Three fun fights into what was shaping up to be one of the best boxing pay-per-views in years all that was left as a the perfect capper was for the main event between Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to deliver the goods. And through the majority of four rounds, it was doing just that. Unfortunately, all three men in the ring would find a way to taint the evening.
First, Victor threw a 100% intentional leaping headbutt into the chin of Mayweather during a flurry with the undefeated superstar trapped against the ropes. It was such a blatant foul that referee Joe Cortez would have been well within his rights to disqualify Ortiz on the spot. Instead, Cortez chose to allow the fight to continue after deducting a point.
Second, Cortez had not yet restarted the fight but allowed two fighters during a fight to be in contact while he looked away, either to tell the timekeeper to restart the fight or to ensure that the judges had acknowledged the point deduction.
Finally, Mayweather chose to unload a blistering two punch combination as Ortiz apologized and attempted to hug his foe. As Ortiz crumbled to the floor while Cortez looked on shocked, Joe decided to count Ortiz out, despite the fight not technically having been resumed.
Both men had earned disqualifications honestly, but Cortez simply took the easiest route and counted out Ortiz. Ortiz's camp should appeal the loss and Nevada should have plenty of video evidence given that there are replays that show that the fight had not been restarted by Cortez.
Regardless of if the result gets overturned, for once we have a situation involving Mayweather that does not demand a fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Ortiz was huge on fight night, enjoying more than a fifteen pound advantage over Floyd after both men had a chance to re-hydrate following the weigh-ins. Ortiz found moments to use that size advantage, bullying Mayweather into the ropes on multiple occasions and letting flurries go. While Floyd picked off most of the punches, some were getting through and many times during the fight Victor found his way to Mayweather's body with heavy punches.
Floyd was likely enjoying an advantage on the scorecards when the fight ended, but he was being forced into an uncomfortable fight and being pushed unlike we've seen him pushed before.
There's now a storyline for the rematch and it's a fight that I want to see finished in a clean way. Could Floyd have held up to twelve full rounds of body work and a much stronger man? Were his right hand leads and jab going to continue to eat away at the younger, bigger man?
The story of the fight also lends itself to huge pay-per-view numbers. Honestly, a rematch has a shot at being a bigger fight if promoted correctly than any other in boxing history in terms of pay-per-view buys.
For one of the few times in boxing, we can all put aside the demand for Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and just get excited for Mayweather and Ortiz to lace 'em up a second time.
Update by Brent Brookhouse: Video evidence proves that Cortez had in fact restarted the fight. But it does remain a fight that demands a rematch.