Victor Ortiz head butts Floyd Mayweather Jr., a maneuver that cost Ortiz… (Ethan Miller / Getty Images )
After a 16-month layoff, unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. returned to the ring Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, facing newly crowned World Boxing Council welterweight champion Victor Ortiz of Ventura.
Ortiz, 24, is an aggressive, rugged puncher at his best, and had the size advantage in this battle after weighing 164 pounds Saturday night to Mayweather's 150 pounds. Still, Mayweather remained a 5-to-1 favorite at Las Vegas sports books to improve to 42-0.
Ortiz entered the ring to "We Will Rock You," and a Spanish song to chants of "Ortiz!" Mayweather, 34, made his entrance in a black and yellow fur-lined robe escorted by rapper 50 Cent
Mayweather throws two rights and ducks after each. Both guys feeling out their jabs. Mayweather lands a jab and a right. Ortiz swings a glancing left. Mayweather gets in a right. Ortiz charges in with a left. Mayweather goes for the body and then holds Ortiz. Mayweather 10-9.
Southpaw Ortiz lands a left. Mayweather lands a hard counterpunch right hand. Ortiz charges in. Mayweather again lands a counter right. Ortiz punches a right to the body. Mayweather holds Ortiz in a corner. Ortiz flails. Matweather lands another right. Mayweather 10-9.
Mayweather slaps Ortiz with consecutive lefts. Ortiz is looking for openings to no avail. Mayweather gets in a jab. Nice firm right to the face by Mayweather. Ortiz is too slow and is walking into punches. Mayweather lands another right, then quickly backs away. Mayweather is lifting his left shoulder and hiding behind it, a favorite move, and then lands rights. It's all Mayweather now. Mayweather 10-9.
Mayweather lands a big combination, as Ortiz huddles downward. Ortiz is back upright, charges at Mayweather and pounds him against the ropes with his best effort yet. It's a hard barrage. Mayweather nods, denying that the blows hurt. Ortiz again charges Mayweather in the challenger's corner and lands shots — right, left, right, left. Mayweather reeling. Ortiz ducks head back, then shoots forward a hard head butt to Mayweather's mouth. Referee Joe Cortez stops the action and deducts a point from Ortiz. Ortiz says he's sorry and even kisses Mayweather on the cheek in apology. Cortez brings the fighters together. They touch gloves. Cortez gives a weak signal to resume, but his eyes are cast away from the fighters toward the crowd or a timekeeper or official. Ortiz not ready to resume. Mayweather pounds him with a left to the face. Ortiz doesn't lift hands to defend. Cortez is watching now. Mayweather decks Ortiz with a straight right to the jaw. Ortiz is down and dazed. He tries to get up from a knee at the count of seven, but can't make it up. Cortez counts him out. Mayweather is the WBC welterweight champion and 42-0, even as the crowd rains boos on the questionable sportsmanship.