By: Matthew N. Becher
HBO looked to put on a show from the Nation’s capital in the DC Armory. The night started off with a very well contested fight for the WBO Welterweight title between Sadam Ali and Jesse Vargas. Both fighters went back and forth, showing their grit, until eventually Vargas was able to break down Ali in a very exciting championship worthy performance.
The main event was a showcase fight for the knockout artist Luis Ortiz. It was not as impressive a performance as his last fight against Bryant Jennings, just for the fact that his opponent, Tony Thompson did not want to engage in a fight. None the less, Ortiz landed three powerful knockdowns and ended the fight like he does with the majority of his wins, with a Knockout within 8 rds.
Jessie Vargas (26-1 9KO) vs. Sadam Ali (22-0 13KO): WBO Welterweight Title:
Both fighters came into the fight with the boxing world seeing this as a 50-50 fight. Ali started the fight with some sharp combinations, controlling the speed and tempo of the round. Vargas landed a few punches of his own, but was flat footed and landing only occasionally.
Ali continued to use his speed and combinations in the early rounds as Vargas seemed content to just use his counter punches as a means to breaking Ali down.
From the fourth to sixth rounds both fighters began to get into good exchanges and the fight tightened up on the score cards. Ali began to swell over his right eye and Vargas started bleeding from his nose.
In the eighth round Vargas landed a big overhand right that rocked Ali, putting him onto the canvas, and being saved by the bell. Ali never regained his legs and merely tried to survive the next round as Vargas immediately attacked. Ali went down for a second time in the ninth on weary legs, and after another big right hand from Vargas landed, the referee stepped in, putting an end to the fight and crowning Jesse Vargas the new WBO welterweight champion.
Vargas TKO9 2:09
Luis Ortiz (24-0 21KO) vs. Tony Thompson (40-6 27KO): Heavyweight
This was not a step up fight, but more of a keep busy fight for Luis Ortiz. The Veteran Tony Thompson took the fight on late notice and wanted to fight in his hometown of Washington D.C., but Thompson never really came to fight.
The first left hand that Ortiz landed in the first round put Thompson on the canvas. Another in the third did the same and eventually a counter left hand in the sixth put an end to the fight and brings Ortiz another step closer to his heavyweight title shot.
Tony Thompson may have come to fight, but after touching the canvas in the first round he showed no signs of wanting to engage with the meaner, stronger and more aggressive Ortiz. Thompson went through the motions and eventually just got caught with enough left hands that he could no longer go on.
Luis Ortiz is the real boogey man in the division and it will be exciting to see what heavyweight will step up next and challenge him.
Ortiz KO6 2:29