Luis Feliciano Keeps His Focus
By: Sean Crose
“We’re hanging in there,” says 14-0 super lightweight Luis Feliciano, “I’m just trying to be as productive as I can.” Feliciano, who holds the NABF super lightweight tile, is simply trying to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic that’s put virtually the entire world on hold. Needless to say, the 27-year-old is “just looking forward to getting rolling again.” In this, the product of Milwaukee is certainly not alone. Not that boxing is Feliciano’s only endeavor. In fact, the man has a degree from Marquette University. “I graduated in 2015,” he says, “with a degree in Criminology and Law Studies.” Feliciano is rightly satisfied with this achievement.
“Just being the first one in my family to graduate from college,” he says, “that’s something that’s very special for me.” Matters of family and home are important to the undefeated fighter. A product of Milwaukee, Feliciano loves his hometown, and – even though things are tough for everyone now – he’s happy to currently be back where he started from. “Milwaukee is a city that I love dearly,” he says. “This is home for me. My parents live here.” Still, Feliciano is also eager to return to California, his base of operations. “I’m looking forward to going back,” he says. Which makes sense, as he’s eager to return to the sport of boxing. “I’m locked in,” he states, “focused on my career.”
It’s a career which has already earned Feliciano one title, and which may well present him with more over time. “I got started at an early age,” Feliciano reminisces. “I fell in love with the sport at the age of three.” The young man was enthralled with the stars he watched on television, the great Felix “Tito” Trinidad being his favorite. “I want to be like that while I grow up,” he thought to himself as a kid. After starting off in the amateurs (“I was able to have a pretty good amateur career,” he says) Feliciano made his way into the pro ranks.
“I feel like I’ve always had that professional style,” he claims, “even as an amateur.” It’s a style that is now clearly serving Feliciano well. “I feel the transition to the pros was much easier,” he says. Needless to say, the fighter has been impressive to see in the ring so far. He’s a patient, scientific practitioner of the sweet science, one who knows when and where to throw a punch. “I consider myself a technical fighter,” he claims, “a very studious fighter. I want to be precise.”
All of which makes it somewhat surprising when Feliciano claims he would face legendary brawler Mickey Ward could he battle any boxer in history. “He had that great left hook to the body,” Feliciano says. “I think that would be a pretty cool fight.” Should his career continue on its current trajectory, Feliciano may end up being legendary in his own right.
80th Anniversary of Joe Louis’ Knockout Over Jack Roper
By: Aaron Sutcliffe
“Some of the fans are already calling him the greatest champion of all-time” – two minutes and 20 seconds later, Joe Louis has successfully retained his World Heavyweight title for the sixth time.
On the 17th of April 1939, 80 years ago to the day, the “Brown Bomber” was embarking on what remains the longest individual heavyweight championship reign in the history of the sport – 11 years, eight months and eight days.
His victim that Monday evening in April 1939 was Jack Roper, one of 25 opponents Louis would beat as champion.
Alabama born Louis racked up 24 professional wins before suffering his first defeat to German Max Schmeling, who had Louis down in the fourth round before knocking him out in the 12th with the fight named as Ring Magazine’s “Fight of the Year” for 1936.
Louis responded by winning his next seven fights before claiming the Heavyweight title from James J. Braddock, despite being knocked down in the first, which would start his 140-month reign as champion.
He was the clear favourite heading into the Roper bout, having won his previous two fights with first-round knock-outs, which included avenging his sole career loss to Schmeling.
Louis became an American hero with that victory over Schmeling, with the fight being dubbed as Nazism against democracy by American press (despite Schmeling not being a Nazi), becoming one of the first widely admired African American’s.
His opponent, Roper, was on one of the best runs of his well-travelled career, which included impressive back-to-back wins against Patsy Perroni and Jorge Brescia, but lacked consistency as a fighter, having endured 39 professional losses before his bout with Louis.
Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California, was selected as the venue for the fight, with 25,000 spectators blissfully unaware they were about to witness arguably the greatest boxer of all-time claim yet another first-round knock-out victory.
The “Brown Bomber” weighed in three pounds lighter than the challenger (201lbs to 204lbs) with Roper’s game plan clear from the offset – trying to get on the inside of Louis.
But as Louis once famously quipped: “Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit”.
A short, sharp left hook from Louis would be Roper’s downfall after some fiery exchanges of punches between the pair, the champion followed up with several vicious crosses and hooks to the head.
Roper tried to get back to his feet, only to fall back down to the canvas, failing to beat the count as so many of Louis’ foes did, with the first heavyweight title fight in California for 30 years over in just two minutes and 20 seconds.
