Former world champ Victor Ortiz recently sat down for an interview on social media and talked openly about his controversial 2011 KO loss to Floyd Mayweather. In the bout for Ortiz’s WBC welterweight title, an intentional headbutt from Ortiz in round four would lead to a two-punch knockout as Ortiz was trying to apologize to Mayweather for the foul a second time.
“I was pretty much a kid fighting a legend…I went into that fight asking myself how I was going to pay for rent next month, I only had 15 cents in my account,” Ortiz recalled. “I got caught up in the moment, I got caught up in the hype…At 33 years old I can look back at my 23-year-old self and say, man, I was just a kid that was egotistical, that thought he knew everything…I gave the GOAT a huge chance for my WBC crown…He capitalized and taught me some lessons…”
The Headbutt Heard ‘Round the World
Ortiz would then talk about the actual Mayweather headbutt, one which he claims was via instruction by then-trainer Danny Garcia as a response to Mayweather busting him up with elbows.
“(My foul) was very intentional, obviously…The corner sends me to headbutt. Mind you, 161 fights as an amateur and 26 as a pro, I’d never done any dirty stuff, ever, leading up to that point…And then, all of a sudden, this is happening, I keep telling the ref, I’m seeing double out of one eye, I was scared…Next thing you know, my eye goes blank, black…I’m like, ‘oh dude, I’m blind.’
“So, I told the coach, ‘dude, he’s hurting my eye.’ Then he said, ‘tell the ref.’ ‘I been telling the ref since round one.’ He said, ‘headbutt him.’ I said no in the corner, but in the heat of the moment, the heat of the battle…stupidity took over, the young Victor Ortiz…
“I felt so bad that I just did that to such a great fighter that I gave him a kiss on the cheek. ‘I’m sorry Floyd, but you’re hurting me, man.’ I gave him a hug and I meant it, man…and I paid for everything…I am forever regretful of that moment where I decided to do that ugly dirtiness to a great fighter…Lesson learned…”
Who’s to Blame for the Headbutt?
Although Ortiz says that he regrets the intentional foul in what was the biggest fight of his career, he’s also quick to point the finger at his trainer for urging him to foul. There’s also blame hurled at Mayweather for allegedly using the elbow to blind him. A review of the fight, however, shows Ortiz trying to use the head as early as the second round. It’s also hard to find instances of Mayweather clipping him with fouling shots, although the 5-division world champ has been accused of slyly fouling opponents before.
The talented Ortiz, who was once thought to be the next Oscar De La Hoya, both in terms of talent and marketability, would go on to have an erratic rest of career. He would register a 3-3-1 record over his next seven fights, delivered over the course of close to seven inactivity-plagued years. Now 33, yet another comeback is possible for the southpaw former WBC titlist and has been hinted at periodically, but it’s not likely to yield much more than a few paychecks.
“I regret becoming a human being when you’re supposed to be an animal in that ring…that cost me,” Ortiz concluded. “I felt so disgusting that I would even try to do something like that .”