LAS VEGAS -- Welcome to fight night, where the buzz for Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz's welterweight title fight has picked up considerably today. Whole bunch of athletes (NBA players, in particular) and celebrities are in the building for the biggest fight of 2011 ...
(Hit the refresh button often to read my latest entry.)
Round 1: Mayweather connects with a couple of rights. Ortiz swings and misses. Ortiz taps him with a right. The two tie up in the middle of the ring. Mayweather pokes with the jab, Ortiz stings him with a left. Ortiz has Floyd in the corner, doesn't follow up. Mayweather not throwing combinations. Ortiz slips a hook well. Ortiz a little tentative. Hard right by Floyd down the chute. 10-9 Mayweather
Round 2: Ortiz gets more aggressive, getting Mayweather into a corner. Mayweather again landed more punches, including another right to the face. Ortiz had a better landing percentage though in a tighter round. 10-9 Ortiz
Round 3: Mayweather pot shotting Ortiz, who seems to see the punches but isn't getting out of the way. Good right by Floyd. Ortiz looking to get inside. Mayweather the picture of calm in the ring. Mayweather shakes his head at Ortiz. Good right by Floyd. Mayweather picked him apart in that round. 10-9 Mayweather
Round 4: Ortiz looks a little rattled. Think he's finally realizing how good this guy is. Good uppercut by Floyd. Great flurry by Floyd. He's coming to fight. Ref warns Ortiz about the head butts. Hard check hook by Floyd. Now here comes Ortiz, connects on a flurry! Mayweather doesn't look hurt. Straight right by Mayweather. Whoa Ortiz gets a point deducted for a head. Ortiz is down! He's out. Mayweather by KO!
Unbelievable ending! Ortiz went in for a hug to apologize, Floyd hugged him, then dropped him with a left and a right. Unreal
You have to protect yourself at all times and Ortiz didn't. There will be some controversy over this but Ortiz showed his youth in this one.
Blog favorite Cheapo Tony has checked in: Mayweather, unanimous decision. It's worth noting that as much as I bash Cheapo Tony -- who is watching on a pirated feed -- for being a frugal, skip-out-on-the-bar-tab penny pincher, he was willing to throw down some cash on this fight. The odds on Mayweather were just too high.
Michael Buffer is doing the time consuming, totally unnecessary celebrity introductions. Easily one of the most annoying parts of an event. When you are creeping up on midnight on the East Coast, just get to the fight.
Cameras show Mayweather working out in the tunnel while the anthem is being sung. The man is a workaholic.
Anthems done, lights go off and here comes Ortiz. Everyone is standing. Ortiz comes out to "We will Rock You," which breaks into a Mexican song. Very focused look on Victor's face. And he's rocking a mustache.
Mayweather headed to the ring. Ominous music playing. Not the usual flashy Floyd entrance. 50 Cent rolls with him, wearing his old belts. Music cuts out. Ah, now 50 is rapping. 50 drapes his arm around Floyd as they walk to the ring. Floyd decked out in a black-and-orange robe, orange shoes. Very low-key entrance.
Crowd chanting for Ortiz. No surprise. Mayweather has gotten rich playing the villain.
Mayweather jogging back and forth in front of Ortiz as Buffer introduces them. Smiling now, looks good. Has about 20 people in the ring with him.
Ortiz is introduced. Let's go!
A couple of quick housekeeping notes before we begin:
• USADA has informed both camps that all the blood and urine tests have come back clean, a source told me yesterday. Obviously, no testing system is perfect but by current standards, this will be a clean fight.
• Not finding many people picking Ortiz to win. George Foreman kind of did. Sugar Ray Leonard said Ortiz has the tools to give Mayweather problems. Plenty of people have said that Ortiz will be a tough test for Mayweather (I agree) but the consensus is Floyd is in another class.
• There was a Cassius Clay on the untelevised undercard. He lost.
• Quick review of the televised undercard: Mayweather promotions prized prospect Jessie Vargas survived to win a very questionable decision over Josesito Lopez. And future Hall of Famer Erik Morales wins the Tim Bradley Title with a bloody 10th-round TKO victory over Pablo Cesar Cano.
