Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson?
By: Ken Hissner
Have you ever noticed when one of the organizations four champions talk about their next opponent or challenging one of the other champions the name Louis “King Kong” Ortiz never comes up? The 6:04 Cuban southpaw will be 38 before the month is out. He is 27-0 (23), and still waiting for a shot at one of those four titles. He is managed by Juan L Jimenez who has 7 other Cuban boxers under management. His promoter was Golden Boy Promotions and later Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport in 2016.
The amateur record of Ortiz is reported to be 343-19. The most outstanding award was winning the Pan American Games Gold Medal in 2005 in Brazil. In 2006 he won a Gold Medal to make the Cuban National team. He wouldn’t turn professional until February 16, 2010 at the age of 30 in Hollywood, FL. It wasn’t easy getting out of Cuba for Ortiz.
In just the third fight for Ortiz he won his first minor title defeating Kendrick Releford, 22-13-2, for the vacant WBC FECARBOX heavyweight title. In his fifth fight he would defeat Puerto Rico’s Francisco Alvarez, 12-1, at the end of 2010 by stoppage. In his eighth fight he stopped former title challenger Bert Cooper, (38-22) in Miami.
In his eleventh fight Ortiz added the vacant WBA Fedelatin title to his WBC FECARBOX one knocking out Luis Andres Pineda, 22-9-1, of Panama in 6 roundsat Panama City in June of 2011. In his fifteenth bout he won the vacant WBO and WBC Latino titles by DQ7over Epifanio Mendoza, 32-13-1, in Palm Bay, FL, for an intentional low blow. In February of 2012. He had 9 fights in 2011 besides Panama he fought in Costa Rica and Dominican Republic.
In 2012 Ortiz added Nicaragua to his travels winning another 5 bouts. He won 3 of them in DR over an 18 day period. In 2013 he was limited to 2 bouts with one a NC due to his opponent accidently falling out of the ring in the fourth round in North Carolina. The bout would have had to have gone 4 rounds for a decision. The other bout was knocking out Puerto Rico’s Alex Gonzales, 20-8, into retirement at Sunrise, FL. In his first fight in 2014 Ortiz put veteran Monte Barrett, 35-10-2, in retirement scoring a knockout in Indio, CA. This lead to an interim WBA World title fight against LateefKayode, 20-0, and another NC, in September of 2014.
Ortiz landed 15 unanswered punches in the first round and down went Kayode who would later appeal it was from a slip and a premature stoppage in an appeal. Ortiz had the stoppage changed to the NC when he tested positive for a banned substance. He received a 9 month suspension before returning to the ring in Montreal, CAN, stopping Byron Polley, 27-18-1, in the first round. In Octiber of 2015 he would have another shot at the interim WBA World title knocking out Argentina’s Matias Ariel Vidondo, 20-1-1, at Madison Square Garden in NY, in 3 rounds. Ortiz was to fight former WBC champion BermaneStiverne who promoter Don King refused to sign the contract after agreeing to the match with Vidondo taking it on short notice.
Just 2 months later Ortiz would make his first and only title defense stopping Philly’s Bryant Jennings, 19-1, in the seventh round at the Turning Stone resort & casino, in Verona, NY. Earlier in the year Jennings lost a 12 round decision against WladimirKlitschko for his WBO, WBA and IBF titles. That was in December of 2015 and Jennings hasn’t fought since.
In March of 2016 Ortiz knocked out Tony “The Tiger” Thompson, 40-6, in DC, after scoring 3 knockdowns in 6 rounds, but since Thompson was not ranked in the top 15 the title was not at stake. Ortiz was to fight Russia’s Alexander “The Great” Ustinov, 33-1, living in Belarus, but the fight never materialized. So after this Ortiz signed a promotional contract with UK’s Eddie Hearn’s in October of 2016. Ortiz took on and defeated Malik Scott, 38-2-1, winning the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title in November of 2016. Just 4 weeks later Ortiz stopped David “White Rhino” Allen, 9-1-1, in the seventh round in Manchester, UK.
French heavyweight Carlos Takam, 34-3-1, was to fight Ortiz but passed to take another fight. Now Ortiz is told that the winner for the IBF and WBA titles between IBF champion Anthony Joshua and former champion WladimirKlitschko who is No. 2 in the WBA is to meet Ortiz. Even Tyson Fury is back! Ortiz is ranked No. 1 by the WBA, No. 2 by the WBC and No. 8 by the IBF and no ranking by the WBO. The winner will probably give up the WBA title and keep the IBF one.
Why the WBA is allowing the IBF champion Joshua and No. 2 Klitschko fight for the vacant title instead of Ortiz who is No. 1 in the WBA is simply not right. Ortiz either has opponents pull out or get by-passed by the organizations. It makes one think, ”is Luis “King Kong” Ortiz the most feared heavyweight since Mike Tyson?