Mayweather’s Art of War In Sports

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – The “blinding” victory Floyd Mayweather, Jr. dealt on fellow American Victor Ortiz has redefined some of the rules of boxing in Nevada.

While many boxing fans believe that Mayweather had crossed the line of sportsmanship that is cementing his reputation as the undisputed champion of bad behavior inside the ring that recalls Mike Tyson’s antics, Mayweather, according to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) spokesman Keith Kizer, did not break any NAC rules.

Under the new NAC boxing “instant replay” rules that are in place this year for the first time, if there is a “foul or stoppage” that immediately ends the fight, video footage of the event will be replayed to find out if there was NAC rule broken.

Mr. Kizer emailed me that “instant replay” will not apply in the just concluded Mayweather-Ortiz bout after Mayweather delivered a pair combination that sent Mr. Ortiz to the canvass in the MGM Grand Arena last Sept. 17 even while Ortiz was waiting for the hand signal of the referee to resume the fight.

In other words, even if there is a NAC rule (“NRS 467.150) that says that there “must be a rest period of 60 seconds between successive rounds,” and Mr. Mayweather resumed the fight after a few seconds of the break even while the attention of the referee was elsewhere, Mr. Mayweather had broken no NAC rules.

I agree with Mr. Kizer on this point that there was no need for “instant replay” to determine if Mayweather committed a “foul” only because Ortiz or his handlers did not demand for an “instant replay” after the stoppage of the fight, although many fans believe Mayweather dealt Ortiz a “cheap shot.”

Mayweather appeared to have retaliated when Ortiz headbutted him, causing referee, Joe Cortez, to duck a point from Ortiz. As a result, Ortiz apologized and even hugged and kissed Mayweather. But Mayweather wanted none of these conciliatory gestures when he unleashed a left-right combination that according to Ortiz “blindsided” him.


I just hope the break that Mayweather got from NAC will not deteriorate in the future into the “savage and brutal” “foul” that Mike Tyson committed in 1997 in the same MGM Grand Garden Arena when Tyson chewed both ears of Holyfield at the end of the third round.

Tyson later said he bit Holyfield’s both ears when he retaliated “for Holyfield repeatedly headbutting him without penalty.” The referee, Mills Lane, should have shouldered part of the blame for not paying attention on Holyfield’s alleged headbutting on Tyson or the NAC for not employing the “instant replay” earlier. Tyson would later be disqualified from his bout with Holyfield, “fined $3-Million and ordered to pay the legal costs of the hearing” and his licensed rescinded by the NAC.

I believe when a boxer enters the ring, he must have the mindset of being in the middle of the battlefield, by adopting the art of war of Sun Tzu.

The boxer should consider the referee and ring judges – their inattentiveness – as his opponents also in the ring. Remember when Manny Pacquiao slipped during his last bout with Sugar Shane Mosley but was not seen by referee Kenny Bayless and the ring judges? Bayless ruled it a knockdown although he did not see it. Bayless would later apologize to Manny only, instead of the ring judges who should have adjusted their scorings. But Manny ignored Bayless’s mistake and apology “as part of the game” only because the faulty call did not factor in the result because Manny won. But had Manny lost the bout because the scorings were to close to call, I am sure we would not be hearing an end to any controversy that would have followed the referee’s poor officiating.


According to Sun Tzu’s art of war, “Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.”

So, when Mayweather delivered the knockout blows to Ortiz in retaliation for headbutting, Mayweather was just employing Sun Tzu’s art of war, not the NAC’s rule.

Keeping one’s eyes on the ball is one of the oldest rules in sports that should keep a player in the game.

Although in boxing, there is no ball at play, this rule simply means that a boxer must remain alert of events occurring around him inside the ring.

When Victor Ortiz was backing away from Floyd Mayweather during a break, Ortiz should never have taken his eyes off the two hands of Mayweather. He should have never made the costly mistake of dropping his guard at all times while he was waiting for the signal of the referee for them to resume the fight.

I remember in one of the movies of the legendary Bruce Lee, when Mr. Lee was telling a young man to bow down in front of an opponent as a sign of respect, Lee patted the young man’s head, telling him not to be stupid when he kept his eyes off his opponent.

If you watch a basketball game, a lot of times you see a lot of fouls being committed by rival players but most of these fouls are not seen by the referees, so the game goes on and the erring players are never penalized.

I believe a player should not “lead a lengthy campaign” as Sun Tzu counsels “to defeat an enemy” so he “won’t become fatigued and won’t lose strength.” When Mayweather had the opportunity, he seized it.

A player should attack the weakness of the enemy, like a river flowing downstream. And the best defense is offense. And if he can disguise his strength and vary his approach, then he should be able to master the art of war and the art of sport. (

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