Floyd Mayweather controversially KO’s Victor Ortiz

Referee Joe Cortez yells at Victor Ortiz after he was knocked down by Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their WBC welterweight title fight on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Referee Joe Cortez yells at Victor Ortiz after he was knocked down by Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their WBC welterweight title fight on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

— In just one round, Floyd Mayweather Jr. got a head butt, a kiss and a hug from Victor Ortiz.

He responded with a right hand that ended a bizarre fight early.

Mayweather remained unbeaten and did it in emphatic fashion Saturday night, stopping Ortiz at 2:59 of the fourth round to take the piece of the welterweight title Ortiz brought into the ring.

The end came just as the two fighters emerged from a break, in which Ortiz had embraced Mayweather in the center of the ring. As they broke, Mayweather shot out a left hand and followed it with a right that put Ortiz down in his corner.

Ortiz — a Garden City native who spent a lot of time in Lawrence over the summer and wore a Jayhawk on his trunks — struggled to get up as referee Joe Cortez called an end to the fight.

“We touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left and right hand after the break,” Mayweather said. “In the ring you have to protect yourself at all times.”

The round was already controversial, as Ortiz appeared to head butt Mayweather intentionally, leading Cortez to take a point away from him. After the head butt, Ortiz went to Mayweather and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Seconds later they were in the center of the ring ready to resume action when two punches ended it quickly.

“I took the break by the referee and I obeyed exactly as I was told,” Ortiz said. “And then, boom, he blindsided me.”

“He did something dirty when it was his corner who said I was dirty,” Mayweather said. “But I won the fight.”

Mayweather later engaged in a verbal confrontation with HBO announcer Larry Merchant.