The pugilist that Louis was meant he showed nothing but respect to his veteran opponent after the bout with the Ludington Daily News reporting that when speaking of Roper, Louis said: “He threw a left that I sure felt and was more than Max Schmeling or John Henry Lewis did”.
Roper painted a blunter picture, saying: “That Louis hits like a load of dynamite”.
Whilst this particularly victory may be forgotten about, considering the legacy Louis’ left not only for boxing but also African American’s, his own words best describe his attitude to life.
“I done the best I could with what I had”.
More Boxing History
What We Learned from Deontay Wilder
By: Niki Ross
Social media and sports news outlets are crammed full of coverage from last nights heavyweight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz. The peculiar thing is, not many of the reports seem to be consistent. Opinions are divided between those who feel that Wilder has now vindicated himself as a champion of quality and substance, and those who feel that it exposed him as being grossly overrated.
Like most arguments however, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. What have we learned from that 10 round stoppage of Luis Ortiz? Wilder has limited ability. That much is true and it has be marginally concealed by fighting poor quality opposition. This is no fault of his own, the heavyweight division is bereft of talent. These days its a rare thing to even find a heavyweight in good physical condition never mind demonstrating skill and power like Tyson or Frazier at their peak.
That said, Wilder has still managed to look limited even when he’s putting guys to sleep early. Against Ortiz he was living and breathing for the moment he could land his right hand. His jab was snappy, but he didn’t seem to know how to do anything other than throw the right hand after it. For most of the ten rounds, he seemed out of his comfort zone and credit to Ortiz, he took Wilder to places that nobody had taken him before.
Despite his limited ability, Deontay Wilder has a wrecking ball of a right hand. Luis Ortiz is surely not an easy man to seat, but every time that right hand was slung at him it had an immediate impact. However Wilder’s punches are so telegraphed and often so wide that a decent fighter, or even one of similar age and condition, should be able to hang their washing on them. It is difficult to gauge where Wilder is since we have very few men worthy of being in the top ten never mind owning a belt.
Everything that was worth knowing about Wilder was found out in the last thirty five seconds of round number seven. Ortiz gave us an enthralling volley of crunching blows. It was boxing at its best, the underdog on the verge of pulling off the upset in the most electrifying way possible. In these fights where the men at the top go toe to toe, taking the judges out of the equation is the hallmark of superiority. It was nothing short of astonishing that Deontay Wilder did not touch the canvas. Had there been another ten seconds left of the round the referee would have intervened or Wilder would have been hurt. Badly.
What we learned about Deontay Wilder is that when it comes to heart, conditioning and punch resistance, he will never be questioned again. He overcame the worst type of odds in that round to come back and snatch victory from straight from the jaws of catastrophe. The picture that we’re left with now that the dust has settled is, Wilder vs Joshua is the only fight that matters. And its a straight up 50/50.
Joshua is the better boxer and he passed his acid test in stopping former champion Vladimir Klitschko. But Klitschko was no spring chicken. At 32 years of age, Wilder is in excellent condition and he has very little milage on the clock with only one professional fighting going the distance in the one sided scolding of Bermane Stiverne. Wilder isn’t shy to throw either and with the power he packs in his right hand he will be a hard nights work for anyone.
With Joshua being more rounded and more convincing in his wins, he has more weapons than Wilder has. He’s more noticeably composed when going for the finish, his punches are shorter and more compact and he uses more variety. He too packs heavy artillery in both hands. But he’s not hard to find and an ageing Klitschko gave Eddie Hearn the fright of his life when he sent Joshua for a quick lie down.
Its a fight that will no doubt have miles upon miles of text written about it between now and the first bell sounding. But unfortunately for fight fans that could be some way off. This doesn’t seem to be an easy fight to make with both fighters blaming each other for making early negotiations difficult. All eyes will now be on Joshua come March 31st as he has the stubborn Joseph Parker to deal with before committing to anything else. Boxing is a fickle sport, with the curious outcome from Saturday night, a pressure will now descend on Cardiff come fight night. Anything less than a convincing stoppage from Joshua might just make Deontay Wilder’s victory that little bit more significant.
Looking at the Wilder vs. Ortiz and Parker vs. Joshua Fight
By: Ken Hissner
This past weekend Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 40-0 (39), came within seconds of losing his WBC Heavyweight title to previously unbeaten Luis Ortiz, 28-1 (24), of Miami, FL, trying to be the first Cuban to win the heavyweight title.
