Salute to Howie Reed for his take on the Ortiz vs Mayweather Jr. fight

Once again we received a “Letter from Benny” (Benny Ricardo, the stand-up  comedian, Boxing and Football Color Analyst and Ex NFL player). The reason for his latest communique?


He wants me to introduce you to Howie, not Howie Mandel, not Howie Long, this man’s name is Howie Reed. The colorful Mr. Reed is a well respected and well traveled boxing writer who often writes articles that are not only interesting but have a humorous twist. As you read on, you’ll notice he’s a throwback to people like Lew Grizzard and Will Rogers. If you’re looking to hunt him down, his two main haunts are Las Vegas, Nevada and Pattaya City, Chonburi, Thailand.

His subject matter: The best take I’ve heard so far on Saturday night’s fight. Check this out.

THE SQUARE RING by Howie Reed, Esquire


Boxing writer, Howie Reed

Life means nothing without principles. Taken a step further, life means nothing unless one has principles, allows them to get in the way of doing something stupid while adjusting them to the current situation. One of my principles is to never pay for a boxing match on television. With that in mind I had no intention of watching the recent Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Victor Ortiz fight from Las Vegas on the “boob tube.” None, zero, zip, nada.

Then Saturday afternoon, the day of said fight, the phone rang at the Casa de Reed. “I just bought the fight, you want to come over and watch it,” asked The Blind Guy. He’s called the Blind Guy cause he’s blind for those that wonder. “You gonna have food?” I asked. “Getting Chinese takeaway.” There’s nothing better in Las Vegas than Chinese authentic takeaway served by Pablo and Jesus. In this case China-A-Go-Go which is misleading as there are no dancing girls, so surely A-Go-Go must have two meanings. “Got any beer?” His reply, “Corona, Miller Genuine and Heineken.” I asked, “What time?”  “Six p.m., he said.” The die had been cast.

Returning to mi casa following the fight, it was incumbent that I stop for a final-final at a local pub called The Sporting Chance. (Editors note. The author is now covered for free stuff at his next Chinee takeaway and pints of lager free. Cheap bastard but Clever). That’s one of my principles. Never fail to have a final-final if pocket book and physical condition allow.

Upon entering said establishment there was a mid-forties gentleman sitting at the bar dressed in a football jersey supporting the University of Montana Grizzles with a matching ball cap. The former football coach at Montana, Bobby Hauck, now the coach at UNLV would the same night get his first big win as the Rebels prevailed over Hawaii 40-20. The gentleman in the football jersey was not in a celebratory mood. He was “P…I…. Double walking Snakes…E….D.” A fact he was more than willing to share with everyone in this rather noisy bar. With some good old loud country music (There are only two kinds of music. “Country and Western”) and stupid fluid having it’s full effect, only those within 20 feet were treated to his dialogue. What was he going on about?

“That no good “^&*%$#@” Floyd Mayweather is a dirty “$%#^&%$ %&$#%” coward. I can’t wait to see Manny Pacquiao beat the living “^&%$#@$” out of the “%^&$#@#” bum. He can’t keep using the same old “%^$#$” about drug testing. The no good &^%$#$%^$%#$” is scared of Pacquiao because Manny will kick his ass. I spent $35.00 dollar to watch that $% &*%$# $*&&%# ****** ******.”


I stood behind the gentleman while the tirade was in progress. When he stopped to take a deep breath, a drink of beer and a pull on his cigarette, I gently laid my hand on his shoulder. “Sir! (Always use Sir when speaking with someone that is aggravated). You are 100% correct, but the fight will never happened.” His response, “Because Mayweather’s afraid.” “No fighter is afraid,” I said. “But the fight will never take place.” I then casually moved down to the end of the bar, accepted a pint of Lager and lit up a cigar to ponder the meaning of life. The first two tasks were accomplished with great alacrity, while the last is still a work in progress.

On Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather Jr. knocked out Victor Ortiz at the 2:59 mark of Round 4.  If you missed it, or like myself don’t believe in PPV and don’t have a Blind Friend entering the that fourth round Mayweather was probably up 2 rounds to 1. That’s how HBO’s Harold Lederman had it scored. On the under card Lederman had undefeated Las Vegas boxer Jesse Vargas, promoted by Mayweather, losing to Josesito Lopez. In Las Vegas? Not a chance, as Vargas got a majority decision.

