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Report & Photos By Roy & Marlene Marquez


Floyd Mayweather was just too fast, too accurate and too good for Victor Ortiz and took the WBC Welterweight belt in memorable, spectacular fashion. Mayweather knocked Ortiz cold at 2:59 of the fourth in a fight that will be remembered for its controversy but should also be remembered for Mayweather’s greatness. “I was told to protect yourself at all times. I said [to Victor] keep it clean, we touched gloves and it was fight time.”

The build up to “STAR POWER: Mayweather v. Ortiz” has been interesting from the jump. The day the fight was made the always brash and in-your-face future hall-of-famer turned the cheek so to speak and offered a milder Mayweather persona. “Ortiz is a young, fast and very strong champion so this is not going to be easy, but I will prepare myself with the same dedication I have always had for my fights and show fans around the world that I am the best boxer in the world today.” Ironically, it was the always affable, big-grinned Ortiz who adorned himself with praise and started the smack. “His speed and style do not worry me. There’s good. There’s great. And there’s outstanding. I’m outstanding. I stand out from everyone.”

The role reversal played out further on HBO’s Face Off with Max Kellerman where Ortiz told Mayweather, “I’m gonna brutalize you for 12 rounds.” For his part, Mayweather remained in character when Ortiz got out of line. “I just gotta say one thing. They put 41 in front of me and 41 came up short.” But in the weeks and days leading up to the fight their true personalities emerged. As documented on HBO 24/7, Mayweather ripped his father; ripped Oscar De La Hoya; and finally tried to rip the head off Ortiz at their weigh-in. Ortiz simply smiled and basked in the knowledge that Mayweather couldn’t intimidate him. Ortiz kept his cool and won the fight before the fight. Upon being separated, Mayweather momentarily disappeared and Ortiz played to the crowd. When Mayweather reappeared he was fully dressed; a strange site for a vain-glorious fighter about to mug for the cameras. Interesting.

Mayweather (42-0) stood in front of Ortiz to start the fight just like he said he would. And Mayweather landed the first telling blow of the fight; a straight right hand. When Ortiz had Mayweather in a corner he backed away rather than force an exchange. Round to Mayweather.

Right hands, albeit one at a time, ripped between Ortiz’ gloves once again in the second. Ortiz got close enough to land a few hooks to the body but not enough to make Mayweather wince. Round to Mayweather.

Mayweather walked Ortiz around the ring in the third behind his blistering right hand. Ortiz rarely let his hands go and when he did he was countered. Round to Mayweather.

Ortiz (29-3-2) was having his best round of the fight in a round that culminated in his being knocked out. After pursuing Mayweather to a corner, Ortiz unleashed a flurry that Mayweather blocked. Frustrated, Ortiz lunged face first into Mayweather and butted him intentionally. Referee Joe Cortez stepped in and took a point from Ortiz and rightly so. When the action resumed Ortiz went to hug Mayweather apparently to apologize for the poor sportsmanship. Mayweather obliged but cracked Ortiz with a quick left as the men separated. Ortiz looked at Cortez who was looking elsewhere and Mayweather delivered a right hand that put Ortiz flat on his back. As Cortez counted to ten, Ortiz rolled around on the canvas unable to get to his feet. “I would love a rematch”, said Ortiz at the post fight press conference. “I fouled Floyd and I apologized to him in the ring and after the fight as well. The ref said something, I’m pretty sure he called a break, so I looked up and Mayweather caught me.”

Mayweather saw the final sequence in a different light. “I got hit with a couple of head butts that busted my mouth up. But shit happens in the sport of boxing.” And he was certain of the outcome. “I could see the guy was slowly breaking down with each round. Even without the fourth round, eventually he was going to get knocked out down the line.” When told that Ortiz was calling for a rematch, Mayweather smiled and said, “If he want it, he can get it again.”

Morales v. Cano

Erik Morales became the first Mexican fighter in history to win titles in four weight divisions when he stopped Pablo Cesar Cano on cuts following the tenth round. With the win Morales captured the vacant WBC Super Lightweight title. “I was ready to fight Lucas (Matthyse), but circumstances came up and I had to fight Pablo. I’m very happy about winning the fourth title, but it was more difficult than I expected. He came to give it his all but I dominated him because of my experience.”

Morales, the 34 year old three division world champion and future hall-of-famer, looked every bit his age and then some at Friday’s weigh in. Though Morales (52-7) was first on the stage, it was Cano who was to be first on the scale. Morales defied instruction and stepped ahead of Cano and weighed in at the junior welterweight limit of 140lbs. Not lingering on the scale long enough for the traditional muscles flexed pose, Morales immediately reached for liquid hydration. Morales looked like his fight to make weight may have taken the life out of him.

But Morales has promised to dig deep as he has more than just another title at stake. With a win, Morales would become the first Mexican fighter in history to win world titles in four weight divisions. “I have waited for this moment my entire career. To have the opportunity to win world titles in four weight divisions on Mexican Independence Day and on a night like this is a dream come true.”

