By: Hans Themistode
Luis Ortiz believed he had something to prove heading into his showdown against Charles Martin on the first day of the New Year. At the ripe old age of 42, Ortiz was steadfast in his belief that despite his age, his dream of becoming the first Cuban-born heavyweight champion was still within his grasp. However, as the two locked horns at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the hard-hitting contender was almost on the wrong end of a knockout loss.
While Ortiz sauntered to the middle of the ring with confidence, Martin, a former transient heavyweight champion, did the same. As the two began exchanging leather, it was Ortiz that hit the canvas in rounds one and four.
Although things appeared grim, Ortiz dug deep at the midway point of their showdown and rallied back. In the sixth round, in particular, the Cuban southpaw dropped his man after connecting on a strong right hand which led to a barrage of punches. Shortly after, Ortiz closed the show, finishing Martin later in the round.
The win for Ortiz was his second straight since coming up short in his bid to win a world title against Deontay Wilder. As Ortiz begins to sift through the names near the top of the division, he reveals that he would be interested in facing some of the more notable contenders. Or, in a perfect world, Ortiz would love to bypass them altogether and try his hand at another world title.
“I want to fight Andy Ruiz, I want to fight Dillian Whyte,” said Ortiz to ESNEWS. “[Tyson] Fury doesn’t have an opponent, I’m ready for anybody.”
Fury, 33, has spent the last two years concentrating on his rivalry with former heavyweight champion and Ortiz conqueror, Deontay Wilder. Although Fury credits Wilder for being the second-best heavyweight in the world, the Alabama native was unable to snag a victory from Fury during their back-to-back showdowns.
During their most recent contest on October 9th, late last year, Fury crawled back to his feet on two separate occasions to score the stoppage win in the 11th.
Since then, both Fury and his promoter Bob Arum revealed that the current WBC titlist could face either Robert Helenius or Andy Ruiz next. At the moment though, nothing is finalized, leaving Fury without an opponent for the time being.
Considering his come-from-behind victory, Ortiz would love nothing more than to share the ring with Fury and receive his third crack at heavyweight gold.
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