Even though judges for that event Glenn Feldman, Kevin Morgan and Carlos Ortiz had Wilder ahead after nine rounds 85-84 they were probably the only ones at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, or viewing it over Showtime that did. This writer had it 86-84 Ortiz.
Feldman had Wilder winning two of the first three rounds. Morgan and Ortiz had Wilder winning the second round. This writer and Showtime’s judge Steve Farhood gave the first four rounds to Ortiz. All judges gave Ortiz a 10-8 round when he had Wilder out on his feet in the seventh round. I don’t question that though I had it 10-9.
Fortunately for Wilder referee David Fields didn’t stop the fight in the seventh round with about a minute or more left when he was out on his feet and holding Ortiz. As far as I know it’s the first time Wilder has fought any contender in the top four of the WBC rankings even though it was his seventh defense. If you count the only opponent to go the distance with him in Bermane “B.WARE” Stiverne he had been inactive for two years and should not have even been in the rankings.
Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, a Jamaican out of the UK is 22-1 (16), and ranked No. 1 by the WBC. His only loss was two years ago getting stopped by Anthony Joshua in seven rounds. He is scheduled to fight No. 13 ranked and 38 year-old Australian Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne, 25-0 (22), on March 24th in the UK.
On March 31st, on Showtime, in Cardiff, Wales, Anthony “A.J.” Joshua, 20-0 (20), of the UK will put his IBF and WBA titles on the line in the UK against WBO champion Joe Parker, 24-0 (18), of NZ living in Las Vegas, NV. The winner and Wilder will be looking to meet one another before the year is out.
It’s a 50-50 chance they will fight someone else in an attempt to build the gate for the four titles to be on the line. Russian Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 33-1 (23) is the No. 1 contender in both the WBO and the WBA. Like Ortiz he failed a drug test but could be a future opponent for one of the title holders.
Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev, 25-1 (13), of Bulgaria, is the No. 2 IBF contender with No. 1 vacant. Back in 2014 he was stopped by Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF title in the fifth round. 44 year-old Fres “Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), of Chicago, IL, hasn’t fought in almost four years and is ranked No. 2 in the WBA and is meeting Syrian Manuel “Diamond Boy” Charr, from Lebanon fighting out of Germany who holds the WBA World title May 4th in Chicago. This gives you an idea how the rankings are “fixed”, I mean figured.
Joshua looked very bad in stopping late sub Carlos Takam, of Cameroon living in France in the tenth round in his last defense so now others have been mentioned meeting Joshua. The champions rarely fight two top contenders in back to back fights so you never know with Joshua-Parker and Wilder coming off big fights if they will be looking for something easier instead of meeting each other.
It does look like by the end of 2018 there will be one heavyweight champion holding all four organization titles. You have to go back to Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield to remember someone holding three titles when he lost to Lennox Lewis in 1999. So let’s hope Showtime and the organizations can put the two champions against one another.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Wilder Stops Ortiz in Thriller, Uzcategui Defeats Dirrell
By: Ken Hissner
DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions promoted a pair of world title bouts at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, over Showtime Saturday night.
Tonight’s attendance at Barclays Center was 14,069.
This is the second highest attendance number for boxing at Barclays Center (after Thurman vs. Garcia)
WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 40-0 (39), of Tuscaloosa, AL, came from behind to stop the No. 3 Contender southpaw Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, 28-1 (24), of Cuba and Miami, FL, at 2:05 of the tenth round to retain his WBC title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round Ortiz uses his jab well keeping Wilder from throwing punches. Ortiz landed combinations keeping Wilder off balance. Wilder finally threw a right that landed but got countered by an Ortiz left to the chin. In the second round Wilder continues to back up and hesitate to throw the right. Ortiz slipped per referee David Fields. Wilder went in after him but caught to a countering left to the chin. Ortiz backed Wilder into a corner and landed a lead left to the chin.
In the third round Ortiz continued to come forth and seems to intimidate Wilder. It took almost two minutes for Wilder to land a right hand. Ortiz with right hand low keeps the left high to avoid a Wilder right. In the fourth round Ortiz kept landing more. At the halfway point of the round Ortiz lands a lead left rocking Wilder.
In the fifth round the fans continue to let Wilder know he’s not doing enough. The defense of Ortiz seemed to bother Wilder from throwing his right. Wilder seems concerned about the countering power of Ortiz. Wilder drops Ortiz with a right hand just prior to the bell. In the sixth round Wilder finally lands a right to the chin of Ortiz. Wilder rocks Ortiz as Wilder starts landing his right to the head of Ortiz. Halfway through the round Wilder lands a left hook to the body of Ortiz.
