Remember the Floyd Mayweather versus Victor Ortiz bout?
After suffering through three rounds of jabs and punches from Mayweather, Ortiz grew frustrated and intentionally headbutted Mayweather. When the referee separated them, Ortiz wisely apologized for his actions.
He showed what appeared to be remorse in a somewhat of an unorthodox fashion: by hugging and kissing Mayweather. When the referee ordered them to resume the match, Ortiz attempted to hug Mayweather again, in an effort to emphasize his sincerity. At this time, Mayweather landed two quick punches (left hook/straight right) which sent Ortiz to the canvas.
While Mayweather won the match, he didn’t score points in the eyes of most fans.
However, what he said after the fight proved to be very insightful and provides us with an important life lesson.
Reflecting on what just happened in the ring, Mayweather said, “In the ring, you have to protect yourself at all times. … After it happened, we touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left hook and right hand after the break. You just gotta protect yourself at all times.“
Many fans and commentators called this an unfair sucker punch. Even if you are in the camp that believes Mayweather is an arrogant jerk and what he did wasn’t right, you have to agree that Ortiz’s job is to fight within the rules and also protect himself at all times.
Mayweather’s is correct….
Ortiz should have been “on guard” and be prepared to fight when the referee ordered.
In fighting, you don’t let your guard down.
This is a sport where your opponent is looking to take every advantage he can to win, and winning may include knocking opponents out. Moreover, how could Mayweather have been assured that Ortiz wouldn’t try to repeat his illegal antics by doing something far worse than a head butt?
Perhaps he knew what King Solomon wrote in proverbs,
“Faithful are the wounds inflicted by a lover; but superfluous are the kisses of a foe.”
At every turn on our journey, life presents us with challenges that require us to keep our guard up.
We must exercise caution when speaking to friends, family and acquaintances because we never know how the conversation will be related to the next person.
We must be selective with those in whom we place our trust for we may end up feeling deeply hurt and alienated. Just like in a fight we must prepare for every situation, on our feet, on the ground, and in the clinch, we must anticipate everything our opponent may try.
In the middle of a fight it is inappropriate and inexcusable to let one’s guard down because the opponent is looking for the opportunity to land a debilitating blow.
One must always keep his guard up in the ring.
In life, learning when to keep our guard up and when to let it down is one of the most difficult skills to perfect. Again, King Solomon provides us with his profound insight and wisdom, this time in Ecclesiastes:
“One who watches the wind will never sow, and one who keeps his eyes on the clouds will never reap.”
If we are so busy keeping our guard up to determine the best time to plant based on the direction of the wind, then we will never end up sowing our field. Conversely, if we keep our eyes on the clouds and disregard the crops that are ready to be harvested — if we get distracted and let our guard down — then we will forget to reap the crops for which we spent countless hours sowing.
In life, it is crucial to know when to let your guard down and when to remain on alert.
Ortiz let his guard down when it needed to be up and suffered a stinging defeat as a result.
This is still a skill I’m working on in my own life, and one I probably will always be working on.
Such is life!