"It started with Ortiz. Ortiz blatantly headbutted him...let's be honest about what happened, he couldn't hit this guy. He couldn't hit this guy and he couldn't make it the kind of fight that he can handle. Mayweather was too fast, too smart, too slick with his punches, too consistent, too steady and too confident, and he started to dominate the fight. Mayweather was dominating the fight and he was on his way to knocking him out and on his way to picking him apart and undressing him piece by piece and Ortiz started unraveling...I feel that Ortiz looked for a way to get out of the fight and his way to get out of the fight was to headbutt...he looked at the referee to do what he tried to get him to do the first time he committed the headbutt. He was looking for him to disqualify Floyd. He was looking for help. He was looking for a way out of the fight instead of acting like a fighter," stated ESPN commentator and world-class trainer Teddy Atlas, who broke down Floyd Mayweather 4th round knockout of Victor Ortiz this past Saturday. You don't want to miss what else he had to say about the fight, both fighters, and much more.
PC: You have several catchphrases, Teddy. One of them is, "Always behave like a fighter inside of the ring." Victor Ortiz had a lapse and didn't behave like a fighter during the biggest fight of his career against Floyd Mayweather and was knocked out for it. What did you think of the 4th round knockout?
TA: Look, you can't touch on one thing without touching on another thing, and the other thing is, the way we got to the place where there is a controversy, supposedly, with the knockout is because of what Ortiz did. It's not because of what Mayweather did. Let's be honest here, and I know there are a lot of haters out there and all of that crap, and I don't have tolerance for that, I don't have time for that, there are more important things in this freaking world than that crap, so put that aside, leave that in your freaking garage somewhere; it started with Ortiz. Ortiz blatantly headbutted him. This is a physical business, but it's a mental business, and if people don't understand that, then give yourself a chance to learn it. Put some gloves on and get into the ring and see what happens to you mentally and see what happens to you emotionally when you are in that ring. When you finish, you may say, "How did I let myself do that?" Because you were under pressure, you were scared, and mentally, you were influenced in a way that you never understood you would be influenced before. That's what happened to Ortiz. Ortiz got in there...let's be honest about what happened, he couldn't hit this guy. He couldn't hit this guy and he couldn't make it the kind of fight that he can handle. Mayweather was too fast, too smart, too slick with his punches, too consistent, too steady and too confident, and he started to dominate the fight. Mayweather was dominating the fight and he was on his way to knocking him out and on his way to picking him apart and undressing him piece by piece and Ortiz started unraveling.
He did, not much unlike, although it's not as nasty or over the top, what Mike Tyson did to Evander Holyfield. Tyson didn't bite his ear because Evander kept butting him; he did it to get out of the fight. He could not handle Holyfield as a man and the professional that he was, so he looked for a way to get out of that fight and have an alibi to live with it emotionally. There was no difference here. I feel that Ortiz looked for a way to get out of the fight and his way to get out of the fight was to headbutt. If the headbutt would have worked, one or two things would have happened. He would have busted him up, the fight would have been stopped, and he would have been out of the fight, or he would have gotten disqualified and he would have been out of the fight. Now, after a point gets taken away, he has to continue, so now he goes the other way and he wants to kiss and he wants to hug. Meanwhile, the referee wasn't the best referee. Let's be honest, the referee didn't do a good job, but once he allows them to go back and fight, and he allows them to fight, this guy wants to continue kissing. He doesn't want to fight. Well, you know what? It's time to fight. This is a difficult business and a dangerous business and an unforgiving business. And at that point, Floyd said, "You're going to give me that opportunity within the realm of what's allowed," and that realm was allowable, "then guess what, I'm going to act like a fighter. I'm going to fight. If you're not going to act like a fighter, then I'm going to take advantage of it." Even when he got hit with the first left hook, if I am a lawyer in court, exhibit A and exhibit B. Well once he got hit with the first punch, he was fine. He wasn't hurt. He was cognizant and in control of all of his faculties. He looked at the referee. He didn't react like a fighter. He didn't say, "Okay, you son of a bitch, let's go. Let's fight." He didn't move his head or his hands; he looked at the referee to do what he tried to get him to do the first time he committed the headbutt. He was looking for him to disqualify Floyd. He was looking for help. He was looking for a way out of the fight instead of acting like a fighter.
PC: I don't think a lot of people understand, but boxing doesn't have instant replay. If that headbutt lands and Floyd is cut where he couldn't continue, as you said, that's either a DQ win for Floyd or worse than that, since 4 rounds of fighting wasn't complete, that ends in a no-contest. How many pissed off pay-per-view buyers do you have then?
TA: Yeah, you're right; even more. Again, Floyd, you can like him or you can hate him. I know it's fashionable to hate him, but I don't hate him. I understand him. Now, I do get frustrated with him and I don't agree with him all of the time, but I can't make him the guy with the black hat. I can't make him into the bad guy or the villain just to make him the bad guy. Could he had waited a second or two and been, what we think, Alexis Arguello is and what we thought he was because he was a gentleman and he would give him a little extra time? Yes. But we have a million fighters that would have done the same thing; good fighters and respectful fighters. Roberto Duran, we love him, but he would have destroyed the guy at that moment. And Marvin Hagler would have destroyed the guy. So we got a million fighters that would have done the same thing. Do we have one or two fighters that, when they saw they were in control of the fight, they saw that they can get on the inside, and when they saw that the guy didn't want to fight no more, maybe those guys give a split second and say, "You better get your hands up. I'm going to kick your ass. Come on, I'm gonna kick your ass now." Maybe, maybe, but did he have to do that? No, he didn't have to do that. Is he a vicious guy that doesn't play by the rules? No, he is not. No, he is not. He's got his faults and his flaws, and unfortunately you know more about him because of the media, because of 24/7 and everything else they use nowadays; you get a peek at things that normally you wouldn't get a peek at, and that influences you. That brings you down a certain road that normally you wouldn't know about other fighters. You get to see that they got the same kind of warts in different areas. You would be influenced in a similar way if you don't know those things, but with Floyd, you know things that you don't like about him. At the end of the day, I don't know how you can throw all of these daggers and all of these razor blades at Floyd when he was doing what he had to do. He is in a difficult business and he was doing what he felt he had to do at that moment. He's got a moment and an opportunity to make sure he doesn't get hurt and to make sure he wins this fight. This guy was already reprimanded; they had already touched gloves and kissed. They already had did all of this stuff. The referee didn't say, "Hey Floyd, step back. Hey Floyd, wait a minute." He didn't give them a timeout or do anything. At that point, again, I'm going to be devil's advocate, but could Floyd have waited a second or two? He could've. Would all of these other fighters that we know and we love and that we feel good with, would they have done the same things? Yeah, most of them would have probably done the same thing.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]