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Live Blog: Mayweather captures WBC crown with controversial fourth-round knockout

Big right by Mayweather ends the fight in the final second of the fourth round; leaves arena to chorus of boos


Steve Marcus

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) watches as WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz falls to the canvas during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 17, 2011.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 | 9:15 p.m.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. recorded a controversial victory Saturday against Victor Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, winning the fight on a knockout in the final second of the fourth round to remain undefeated and capture the WBC welterweight title.

After a stoppage by referee Joe Cortez, the fighters touched gloves in the middle of the ring to restart the match and Mayweather caught Ortiz off guard with a combination of punches to end the fight. Mayweather wasted no time once the fight resumed — a savvy move by the veteran, even though several in the soldout arena felt Ortiz was cheated.

The fourth round went back and forth, and with about 20 seconds remaining in the round, Ortiz had Mayweather pinned in the corner against the ropes. But referee Joe Cortez stopped Ortiz while he was on the attack for an obvious head butt and deducted him a point. Ortiz half-jokingly went and pretended to kiss Mayweather on the cheek to apologize.

Seconds later, Mayweather responded with the knockout to end the fight, connecting on a clear right to send Ortiz to the canvas and capture the WBC welterweight belt.

Before the winning knockout, the fighters went to the middle of the ring and hit gloves to signal fighting again. Instantly, Mayweather connected with a left, then the fight-ending right. You can easily blame the referee Cortez for not having the fighters separated enough. Or, you can blame Ortiz for not having his hands up and ready — a basic principal in fighting.

Mayweather (42-0) exited the arena to a chorus of boos, with the court of public opinion outraged at the manner the fight ended. Replays on the arena big screen showed the miss-communication as the fight restarted, adding more fuel to the fans' anger.

Mayweather was ahead 30-27 on two of the judges' scorecards and 29-28 on the other.

Check back later for more coverage on the fight, including comments from both fighters and a look at what is next in the careers for both.

Round 3

You have to give the 34-year-old Mayweather credit. The undefeated fighter surely doesn’t move like someone in his mid 30s, landing several solid connections in the third round to take advantage of the WBC welterweight title fight.

With less than 10 seconds in the round, Mayweather connected on a flurry on punches to clearly win the round. You can see Mayweather gaining confidence with each round, likely ahead three rounds to none.

Round 2

Victor Ortiz hasn’t backed away from Floyd Mayweather Jr., spending most of the second round on the attack and landing a few clear blows.

But it did come at a small price. Mayweather landed the best fight of the match about midway through the round, sending Ortiz briefly back and bring the fans to their feet.

Ortiz, who has knocked down his opponent in all of his previous 33 fights entering tonight, promised he wouldn’t back down. If the second round is any indication, he won’t.

Round 1

The highly anticipated WBC welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz has gotten off to a slow start here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with both fighters spending most the first round feeling each other out.

Both landed some punches, but nothing all too significant. Ortiz briefly had Mayweather against the ropes.

How is this for a fashion statement? Mayweather is sporting orange gloves and shoes, and black trucks with big orange spots. Seriously looks like he is ready for Halloween.

While Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the overwhelming favorite against Victor Ortiz tonight in the WBC welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, a leisurely victory by the undefeated Mayweather isn’t a guarantee.

Mayweather is around a -600 betting favorite, meaning gamblers would have to risk $600 to win $100 on Mayweather. You could easily argue that isn’t a safe wager.

Ortiz (29-2-2) is known for packing a powerful punch, and in boxing, it only takes connecting once to make history. Ortiz has knocked down his opponent in each of his 33 professional fights. Fittingly, Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay tweeted earlier this evening that 95-percent of the bets on the fight received today at his property have been on Ortiz.

The 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0) is a six-time world and five-division champion, returning to action after his second long extended leave from the sport. Mayweather briefly retired from December 2007 to September 2009, but didn’t miss a beat in his return.

There will likely be no rust this time, either. If anything, the time off has allowed Mayweather’s body plenty of chance to recover.

The story with Mayweather, however, never stops in the ring. He’s facing multiple legal troubles in Las Vegas, problems that are seemingly always mentioned with talking about his athletic greatness.

It’s a greatness he’s expected to add to tonight by winning Ortiz’s WBC welterweight belt. Regardless, ‘Money’ Mayweather will earn a reported $40 million for fighting tonight.

Check back all night for round-by-round details of the fight and plenty of post-fight coverage. If anything Mayweather — and his Team Money entourage — will provide the near-sellout crowd some entertainment.

Morales takes super lightweight crown in undercard

In the undercard, veteran Erik Morales of Tijuana, Mexico, added to his legacy with a TKO victory against Pablo Cesar Cano to win the WBC super lightweight title. Cano took the fight on a week’s notice and put up a valiant fight despite not having time to properly prepare.

Cano, with blood dripping down his face and cuts above his swollen eyes, didn’t come out after the 10th round. You could tell he wanted to continue, but had to rely on the ringside medical crews’ wishes to end the fight.

Morales improved to 52-7 overall with 36 wins by knockout.

Also, Las Vegas’ Jessie Vargas remained undefeated with a split decision victory against Josesito Lopez in a 10-round super light welterweight fight.

Vargas, a graduate of Palo Verde High, took a 96-93 decision according to judge Patricia Morse Jarman and 95-94 by Duane Ford. Dick Houck saw it 95-94 for Lopez.

The 22-year-old Vargas (17-0, nine KOs) is being billed by his promoting company — Mayweather Promotions — as the one of the sport’s rising star.

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