In the seventh round Wilder rocked Ortiz who came back having Wilder out on his feet with a left and a right hook having Wilder barely making it to the end of the round. In the eighth round Ortiz keeps coming forward rocking a back pedaling Wilder. Wilder measured with his left but fails to throw the left fearing a counter from Ortiz. Ortiz keeps coming forward out landing Wilder.
In the ninth round Wilder is more aggressive but landing a right gets countered by an Ortiz left to the chin. Ortiz seemed to be tiring. Wilder rocks Ortiz with a right to the chin with seconds to go but got hurt with an Ortiz counter. In the tenth round Wilder is using his jab well. Both landed at the same time. Ortiz went down but referee David Fields called it a slip. Wilder went after Ortiz who looked exhausted and dropped Ortiz with a right hand and left hook. Ortiz barely beat the count but referee Fields left him go and Wilder went on the attack dropping Ortiz with a right hand uppercut ending the fight. What an ending by Wilder.
Interim IBF World Super Middleweight Champion southpaw Andre “The Resurrected” Dirrell, 26-3 (16), of Flint, MI, took a beating in losing to the No. 3 Contender Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui, 27-2 (23), of VZ and Tijuana, MEX, who wins the interim IBF World Super Middleweight title, at 0:02 of the ninth round.
In the first round Uzcategui started the action with a counter right to the chin of Dirrell. Dirrell landed a hard left to the chin of Uzcategui knocking him off balance. Uzcategui landed a 3-punch combination starting with a right to the head, left hook to the body and another right to the head. In the second round Uzcategui started with a 3-punch combination. Uzcategui landed another lead right to the chin of Dirrell and followed with a flurry of punches before Dirrell landed a return punch. Dirrell landed a lead left to the chin of Uzcategui. Dirrell continues to try to hold off Uzcategui with his jab but it doesn’t keep from getting hit with a lead right.
In the third round the same pattern continued until Dirrell finally blocked an Uzcategui lead right. When Dirrell finds himself against the ropes he is asking for trouble. A body shot at the bell dropped Dirrell but referee Ricky Gonzalez didn’t know what to do so he called nothing. In the fourth round Uzcategui landed four punches to the head as Dirrell stood in front of him. Uzcategui landed a right to the chin of Dirrell and followed with a left to the chin of Dirrell. Dirrell counters with a triple jab but still gets caught with an Uzcategui right hand.
In the fifth round Uzcategui picks up where he left off with one right after another to the chin of a wide open Dirrell. With half a minute left in the round Dirrell lands his hardest punch a left to the chin of Uzcategui. Uzcategui took over the last half minute. In the sixth round Uzcategui picked up where he left off with rights pounding on Dirrell’s chin. It’s been an easy night for referee Gonzalez with few clinches. Dirrell rocks Uzcategui with a left to the chin. Dirrell ends the round with the same punch to the chin.
In the seventh round Dirrell is back on his bike. Both boxers exchange punches with Uzcategui holding the edge. Dirrell started showing swelling around his right eye. Just prior to the bell Dirrell avoided a right and countered with a left hurting Uzcategui. In the eighth round Dirrell takes plenty of leather from Uzcategui and lands a left uppercut to the chin. Dirrell switches to orthodox landing more power punches than southpaw but goes back to southpaw. Uzcategui landed several hard punches causing plenty of swelling on the face of Dirrell. Dirrell’s corner threatens to stop the fight and they do.
Dirrell was beaten from ring post to ring post for the entire 8 rounds. He had no confidence and quit in the corner. It was a wise decision on his part.
“I was a little surprise when the fight was stopped and I know I predicted it would be stopped in three rounds. It was clear in the first fight that I would be even better in the second fight, “said Uzcategui.
“It was a great fight. I had to earn this win. I knew Ortiz would be a great opponent with the skill set that he has. I wanted to prove to myself and to the world that I am the best.
“This is a fight I took with great risk so that I could prove to the world that I’m the best. We each put on a great performance and I think the fans were happy they were here. I always give the fans in Brooklyn a great fight.
“I wanted to burn him out. When you get a southpaw you know it’s going to take a little time. I didn’t want to rush in. I tried to set him up and it took a little longer than I wanted, but a true champion knows how to adjust.”
“It was a great fight and I performed well. I thought I was up on the scorecard going in to the (tenth) round, but it’s heavyweight boxing and you never know what’s going to happen.
“I almost had him and I think I would’ve if there were a few more seconds in the round.