In true Paul Harvey fashion, now the rest of the story. What had the gentleman in the football jersey and most of the fans in attendance at the fight in an uproar was the manner in which Mayweather achieved his KO.  Midway thru the fourth round, Ortiz and Mayweather were on the ropes. Ortiz jumped up in an attempt to head butt Mayweather. Ortiz did, some say, manage to spilt Mayweathers’ lip, although in the post fight interview with Larry Merchant his lips seem to be working fine thank you.

Following the attempted head butt, referee Joe Cortez jumped in “lickety-split,” stopped the action and deducted a point from Ortiz as he should have. Cortez, it may be remembered, penalized Ricky Hatton a point for a rabbit punch in his fight against Mayweather. Replay’s showed the punch landed on the ropes and not to the back of Mayweathers’ head. His action in that fight prompted the comment from some. “I see Mayweather brought his own referee.” After Cortez got about as much face time as he could with the deduction, Ortiz went up to Mayweather and apologized with a man hung. The two boxer’s returned to the center of the ring where Ortiz again move close to Mayweather, hugged him (This man hugging &$#@ has got to stop) and then stepped back with his hands down. Referee Joe Cortez was not watching the boxers but looking outside the ring. Maybe checking out some eye candy.  As they stepped back Mayweather connected with a solid left. Ortiz turned to Cortez who still wasn’t looking and got hit with a right that sent him to the land of nod. Fight over.

Now the real fun began. The crowd, predominantly fans of Ortiz as Mayweather doesn’t have any, rained down boo’s like dollar bills at a low rent Gentleman’s Club. The fight was held as a part of the celebration of Mexican Independence Day. In this case Ortiz was the piñata.

Most all comments after the fight agreed that the punch was legal. “Protect yourself at all times.” HBO’s Emanuel Steward, being the classy guy he is, had the good taste to say “I’d rather not comment.” The question that was never asked, “was the punch ethical?” Only a fool or a guy in a Montana football jersey would bring up such a question. When did ethics ever become a part of boxing or more specifically Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Ethics here is used as a verb to describe a “system of moral principles.”

To use the word ethics and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the same sentence without the word “no” would be a grave error. Not the Mayweather who escaped scrapes with the law growing up because he was a boxer. Not the Mayweather who ran the mother of his child and the child off the road in a SUV. Not the Mayweather whose posse member kills a guy at a skating rink after an alleged confirmation with Mayweather.

HBO’s Larry Merchant best described Mayweather as “a prima donna, a outstanding fighter…a modern reality show in progress.” The guy in the Montana football jersey called him a scumbag. Both are correct.


Benny Ricardo added: “Referee Joe Cortez is being hammered in the press for his handling of the fight. Joe is a good guy but like all humans he’s not perfect.” Jeeves’ pal, Benny “I Keek a Touchdown” Ricardo, was doing the overseas telecast with the “Pocket Rocket” Wayne McCullough. Ricardo wrote, “I had this premonition about referee Joe Cortez. I asked my announcing partner Wayne McCullough to assess for me how much of a factor Joe Cortez can be in a major championship fight?” Wayne replied, “He cost me my fight in Japan.” Without going into particular’s, the fight in question was against Yasuei Yakushiji with McCullough coming out on the short end of a split decision. American judges Barbara Perez (118-110) and Tommy Kaczmarek (116-113) had it for Yakushiji while Korean judge Jae-Bing Kim gave the nod to McCullough 116-115. Ricardo continued, “My premonition proved to be right. Referee Joe Cortez looked at the judges as he took a point away from Ortiz after the most deliberate head butt since Monica Lewinsky. Ortiz and Mayweather were exchanging apologies when Cortez looked away from the fighters to start the clock. Mayweather then hit Ortiz with a left and then a straight right that sent Ortiz to Tequilaville. Joe Cortez never saw any of the punches thrown or landed. The next thing he saw was Ortiz on the canvas looking like Lindsay Lohan while intoxicated, extended on the canvas, topless, with her long silk panties.”

