Joe Cortez born in 1945 may be just a bit too old to be a boxing referee.
In the fight on September 17th between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz, it was Joe Cortez who delivered the knock-out punch to Ortiz.
It is the duty of the referee to step between the fighters on a break and separate them—something Joe Cortez did not do.
Instead, aging Joe Cortez was not watching the fight at all as he was looking away from the fighters and appeared to be talking to someone in the corner.
Joe Cortez didn’t even see the knock-out punch or the punch before that.
The end of the bout went like this. After being assessed a penalty for a head but, Ortiz went to Mayweather, smiling and apologizing.
Joe Cortez gathered the two in the middle of the ring, they touched gloves and each backed off a step for an instant. Then, with Cortez not even looking at the fighters or separating them as per the rules for a break and with Ortiz waiting for some signal from Cortez for the action to continue, Mayweather stepped forward and hit him with a shot in the mouth.
That sent Ortiz staggering backward and, in a flash, Mayweather followed with another shot, a huge right that put Ortiz down and out for good. Cortez, who didn’t see either shot, then counted Ortiz out and the uproar and boos cascaded down.
The guilty Joe Cortez said afterward, in an attempt to cover his error, “Time was in. The fighter needed to keep his guard up. Mayweather did nothing illegal.”
Yeah sure, Joe.
Joe Cortez should never referee another fight.