Mayweather vs Ortiz: Is it a fixed fight?
Every globally recognized sport has its own fair share of bizarre incidents and hateable characters. We have Lebron as NBA’s most recognized choke artist, the polygamous Tiger Woods for golf, and the enhanced Sosa’s and Mcgwire’s of baseball. These personalities are amazing players of their chosen sport but they do have flaws and had made decisions that shook the sporting world.
In boxing right now, we have Floyd Mayweather Jr. His last fight against Victor Ortiz is just another testimony to Floyd’s outrageous personality as a leading sports figure. His beautifully executed left-hook, right-straight combination knockout of Ortiz is overshadowed by the fact that Ortiz (and referee, Joe Cortez) seemed to be caught off-guard when it happened which made people think of Mayweather’s win as either cheap or a cheat.
Boxing fans and the media were abuzz over the latest Floyd-esque turn of events. Discussions flooded bars, social networks, and web forums. The most common dispute is over the legality of the punch. Was it by technicality, a legal blow? Or was it a punch on time-out? Some argue whether it was a sucker punch or Ortiz really deserved that one for being an idiot.
These are the prevalent opinions:
- Floyd is a cheater and he punched Ortiz fully knowing that they were still on time-out. Mayweather would have probably lost or was having a hard time in that fight; he had found a way to cheat and win.
- The punch, by any means, was legal. However it was still a cheap shot to a ceremoniously apologetic Ortiz. It was an undeserving win for Floyd.
- Floyd just did what a boxer should do. He did not cheat. It was a legal blow and Ortiz was just a stupid fighter who deserved to be knocked out for the headbutt he initiated.
- The headbutt was wrong. The punches were legal but still cheap.
For me, the opinions stated above are futile because I, for one, see it differently and I am sure that there are others that share my opinion. The fight between Mayweather and Ortiz was fixed!
Yes. I truly believe that the match was fixed—even worse, it was staged. The people involved especially Floyd Mayweather Jr. had the means and motive to pull it off.
Hyping up a match by making it appear more competitive than it should is the norm in marketing fights. Making it appear that there’s bad blood between fighters is understandable. Boxing fans are tolerant of such “hyping” methods but staging a high profile fight is unforgivable.
This is how I saw the fight:
- Floyd and his Money Team, Victor Ortiz, Joe Cortez, Delahoya, and GBP, were involved in this disgrace of a fight. The fix could never be done without these key figures.
- During the early rounds, a mock boxing match was being acted out—making spectators believe that they genuinely wanted to hurt each other. This is relatively easy particularly for professional fighters like Ortiz and Mayweather.
- The headbutts and dirty tactics employed by Ortiz were planned. Why? Because these would supposedly justify Mayweather’s actions later on. The “jumping” headbutt was too obvious, making sure that it wouldn’t go unnoticed. Ortiz really appeared villainous in those exchanges. Again, those were all done for a purpose.
- The over-the-top headbutt was the cue. The succeeding events such as the time-out, separation of fighters, and Cortez’s actions of looking away while Floyd delivering the knockout blow were too theatrical and contrived.
- Ortiz was supposed to stay down and out of his wits.
- Cortez called it a KO win for Mayweather and everyone involved were laughing all the way to the bank.
It is my belief that Mayweather is a shot fighter and he knows it.
He knows that he cannot compete at a high level anymore. He knows that Pacquiao will easily beat him. He knows that other fighters within his fighting weight range can put a stain on his perfect record.
Money May might have lost his boxing prowess but his business skills made up for it. So in order to maintain the “Money” image and financial edge, he has to cherrypick fighters or fix fights.
Mayweather’s main motivation is money and maintaining the illusion that he is still a very good fighter. With his place in pound-for-pound rankings and current fight earnings, saying that he is successful is an understatement.
His first fight out of his so-called retirement is a handpicked match against Marquez who had never fought heavier than 135 pounds. Floyd even made sure of his advantages over the Mexican by going 2 pounds beyond the contract weight. His next fight after that was against the aging but perennially considered dangerous Shane Mosley. In my opinion, that fight was also fixed but this post is about the fight against Ortiz and why I see it as staged.