When Morales’ original opponent, Lucas Matthysse withdrew due to a viral infection, Cano (22-1-1) also learned that dreams do come true. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t refuse it”, said the 21 year old from Tlalnepantla, Mexico. Like many who have gone before him, Cano turned pro at age 16 and learned his craft the hard way. But a big right hand that has 17 knockouts to its credit made things quicker, if not easier for the young fighter staring opportunity squarely in the face.

Cano didn’t come to lie down. Cano may have squeaked out a close first, but one thing was clear, he wasn’t overwhelmed by Morales or the moment. But after a nice combination by Cano mid way through the second, Morales came back with a few crisp rights of his own.

Morales surged in the third and took the fight to the youngster. He busted up Cano in the fourth with a blistering right hand that cut Cano along his left eyelid. Morales’ experience had begun to overtake Cano’s youthful exuberance.

But Cano rebounded nicely in the fifth and pounded Morales when he lingered along the ropes. Morales didn’t linger in the sixth and took control of center ring and the round. More than once Morales landed a looping left hook on the button.

The see-saw battled continued in the seventh when Cano wrestled momentum away from Morales. A right hand lashed a cut along Morales’ left eyelid. But it was Cano who bled like a stuck pig in the eighth. Blood flowed from his left eye and nose in a round orchestrated by Morales.

Cano’s face was failing by the ninth. Morales had inflicted damage the young fighter had not heretofore experienced. Cano was forced to breath from his mouth and may have had problems seeing with his left eye. Morales took advantage and pounded him in the round. The pounding continued in the tenth and Cano’s face disintegrated. The doctor was summoned to look at the cut that was now over an inch long. Following the round the doctor instructed referee Kenny Bayless to call off the contest. “The cut definitely affected me”, said Cano. “I think I would have gone the twelve rounds if I hadn’t been cut.”

Vargas v. Lopez

Jessie Vargas used constant movement and a stiff jab to defeat a determined Josesito Lopez by split decision over ten junior welterweight rounds. Judge Dick Houck scored the contest 95-94 for Lopez while judges Jarman and Ford favored Lopez 96-93 & 95-94 respectively. “I think it was a good ten round decision”, said Vargas. “He was a hell of a fighter and I give him nothing but respect.”

Friday’s weigh-in theatrics were touched off by Vargas when he stepped on the dais and immediately confronted Lopez. The fighters had to be separated before the weigh-in could commence. Following the scale the pair stood toe to toe to pose for photographs. Vargas (17-0) began jawing and put his face in Lopez’ grill. Lopez stood his ground and volleyed the verbal attacks back at Vargas. Once again the fighters had to be separated. Comedian and weigh-in host Paul Rodriguez worried the crowd was going to get a “freebie”.

Was Vargas caught up in the moment? Was he trying to prove he belongs in the Mayweather Boxing Club where he trains? Perhaps Vargas’ antics are a result of his confidence having recently stopped gate-keeper Walter Estrada inside two rounds last July. But Lopez (29-4) is also coming off a career defining fight when he KO’d prospect Mike Dallas Jr. in the seventh round of their January 2011 fight. “I haven’t lost a fight in over three years and I don’t plan on losing this one”, said Lopez. “Jessie Vargas might be undefeated now, but he won’t be after September 17.”

Lopez went right at Vargas from the opening bell and welcomed him to big boy boxing with a stiff right cross. Vargas passed the early pressure and landed a crisp right followed by a left to the body in a round too close to call. Lopez applied pressure again in the second but walked into a few well-timed hooks to the body.

Both men loaded up on near every punch and not surprisingly things got chippy. The pair took turns hitting each other behind the head. Though Vargas kept pumping his jab, Lopez would not be deterred. Lopez bullied Vargas in the third and had him reeling near the end of the round. But Vargas stuck to his game plan and in the fourth repeatedly stuck the jab in Lopez’s face. Lopez followed Vargas around the ring but couldn’t catch him.

In the sixth, a clash of heads resulted in a cut above Lopez’ right eye. Both fighters did good work in another close round. Lopez picked up the pressure in the seventh and put Vargas on his bicycle. A great left hook upstairs took the starch out of Vargas’ legs. Vargas lost a point in the eighth when referee Tony Weeks took a point for hitting below the belt.

Vargas gained a second wind in the ninth and moved just enough to keep Lopez at bay. The wind stayed in his sails in the tenth and Vargas raked Lopez with both hands. The combatants traded leather to close the show. “I needed to give a little more to win in Vegas”, said Lopez following the fight. “Anything close like this, you can’t let it go to the judges.”

Off Air Results:

Kyron Butler (1-0) won a battle of debutants over Cassius Clay (0-1) by identical scores of 40-36.

Carson Jones (32-8-2)earned a TKO following the seventh when Said Ouali (28-4) retired on his stool.

Adonis Stevenson (15-1) TKO’d Dion Savage (10-2) at 1:57 of the seventh round of their super middleweight bout.

Anthony Crolla (22-2) earned a split decision nod over Juan Manuel Montiel (6-5-3) by scores of 77-75, 78-74 & 75-77.

Marco Antonio Periban (15-0)defeated fellow super middleweight Dhafir Smith (24-22-7) by UD: 80-72, 79-73 & 79-73.


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