• I'm genuinely concerned about Joe Cortez's presence in this fight. He's a very hands-on referee who is prone to getting too involved in the fights. Here's hoping he lets Mayweather and Ortiz go at it.
• Unofficial weights: Mayweather 150 pounds, Ortiz 164. Ortiz packed on 17 pounds overnight. That's a huge number.
Now, the fight: I'm picking Mayweather, by unanimous decision. Ortiz is good. When you factor in his age (24) and size, he is probably the best opponent Mayweather has faced since Oscar De La Hoya. But -- and this is a big but -- Floyd is just in a different class. Yes, he's older and you can't point to many welterweights who are still in their primes when they hit 34. But his conditioning, his otherworldly skill level and the lack of wear and tear on his body make him unique.
Ortiz's only shot is to knock him out. That won't be easy; just hitting Mayweather hasn't been easy. But if Ortiz can work the body early, can make it an even fight over the first four rounds and make Mayweather think he needs a knockout, he has a chance.
And away we go ...
ALVAREZ-GOMEZ: Alvarez and Gomez are in the ring. Gomez, a longtime welterweight, isn't expected to be a major challenge for Golden Boy's young prospect. Just another quasi-name for Alvarez to tune up on.
Round 1: Gomez sharp, connecting on some good, clean shots. Experience showing. Alvarez head-hunting early. Good head movement by Gomez. Down goes Gomez on a hard left hook by Canelo. Picture perfect shot. Looked like a flash knockdown but Gomez saved by the bell. Clear power advantage to Canelo. Gomez just got a taste of a shot he's going to be seeing more of tonight. 10-8 Alvarez
Round 2: Good right hand by Canelo early in the round. These Canelo shots are thudding. He's a blunt force in the ring. Gomez trying to score with the jab. Taps Alvarez to the body. Alvarez showing some better defense in this fight. Gloves are eating a lot of Gomez's shots. Clean right by Gomez. Combination to the body by Alvarez. Better round for Gomez, might have taken this one. 10-9 Gomez
Round 3: Gomez still flicking that jab out there. Gomez goes back to the body. Alvarez throws a hard body combination. These punches Alvarez is throwing are very, very hard. Gomez staying busy. Alvarez looks like he's just practicing his defense. Good uppercut by Alvarez catches Gomez on the chin. Have to give this round to Gomez though. 10-9 Gomez
Round 4: Gomez has a very good game plan. He's the lesser fighter, skill-wise, but he seems to know what Alvarez is open to. Alvarez still looking for the big shot. He's fighting like Floyd Mayweather, using that shoulder to keep Gomez off of him. Hard uppercut from Alvarez buckles Gomez. Another hard shot. One of these punches is going to really hurt Gomez. Good finish to the round but Gomez was just busier 10-9 Gomez
Ortiz's trainer, Danny Garcia, is shown on the screen telling referee Joe Cortez to watch for Mayweather's elbows. Garcia has been talking about this all week.
Round 5: Gomez brings the pressure again. Alvarez stuffs him with a body shot. Hard straight right by Gomez. Starting to wonder just what kind of shape Alvarez is in. Alvarez connects on a clean right hand. Gomez tags him with a left. Good punch. Alvarez wings a combination that backs Gomez up. That took something out of him, for sure. Good left by Alvarez at the bell. That finish gave him the round. 10-9 Alvarez
Round 6: Gomez comes out a little slower. That round took something out of him. Alvarez just misses on a wild right. Jabbing more, some getting through. Good right by Alvarez that backs Gomez up again. Hard uppercut sends Gomez back. Alvarez goes in for the kill. Big combinations. Referee looking to step in. He does. Alvarez wins.Sixth-round TKO.
Good win for Alvarez. At 21, he's a very solid prospect. But he needs to work on his skills. A skilled fighter with a better chin (Sergio Martinez?) would be a tough opponent.
Gomez says he could have continued. It was a bit of a quick stoppage, though in my opinion Alvarez would have finished him off.