When Ricardo returns home to his palatial mansion, his wife is going to say “Benny you got some splaning to do. Please splain how you know what Lindsay Lohan looks like drunk, topless and in long silk panties?” Over to you Benny and like Tom Bodett “I’ll keep the light on.”

The Square Rings”resident boxing expert is former professional boxer Patrick the “Punchin Belgium.” On-line he’s known as Sir Frog. He croaked via email from his secluded lily pad which masquerades as a fine Belgium Restaurant in Pattaya, Thailand: “The fight started good with good fast right jabs from Mayweather, Ortiz trying to get closer but Mayweather was faster, in the later rounds following I thought “MAYBE” Ortiz has a chance in the fifth. He cornered Mayweather with a few good punches until Ortiz decided to give “Money Man” an intentional head butt. Cortez gave him a point reduction. Ortiz apologizes and embraced Mayweather which he accepted with a left hook following with straight right punch on his chin to knock him out. My thoughts? Victory was a bit cheap for “Money Man.” Hey, if somebody gives me an intentional head butt, am I gonna wait to knock him out?  Cortez should have stayed in between the fighters as referees normal normally do? Pacquiao where are you???”

As it so happens Pacquiao was watching the fight. His take? “Very poor sportsmanship…(but) it was not illegal.” Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach adds, “Cheap shot…I think (Cortez) lost control.”

The Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director, as you might expect, said, “Cortez did nothing wrong.”

Just for the record, the referee is suppose to be in charge inside the ring. What happens outside is not his responsibility. If the time keeper doesn’t start the clock or the bell ringer doesn’t ring the bell that’s not his concern.

The post-fight action was really fun to watch especially the Larry Merchant interview with Mayweather Jr.


Mayweather: “You never give me a fair-shake. You know that? So I’m gonna let you talk to Victor Ortiz, all right? I’m through! Put somebody else up here to give me an interview.”

Merchant: “What are you talking about?”

Mayweather: “You never give me a fair-shake! HBO needs to fire you! You don’t know s##t about boxing! You ain’t s##t! You’re not s##t!”

Merchant: “I wish I was 50 years younger and I’d kick your a##!”

Mayweather: “You won’t do s##t!”

Merchant, with a twinkle in his sky blue eyes, said later, “If I was 50 years younger, I probably couldn’t beat him.” He also called the knockout punch “a legal sucker punch.” The argument will go on about a Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. meeting. At this point that’s all academic. First up will be a re-match between Mayweather and Victor Ortiz. Mayweather will collect another $25 million dollars. The results will be the same and the guy in the Montana football jersey will again pay whatever the tariff is to watch.

Personally, I’d like to see Mayweather get his a## kicked by Ortiz.

Would I purchase the fight on PPV? Unless the Blind Guy calls with food and drink, I’ll pass. Boxing syncopates will continue to idolize Mayweather, talking about his great boxing talents. “Not I.” As long as there’s Miller Genuine and a good cigar “Cheewit dee Khrup.”

The next mega bout to go the way of Pay Per View. Artwork: Art Garcia

Sport of’s overview: At the time of the controversy, referee Joe Cortez clearly made the appropriate gesture. The left-hook, straight right combo came seconds after he signaled for the restart. Viewers missed his official time-in. Yet the official timekeeper didn’t.

The fighter receiving the most flack for his actions (Mayweather) followed the rules. He allowed the hug, the kiss, the glove touching followed by another hug before he blasted his opponent who appeared more intent on acting like he was truly sorrow for committing his unethical, nefarious act, that of head-butting. Earlier in the fight, Ortiz tried to use his head as a weapon at least twice before finally launching the top of his head directly at Mayweather Jr’s face.

Neither boxer gained a thing from this ugly performance, no accolades, no one’s respect, no big desire to see them perform again. The only thing they received was the boat load of cash. And as they say, “All the money in the world, can’t buy you true happiness. What they’re saying is: Even if you have all the money in the world, you can’t buy the things that are essential for true happiness, the honor and respect of your peers and the man in the mirror.


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