“I thought I was going to get a rhythm earlier. I thought I was winning the fight. This is heavyweight boxing and he caught me with a great shot. He’s a great champion.
“Wilder was definitely saved by the bell. I thought I had him out on his feet. But you have to give him credit, he weathered the storm.
“I just want to get back in the ring, hopefully earn a rematch and fight for one of the other titles.”
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Wilder vs. Ortiz, Dirrell vs. Uzcategui
By: Bryant Romero
This Saturday is a busy night of boxing all over the globe, but in Brooklyn there is a very anticipated heavyweight title fight taking place at the Barclays Center when Deontay Wilder takes on his most dangerous opponent to date in Cuban top contender Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in what should be an explosive heavyweight matchup. Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will be looking to make the seventh consecutive defense of WBC heavyweight strap, while also looking to silent some of the doubters who have criticized the Bronze Bomber for being a protected champion who hand-picks his opponents. Ortiz will be looking to make history as becoming the first Cuban heavyweight world champion in boxing history if he could defeat Wilder and lift his WBC strap.
Wilder has been very outspoken about wanting to prove he’s the best and now will get the chance to make a statement to the heavyweight division with a devastating performance over the dangerous Cuban. Ortiz almost lost this opportunity after testing positive for a banned substance that canceled the original date of this fight 4 months prior. He would eventually be cleared by the WBC because of an existing medical condition he had and with Wilder once again agreeing to fight him, the Cuban vows to make history in the heavyweight division by knocking out Deontay Wilder in Brooklyn.
Promoter Lou Dibella admits that if it were up to him, this fight would not be taking place, but the Bronze Bomber perhaps feeling the pressure from the naysayers and the continuing rise of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Wilder feels it’s a big risk worth taking as a statement win over Ortiz will further put pressure on Joshua to unify with the WBC champion. A lot is on the line for the 32-year-old Wilder as a lost would be devastating at this point, especially with a gigantic payday still out there with Anthony Joshua. Joshua’s team however, is showing no indication that a Wilder unification will be next.
On the undercard, is a necessary rematch between Andre Dirrell(26-2, 16 KOs) vs Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs) for an Interim IBF super middleweight title. The first fight ended in a controversial DQ win for Andre Dirrell after appearing to get knockdown by Uzcategui at the sound of the bell. Referee Bill Clancy however, ruled that Uzcategui intentionally fouled him by hitting him after the bell, therefore disqualifying him. Uzcategui would protest the result after getting assaulted in the ring by Dirrell’s Uncle and trainer.
The original result of the fight would stand, but the IBF would grant an immediate rematch that will hopefully provide some clarity in this super middleweight grudge match.
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz is Ready to Prove the World Wrong
by B.A. Cass
“I’m not like those other guys [Wilder’s] fought,” Luiz Ortiz said recently. “I’m a real fighter—tough and with a lot of experience. I’ve been fighting since I was ten years old.”
As a member of the Cuban National Team, Ortiz stacked up 343 amateur wins and only had 19 losses. In 2009, he fled Cuba for Mexico and soon found his way to America where he made his professional debut at age 30. Although two of his fights were ruled no contest, Ortiz has never lost a professional fight. He has KO’d 24 out of the 28 fighters he has faced.
And yet, when he enters the ring at Barclays Center on Saturday to face Deontay Wilder, Ortiz will be the underdog. This is a new situation for Ortiz. In all his previous bouts, he has been the favorite to win. Although not particularly fast on his feet, Ortiz is a better technical boxer than Wilder, who throws windmill punches that leave him wide open, a vulnerability that none of Wilder’s opponents have been able to exploit. Perhaps that’s because Wilder fights with the intensity of a man running into a burning house to save his family from death.
Of course, we also must acknowledge that Wilder has not faced top talent. As Ortiz’s trainer, German Caicedo, told me in September, “Deontay Wilder’s got 35 nobodies.”
Ortiz and Wilder were set to fight this past November. However, Ortiz failed to inform VADA of his prescription blood pressure medicine, medicine that is banned by VADA due to its potential use as a flushing agent for PEDs. “The dose they found in my system was too low to mask anything at all,” Ortiz said. “If I would have known this prescription drug was not allowed, I would have told my trainer and my doctor.”
The WBC later cleared Ortiz. However, he was replaced in November by Bermane Stiverne, who had had previously lost to Wilder and is the only opponent of Wilder’s to have gone the distance with him. Their rematch was a colossal joke: Wilder scored a dramatic first-round KO that was reminiscent of Ali’s performance against Liston in their rematch. As one astute observer mentioned to me, the fight couldn’t have gone better for Wilder if it his promotional team had planned it.
