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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Victor Ortiz debate knockout ending

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Not that anyone was expecting an apology, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn’t give one for the way he ended his world welterweight title victory over Victor Ortiz on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“What goes around, comes around,” Mayweather Jr. said in celebration of his fourth-round knockout. “You wanted a knockout, that’s what I gave you.”

Questions of sportsmanship, boxing ground rules and fairness were raised from the conclusion of the bout, which was set up by Ortiz delivering a vicious head butt to Mayweather’s mouth in the closing seconds of the fourth.

Referee Joe Cortez stopped the action, and quickly deducted a point from Ortiz, who had forced a close round after losing the first three on two of three judges’ scorecards.

Ortiz actually kissed Mayweather on the cheek after the cheap shot, and Mayweather fumed as he tasted blood from cuts inside his mouth.

Action had yet to resume, and Ortiz was still seeking forgiveness, asking for a hug when Mayweather had immediate revenge on his mind.

“You could see the anger on your face, like all the experience of your long career was being used to get this guy back,” a reporter said to Mayweather.

“Thank you,” Mayweather said, placing his hand on the questioner’s arm. “It was time to fight. What was he going to do? Hug me again? This guy who said I was a dirty fighter?”

So Mayweather watched Cortez closely, and even though Cortez’s gaze was directed elsewhere, Mayweather said boxing ethics are that once the combatants touch gloves, “It’s fight time. It’s open season.”

Did Ortiz hear “Box!” from Cortez? He said no.

What did Mayweather hear to convince him to fight again? “You don’t hear everything,” he said.

Yet, Mayweather smacked Ortiz with a left to the face.

“The ref said something, and I was like, ‘Huh?’ and then [Mayweather] caught me again, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ and I woke up later,” Ortiz said.

He woke up following the count of 10 after Mayweather had flattened him with a second punch, a straight right to the jaw.

Boos rained down inside from the 14,000-plus inside arena, and even the crowd at Staples Center, where Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defended his world super-welterweight belt as part of the pay-per-view show, expressed outrage.

But Cortez concluded, “Time was in. Mayweather did nothing illegal.”

Ortiz asked for a rematch afterward, and said he didn’t lose “fair and square,” but he admitted his actions did officially re-start the fight.

“I figured it was sportsmanship,” Ortiz said. “I spaced a bit.”

Any chance you could get up?

“I was blank,” said Ortiz, 24, crediting his more experienced, unbeaten foe because, “he landed a good one.”

Ortiz’s manager, Rolando Arellano, said he will “critically review all the tapes, and make contentions if necessary.”

Ortiz trainer Danny Garcia contended that “Victor made a mistake as a result of Joe Cortez’s instructions. Mayweather took advantage of the situation. It was illegal, those punches. We’ll do everything we can to get a rematch.”

Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) said, “If he feels it was a fluke, I’ll do the same thing to him again. But he was slowly breaking down as each round went. He was going to go down anyway.”

RELATED:

Photos: Mayweather vs. Ortiz

Bill Dwyre: Jeers for fight's outcome are justified

Mayweather-Ortiz: Round-by-round recap of the fight

--Lance Pugmire

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Photo:Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, retained his WBC welterweight belt Saturday night with a fourth-round knockout of Victor Ortiz. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters

 
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