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Mayweather: Protect yourself at all times

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Floyd

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Floyd Mayweather Jr. connects with a right to the face of Victor Ortiz during their WBC welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 17, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) (Credit: Getty/Al Bello)

Before anyone gives their opinions about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and whether or not he sucker-punched Victor Ortiz, let’s all recite the number one rule in boxing. Ready, altogether now: Protect yourself at all times.

Sorry to all you Mayweather haters, but the “Money” man gets a pass this time. Ortiz made the fatal mistake of dropping his gloves during a fight against one of the fastest boxers of this era.

Ortiz says he was trying to apologize to Mayweather for an earlier head butt. That’s all fine and dandy, but how about doing it while time is still out? Referee Joe Cortez had already signaled to the time keeper to start the clock again. Ortiz broke from Mayweather, but kept his gloves down.

Making matters even more peculiar, he was looking at Cortez after the break. Mayweather hit him with a left and then a right. Ortiz should’ve had his gloves up from the start. He especially should’ve had his gloves up after the left from Mayweather.

"We touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left and right hand after the break," Mayweather said in his post-fight interview with HBO. "In the ring you have to protect yourself at all times."

This isn’t the first time a boxer has inexplicably dropped his gloves. Nate Campbell did it against Robbie Peden in 2004 and got knocked out.

You can find fault with Mayweather over a lot of things. Whether it was his two felony charges, his reported tax problems or his reluctance to fight Manny Pacquiao unless he submits to random blood testing, Ortiz absolutely cannot drop his gloves in that situation.

It’s a shame, because the fight was really shaping up to be an all-out brawl. Mayweather was ahead on all three judges cards, but Ortiz was being aggressive. He was challenging Mayweather and trying to bully him into a street fight. We'll never know if Ortiz' strategy would have worked.

The debate over Mayweather's decision to hit Ortiz will continue for several months. At the end of the day the number one rule in boxing still applies: Protect yourself at all times.

Ortiz must have missed that day at training camp.
 

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