Wilder won’t have such an easy time with Ortiz. “He’s talking too much. He’s going to have to back that up in the ring,” Ortiz said. “He says he’s going to kill ‘King Kong.’ He’s going to knock me out. I want to watch him try.”
“He doesn’t intimidate me,” Ortiz continued. “His trash talk makes me laugh. It’s just a lot of noise. I’m hungry. I’m doing this for my family. He better take me seriously because he’s going to find himself on the canvas before he knows it. I’m going to show the world who ‘King Kong’ is.”
Confident as he may be, “King Kong” is trying not to make too much of the fight. “The key is always to avoid thinking that it’s win or die because that can put you off center.”
Ortiz, who turns 39 next month, does not have age on his side. However, he may have something else working in his favor: his family.
“They go to every fight,” Ortiz said. “That was my promise to them when I had to leave them behind in Cuba to come to the United States. They will come with me wherever I go. If I gas out, I look at them, and they keep me going.”
If Ortiz defeats Wilder, his victory will upset the plans of Lou DiBella and Eddie Hearn, who stand to make a great deal of money from the much-anticipated matchup of Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
If he does win, Ortiz will finally be able to call himself Heavyweight Champion of the World.
But even if his does win, his reign as champ may be short-lived. As Caicedo said to me August, “He’s not going to be the celebrated champion. He’s going to be the champion who’s holding the belt for whoever else promoters want to make a champion. Even if he becomes world champion, they’re not giving him the tune-up bouts. When and if he beats one of these world champions, his next fight is going to with someone that they want to crown a champion. Because they don’t see the money behind a Cuban. There’s no fan base.”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Wilder-Ortiz Square Off In Conference Call
By: Sean Crose
“I just had a scrumptious meal with some sweet tea,” WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder said during a recent conference call to promote his March 3’d battle with the undefeated Luis Ortiz. “I’m feeling good. I’m fixing to get ready to go spar and get this past week over and March 3 I’m coming to whip Luis Ortiz’ ass but I’m excited for this fight. I am so excited for this fight.” Wilder, the 39-0 knockout artist (only one fight, against Bermane Stiverne, went the distance) employed his outspoken personality, not only to sell the fight, but to sell himself as the top heavyweight in the world, as well.
“I am the best heavyweight champion, period,” he said, “and I’m willing to prove that not only to Luis Ortiz but to the world.” It’s clear that Wilder wants to separate himself from the current crop of contemporary fighters who are known as being of the safety first, low-risk/high reward variety. “I want people to get it in their mind that I could have ran from this fight,” the Alabama native claimed. “I could have chosen any opponent that I wanted to to fight on March the 3, especially when all the other stuff went about, I could have easily gone somewhere else but no, I’m adamant about what I say, I’m confident about what I’m going to do and I’m ready to prove it to the world. So I got the perfect opponent, it’s the perfect time, it’s the perfect place.”
Wilder and Ortiz, who will face off in New York City’s Barclay’s Center in the famed borough of Brooklyn, were supposed to be meet earlier, but Ortiz was popped for doping and the fight was stopped. Ortiz, who was nailed for doping previously, was cleared in this particular case, however, and so the fight was made once again. “He never been in there with a guy that won’t back down, won’t budge,” Wilder said of his opponent. “I can’t wait. I hope he’s sleeping good, too. I hope you’re getting all your minerals, your protein and you’re taking your medicine faithfully because March the 3rd it’s going to be a real fight. I’d like to welcome you to the real sport of boxing.”
The 28-0 Ortiz, however, had his own things to say. “Everybody that talks as much as Deontay loses,” he stated. “Brandon Rios just the other day was talking and talking and talking and talking against Danny Garcia and look what happened. None of this talk bothers me. He can talk all he wants. Deontay is trying to convince himself.” Ortiz was also clearly willing to be done with the doping matter. “It’s going to be a hell of a fight and somebody’s going to hit the canvas, he said. “While he (Wilder) keeps hyping himself and hyping himself and trying to believe in himself, it’s going to be a bad night for him. He’s talking about PEDs. I’ve taken seven tests in a month and a week, seven blood and urine tests for VADA and the New York Commission.”
One thing fans can most certainly expect on March 3d is for both men to enter the ring exuding supreme confidence. “There is nothing that man’s going to do to touch me where he’s going to hurt me,” said Wilder. “I’m going to walk through all that. I’m telling you. That’s nothing. I’ve seen his style many, many, many times. I’ve fought it coming-up in the amateurs. I’ve got a lot of Cuban friends. I know their style. Trust me. And I can’t wait. That’s why I do my talking. I talk my talk so I can walk my walk.”
