Mayweather vs. Ortiz Resembled WWE Event More Than Prize Fight

Kyle ZALLContributor IIISeptember 22, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 17:  (C) Referee Joe Cortez calls the fight after (L) Victor Ortiz is knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their WBC welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 17, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Wrestling—something that every self-proclaimed man’s man grew up loving for obvious reasons.  But then most of us grew up and realized how it is actually sort of lame.

So now when wrestling comes up in conversation we usually act like how Sarah Palin did when she heard the Glen Rice story became known, we frown and do not talk about it.

But just like she allegedly secretly had a fetish for black guys, we keep our previous love affair with wrestling bottled up inside.

Every once in a while there will be a time when this dumb, barbaric, mentally destimulating sport (or form of entertainment) will come up in conversation, and what results is always confusing to an outsider who just doesn’t get it.

When grown men talk about wrestling they are talking about the good ol’ days. It is surprising exactly how much they can remember of that stupid thing they watched on TV.

They will talk about Stone Cold giving the double bird, or the Mankind going through the steel cage or through those tables as if they watched it yesterday.

Anyway, that is what happened to boxing this past weekend. It was an event that fans will remember forever, but not because of the fight.

In fact, what made the event so important was that it didn’t even so much as resemble a traditional prize fight in many ways. They’ll remember it because of everything else besides the fight.

Every circumstance surrounding the fight was a walking, talking, WWE event which is exactly why we loved every second of it.

Was this guy promoting the Mayweather-Ortiz fight? Sure seemed like it to me.
Was this guy promoting the Mayweather-Ortiz fight? Sure seemed like it to me.Mark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images

Bizarre things happened in the ring that Saturday night. It saw men kissing men on the cheek, it had cheap shots, it had knockouts and it had people going crazy with microphones in their hands.

It seemed Vince McMahon promoted the fight in a spot on Oscar De La Hoya costume.

Let's first fast forward to where all the shenanigans began, Ortiz’s headbutt. Instead of riding it out and taking the progress that was made this round with his back to his corner, Ortiz decided something different.

He does his best to channel his inner Chris Benoit and takes a step back to do a pseudo flying headbutt towards the champ. Come on, Victor.

When have you ever seen such a blatant violation when a fighter was in control for the moment and was making progress? It was mind boggling. It was almost a set up. But either way, it showed how this fight was going to end.

Obviously the ref had to step in and take a point away. But that doesn’t mean the action had to stop. While the fight was stopped, Ortiz began acting as if he is sorry.

He does it over and over again as if he can’t stop. He even kisses the champ on the cheek. A kiss? Really, Victor? He ended up apologizing four times total for his headbutt.

This was the most interesting part of the evening. If Vince McMahon was promoting this fight, this is where something would have went down. The only thing that was missing in this pro-Ortiz crowd was “Ortiz 3:16” signs littered throughout a stadium chanting his name.

The moment had turned into the perfect atmosphere for what was about to happen. This is where the stench of Mr. McMahon really started to fill the room.

The referee gets the fighters in opposite corners and says restarts the round again. Like a hurt puppy, Ortiz tries to give another apology and hugs Money May.

May sort of obliges, but you know he is setting him up and can't wait to stick him right after. But as they fighters come together, something funny happens…

As the fighters embrace the referee turned and presumably started talking to the side judge, but I am almost positive I saw Sable sitting right behind the side judge, distracting Joe Cortez with her famous “puppies.”

Why else would he stop doing the one thing he is paid to do in front of millions of people? Things like that do not happen in real life, only in the WWE. Sable distracting him is the only acceptable explanation in my book.

We know what happens from there. Ortiz got the left-right treatment from Money May and was on his back shortly after.

Was it a cheap shot for Money May to pop Ortiz with a shot like that when he wasn’t expecting it? Of course. But I was not surprised.

In fact, it was expected in what appeared to be WWE night at the MGM.

The only thing that caught me off guard was that usually the cheap shot is like a shot to the groin or a chair to the head instead of a left-right combo. Either way it got the job done.

The referee turned around and saw Ortiz in big trouble and thought “oh boy what did I miss?” and proceeded to count him out. The crowd was shocked. No one knew what to say.

The only person in the building who didn’t see what happened was Joe Cortez, who also happened to be the freaking referee. The fight was over.

After that cheap shot I almost expected to see the lights go out and to hear the Undertaker’s eerie music blast through my TV. He would have brooded his way to the ring and challenged Mayweather to a cage fight at Wrestlemania.

That is what usually happens in situations like this. But no such thing happened. Sadly, this was how our night was going to end. Or so we thought.

It was time to go home. But not if Larry Merchant had anything to do with it.

The post fight interview with WWE cham—err WBO Champ Money May was the stuff of legend. Five years from now we will remember this more than the actual fight.

If you haven’t seen a clip of it, get out from under your rock and watch it 16 times straight like I did. It will not disappoint.

Boxing had its day in the spotlight Saturday night and knocked it out of the park. People are still talking about the events into the middle of the following week. That never happens anymore for almost anything.

The part I found funny about it all is that people are talking about it because of the things sports fans do not usually see. They loved the back story, the true good-evil dynamic, the referee blunder, the cheap shots and the post fight hysterics. 

It turned from a respected sporting event to a sports entertainment event. It reminded me why at one point in almost every sports fan’s past, they loved watching wrestling.

Last Saturday boxing put together its biggest and most talked about event in years. Nothing had people talking quite like this since maybe the Tyson era

There is no other way to classify it but that it was good for the sport. This was the most memorable boxing event I have watched and it was hardly because of boxing.


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