Quiet weekend in boxing but a lot of questions coming out of last weekend's superfight. Let's get to them.
This debate is going to rage on for a while, and the opinions are strong on both sides. The bottom line is that according to referee Joe Cortez -- and backed up by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, as well as Ortiz's camp, which has elected not to challenge the outcome of the fight -- what Mayweather did was legal. Cortez can be heard saying "let's go" when the fighters were brought together. How long should Mayweather be expected to wait? Should he hold back because Ortiz is inexperienced? Further, I talked to several fighters after the fight, including Tommy Hearns, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, and all agreed that Mayweather was within the rules to throw that thudding combination.
And I disagree that Ortiz was winning the fourth round. Ortiz was coming forward but if you watch the replay very few of his punches were connecting. That's the beauty of Mayweather, his elusiveness. I think Ortiz's head butt had a lot to do with being frustrated that these haymakers that found Andre Berto's chin weren't finding Mayweather's. The judges, writers in press row, nearly everyone I talked to described this as a one-sided win for Mayweather.
This is an argument heard a lot, Jon. In this week's
Not until he beats Manny Pacquiao. It's as simple as that.
Here's the difference, Tony: Pacquiao isn't claiming he is the greatest of all time. Mayweather has placed himself above the greats like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong. That deserves greater scrutiny. Pacquiao has just been doing his thing, letting history judge him.
That being said -- and even though I question Mayweather's motives -- I do think blood testing is good for boxing. It won't be a staple of big fights until someone figures out how to pay for it -- USADA testing costs about $80,000 -- but making sure a violent, potentially deadly sport is clean is a good thing. Here's hoping that the commission's get on board with this type of testing.
Nobody is giving Pacquiao a pass.
Martinez is doing everything he can to land one of those fights. He said he will drop to 150 pounds for a shot at Pacquiao. His promoter, Lou DiBella, told me Martinez will put his middleweight belt up at a 154¼ pound limit and agree not to rehydrate to more than 164 pounds -- the same weight Ortiz ballooned to after the weigh-in -- on fight night. But I don't see it. Martinez is a very, very dangerous opponent. He's got power. He has a great chin. He fights with an awkward style. He's unquestionably one of the top five fighters in the world. I just don't see Mayweather or Bob Arum taking that kind of risk, especially when Martinez is still establishing himself as a bankable fighter.