Referee Joe Cortez Responds to Critics Over Finish to Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz Fight

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Floyd Mayweather has received a healthy share of criticism for the finish to his main event welterweight title match against Victor Ortiz. Referee Joe Cortez has also drawn his share of ire.

Ortiz was docked a point by Cortez after Ortiz used his head in the fourth round. Ortiz apologized to Mayweather, and that's when things got sketchy. After a few embraces, Cortez told the fighters to resume boxing. In a flash, the fight was over and Ortiz was seeing stars when Mayweather landed what many consider a cheap-shot combo as Ortiz tried to come in for another embrace.

The criticism has come primarily due to Ortiz's post-fight claim that Cortez never instructed the two to keep fighting. The ref tells a different story, according to BoxingScene.com.

"I had already ordered them to continue fighting and the clock was running, but Ortiz wanted to apologize again and he was off guard," Cortez told Les Jimenez. "Mayweather, who is more experienced, he took advantage, but did nothing illegal."

In fact, he went as far as to offer Ortiz a little criticism of his own.

"Nowhere is there a rule that says the boxer has to apologize and hug the other fighter and do it at least two or three times. If you get ordered to fight and the clock is running, you have to fight. Ortiz's inexperience cost him the fight."

The lesson: Don't apologize for breaking the rules when the other guy is trying to break your face.

Watch highlights of the fight in the video below.

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