. Deep down, Oscar has to know what he has on his hands in Victor Ortiz: A good, exciting fighter who just may not have the wiring to be a consistent top-level fighter. Comparisons have been made to Zab Judah this week, and I think the shoe fits. With Golden Boy needing a breakout top star, Ortiz appeared to be one of the stronger bets on their roster. If he'd even just plugged away and lost an admirable decision, that could have helped.
But he didn't, or couldn't, do it. He broke down and went into another zip code. It wasn't the first time, and likely won't be the last. Victor Ortiz has himself to blame again, even though he'll try to shift that to anyone else -- the media, the fans, the critics, the haters, Floyd, Mr. Destiny, whatever.