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 ...
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
• Unofficial weights: Mayweather 150 pounds, Ortiz 164. Ortiz packed on 17 pounds overnight. That's a
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
And away we go ...
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.