“You’re in for a hell of a problem March 3,” Ortiz stated to his foe during the call.
Louis-Galento: A Hype Master Proves He’s More Than Just Hype
Louis-Galento: A Hype Master Proves He’s More Than Just Hype
By: Sean Crose
Tony Galento had some kind of left. Just how powerful was the stocky heavyweight’s power punch? Powerful enough to send the great Joe Louis off his feet. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, nothing is. Yet Galento isn’t remembered today for that left of his. Rather, he’s better remembered for his nickname, “Two Ton Tony.” If that moniker strikes you as a bit over-the-top then it still serves its purpose. For Galento was a master of hype. A product of Orange, New Jersey. Galento looked more like Edward G Robinson than a prize fighter, and he played his off-center persona to the hilt.
Nutrition? How’s pasta, chicken and plenty of booze sound for a man in training? Ring aura? Galento is said to have avoided bathing before a bout in order to disgust his opponent in the ring. Smack talk? A story claims Galento once heckled iconic comedian Jackie Gleason so endlessly during one stand up performance that Gleason, remembered today for playing “The Honeymooners’” Ralph Kramden, tried sending the fighter “to the moon” (needless to say, things didn’t end well for Gleason that night). Showmanship? Galento once fought a bear. Need more evidence? According to BoxRec: “On May 1, 1931, Galento fought three times and won all three fights. He reportedly drank beer between rounds.”
Make no mistake about it, Galento was a character. He also really knew how to promote himself. Here’s the thing, though – Galento knew how to fight, as well. This wasn’t just some circus act come to life, this was a real contender who was a danger to any man he faced. And so it was, that on June 28th, 1939, Galento met the great Joe Louis for the heavyweight championship of the world. Unsurprisingly, Galento played up the opportunity to the hilt. “I can lick the bum!” he claimed in classic, over-the-top fashion. No one, though, seems to have thought the man had much of a chance. Why would they have? It was the great Joe Louis he was facing, after all.
The night of the fight, Galento entered the ring, stocky and balding as always. Yet his manner just before the bout exuded the kind of antagonistic confidence that only a master of mind games can exude. During the pre-fight faceoff in the center of the ring, he reached forward and rubbed Louis’ head. Louis, however, remained gunfighter cool. Shenanigans weren’t a part of the man’s makeup – at least not in the ring. And, like all great fighters, the champion knew not to take the bait from a man clearly trying to make him lose the all-important mental battle.
The first round was something of a surprise. The aggressive Jersey slugger had a crouched, awkward style that Louis wasn’t able to figure out. What’s more, Galento was firing that potent left, which was finding a home on his opponent. By the second round, however, Louis found his range and was able to effectively send his stocky foe to the mat. Galento got up, but by the third round it was clear the man’s less than stellar conditioning was starting to get to him. For Galento’s movements had slowed and his awkward style had become choppy. In short, he was no longer as effective as he had been minutes earlier.
Sure enough, from the look on Galento’s beat-up face, it appeared as if the fight were over for all intents and purposes. Then, however, the unbelievable happened. Backed up near the ropes, Galento fired a perfect overhand left perhaps a millisecond after Louis launched his own left to Galento’s body. Louis went down…to the explosively vocal shock of the crowd. Not that Louis was down for long. Indeed, the champion may not have even been on the mat for a full second before he was back on his feet, ready to fight again (he was given no count). Still, Galento had, if only for a moment, backed up the hype.
And, sure enough, Galento was still able to land aggressively and hard afterwards. He was also able to hold Louis behind the head and punch, as he had previously for brief moments before tough guy referee Arthur Donovan would step in and break things up. Still, by the fourth, Louis’ great skill set proved to be too much. Backing his man up, the champion was soon able to make Galento’s head look like a punching bag. Before the round was over, Galento collapsed onto the canvas for the last time after Donovan got in between the two fighters. It wasn’t a single blow that did Galento in, it was the accumulation. Technically speaking, Louis sent his feisty antagonist to the mat without a punch. Indeed, it was the series of Louis’ brutal shots seconds earlier that led to Galento’s odd, delayed-reaction defeat.
