Ortiz camp pins blame on referee, seeks rematch against Mayweather

Victor Ortiz wants a rematch, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. said he is more than happy to accommodate the request.

Ortiz, who was knocked out in the waning seconds of the fourth round Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden and lost his WBC welterweight title to Mayweather, claims he was the victim of poor refereeing by Joe Cortez.

Moments before the controversial knockout, Ortiz had been assessed a one-point deduction by Cortez for deliberately head-butting Mayweather. When the fight resumed, Ortiz appeared distracted and was not ready. Mayweather immediately pounced on him, delivering a huge left hook to the head, followed by a big overhand right that sent Ortiz to the canvas.

Ortiz was counted out by Cortez at 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

“I didn’t lose fair,” Ortiz said at the postfight news conference. “It was an unfair situation. The ref said something, I said ‘Huh?’ and Floyd caught me.”

But Ortiz (29-3-2) also said he might have contributed to his demise. “I spaced out a bit,” he said.

His camp was still livid over how the fight ended. Trainer Danny Garcia said: “(Mayweather) took advantage of a situation where Victor made a mistake because of Joe Cortez’s instructions. Those were illegal punches.”

Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, said he might file a protest with the Nevada Athletic Commission over the way Cortez handled things inside the ring.

“We’ll critically review the tapes and make sure,” Arellano said. “Only then would we make some sort of contention if necessary.”

The commission said Saturday night that it stood by Cortez’s performance, so any protest probably would be denied.

As for the fight itself, Ortiz looked sluggish throughout. The fact he weighed 164 pounds, 17 over what he weighed in at Friday, might have contributed to it.

But Mayweather, despite being 34 years old, appeared to be on top of his game. He established his right hand early in the first round and continued to outbox Ortiz. Other than an occasional brief flurry when he had Mayweather backed up on the ropes, Ortiz did little damage.

“I just did what I had to do,” said Mayweather (42-0). “I kept my composure, listened to my corner and followed the game plan.

“Without even the fourth round, (Ortiz) was going to get knocked out anyway. I could see he was hurt, and it was just going to be a matter of time.”

Yet Mayweather said he is willing to fight Ortiz again.

“He’s a tough guy,” Mayweather said. “If he feels it was a fluke or wasn’t right, we’ll do it again. Floyd Mayweather ain’t ducking or dodging nobody. He wants a rematch? Fine.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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