Motives and Circumstantial Evidence
Mayweather has found allies in Oscar De la Hoya (GBP). The displayed hostility between the two is all part of the charade. Like Mayweather, De la Hoya is money-motivated and has everything to gain as long as Mayweather continues to sell blockbuster fights because Floyd only works with GBP. This makes it easy for Floyd to pull strings.
Floyd chose Ortiz for a reason: he has a belt, he’s young, and he’s gullible. Ortiz’s character is also questionable as he is alleged to fabricate his life story. My bet is that he was paid more than what was stated.
Why Ortiz did it. It was supposed to be his shot to greatness.
Well, Victor Ortiz is not made of the stuff of champions. He was also in for the money. In his mind, beating Mayweather wouldn’t bring as much cash in total. He might’ve considered that he wouldn’t be able to get past other fighters after Mayweather.
For GBP, a Mayweather headliner is always a highly profitable event. Making sure it stayed that way, Golden Boy Promotions could have manipulated Ortiz to take a dive and receive an amount beyond everything he could’ve made. Depending on public opinion, Ortiz can even get a rematch and another possibility of a high payday. Their script made it possible. Like I said, Ortiz is gullible.
Floyd is more than happy to sacrifice a part of his earnings for this. He retains his command as an undefeated boxer and still maintains the illusion that he is a one-of-kind fighter with a style that no one can solve. Again, that sells fights.
To top it off, they hired Joe Cortez to officiate inside the ring. He is known to be biased and also a shady character. The way Cortez looks away during the moment of the knockout was so staged and pretentious, it left me dumbfounded. Whether he signaled to box or not is meaningless, the point of the whole act is to create a controversy and most importantly, a win for Mayweather.
The headbutt was designed to make a villain out of Ortiz. It also added to the impression that he’s losing and frustrated. It would also justify the “sucker punches” thrown by Mayweather. It would strengthen the claim that those punches were called for.
If the public perceives that Ortiz deserved to be KOed and was going to lose anyway, it is good for Floyd’s reputation as a skilled fighter. Otherwise, a rematch could be made and if the demand for it is enough, it will be another lucrative venture for Mayweather and the crew. It would also provide another excuse to fight Pacquiao or another worthy opponent for that matter.
Why not take the conventional dive? Why all the drama?
There’s a couple of reasons. One, they need a controversial win to pave way for a possible rematch. The other reason is to add realism to the KO. Although it’s easy to act out a fight, it is harder to pull off a believable knockout. Remember Marquez vs Ramos? Ortiz did get hit hard and to most people that will erase all doubts that the fight was fake. Not me.
Sooner or later, Floyd will run out of excuses. The next relevant fighter to cherrypick might never come. Not all fighters can be paid to take a dive. Eventually, Floyd Mayweather will have to fight a very good fighter (for real) if he still needs the money. Or, he can just retire undefeated.
Despite these, a possibility of a Mayweather-Pacquiao still survives simply because of the money it can potentially make. Pacquiao has already voiced his plans for retirement and it’s closing in fast. He will run for governor in 2013. That means 2 to 3 fights away (after Marquez) before hanging them up. He is also running out of worthy and logical opponents apart from Mayweather. With Pacquiao in retirement, Mayweather might as well retire because he won’t generate as much money without the looming possibility of Pacquiao fighting him.
There is no doubt in my mind that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will lose to Manny Pacquiao once they face each other. I just hope that before the Filipino retires, Mayweather is greedy enough to grow the balls to fight Pacquiao.
Stalling and squeezing in as many fights as possible before actually facing Pacquiao is a smart financial move for Floyd, after all, he’s all about the money. But if he decides to completely steer clear of Pacquiao and retire undefeated, he will lose the very little respect the fans have for him. He will then have a legacy of an undefeated boxer who had never fought the fighter(s) he needed to fight.
Still, this can end relatively well even for a bad guy like Mayweather. He can help boost the sinking sport of boxing and end his career in a more honorable way. He can give us all a big favor by fighting his greatest rival, let Pacquiao whoop his ass and expose him as the fraud he truly is.