After the bout, Louis took a much deserved vacation to Atlantic City. Long after his run-in with Galento, though, the famous champion was still able to recall Galento’s pre-fight antics with clarity. “Tony berated me something terrible before the fight,” he admitted, “He got to me, and I hated him for it. I never hated anybody before. I decided to punish him before I knocked him out.” Some guys simply have a knack for rubbing certain people the wrong way. Others guys actually love doing it. Galento was just one of those guys who loved doing it.
More Boxing History
“Ill Fight Louis Ortiz” Says Amir “Hardcore” Mansour!
“I’ll Fight Louis Ortiz” Says Amir “Hardcore” Mansour!
By: Ken Hissner
This writer recently did an article calling 38 year old Louis “King Kong” Ortiz, 27-0 (23), the most feared heavyweight in the world. I had also said that at one time about 44 year old Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 23-2-1 (16). If it were not for a bad cut on his tongue against Dominic Breazeale after beating him up for 5 rounds it would have been him fighting Anthony “AJ” Joshua in June of 2016.
Why isn’t Mansour in any of the alphabet organizations ratings? When I tell you the champions people make sure Mansour is not in their top 15 there isn’t any way they can fight him. There are 60 slots in the ratings and you tell me Mansour isn’t worthy of one of them? The WBC has him ranked at No. 21.
One thing Ortiz and Mansour have in common is they are both southpaws and rarely does an orthodox boxer want to fight a southpaw. When you look at the ratings it’s not what you have done but who bought their way into the ratings one way or another.
A perfect example is BJ Flores who has been 2-2 in his last 4 fights with 1-2 as a cruiserweight and only in his last fight did he fight heavyweight and beats Jeremy Bates 26-18-1 for the WBA NABA title and is put into the WBA ratings at No. 11. Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller beats Fred Kassi for the WBO NABO title in his last fight in August of 2016 and is ranked No. 3 WBO, No. 7 WBA and No. 9 IBF. Mansour had knocked out Kassi 2 years before that.
Look at Wilder who hasn’t defended against anyone in his top 4 contenders. He has defended against from last fight on against Washington, Arreola (who flunked drug test prior to this) and Szpilka. French champ Duhaupas and Eric Molina who has had title fights with Wilder and Joshua. I hate to use the term “black balled” but it looks like Mansour has been just that from the organizations ratings!
Whenever this writer has covered Mansour in DE or Atlantic City the fan’s start stirring and cheering from the time he enters the ring with those uncovered arms bulging out. He reminds one of a heavyweight Marvin Hagler with a bigger punch. He knows how to work a crowd before the fight even starts!
Mansour got shortchanged in his draw with Gerald Washington in October 2015 and Washington has 2 fights in 2016 and gets a title fight with Wilder in February of 2017. In January of 2016 Mansour wins all 5 rounds from Dominic Breazeale easily but suffered a cut tongue requiring some 30+ stitches. Just 5 months later it’s Breazeale getting an IBF title fight with Anthony Joshua. In January of 2013 Mansour beats Kelvin Price, 14-1, who had only lost to Wilder before being champ and Price hasn’t fought since Mansour stopped him.
KEN HISSNER: You are line fine wine for the older you get the better you seemed to get. Did you hear about Shannon Briggs failing a drug test which should put him from fighting in a WBA title bout against Fres Oquendo who hasn’t fought in 2 year’s. How would you like to fill in for him?
AMIR MANSOUR: I’d love to take Briggs place. I cannot believe Briggs failed this test but to say he did to make this fight aware to the public since it’s like who knows about it?
KEN HISSNER: Do you feel your two wins over Joey Dawejko and one time contender Travis Kauffman should at least put you back in the rankings?
AMIR MANSOUR: Of course. I won the WBC USNBC title which should have gotten me into the WBC rankings. I’ve held the USBA, WBC Continental Americas, World Boxing Federation and Foundation Intercontinental titles, IBF North American and the interim WBO NABO titles. I have held more junior titles than any American heavyweight out there except for maybe Wilder. I was supposed to fight Artur Szpilka (then 20-1), in December of 2015 with the winner fighting Wilder. Next thing we know Szpilka gets the fight in January of 2016 against Wilder.
KEN HISSNER: Do you think Luis Ortiz will be willing to fight you?
AMIR MANSOUR: I would hope so. Seems like none of the champions will fight him but I would.
KEN HISSNER: How were the ratings when you have fought on say FS1?
AMIR MANSOUR: Their ratings went through the roof. One fight I was the co-feature and had more hit’s than the main event did. Wilder would get many more views fighting me than he did Washington.
KEN HISSNER: I know Joe Hand is your manager and J Russell Peltz normally promotes your fights. How is your working with them?
AMIR MANSOUR: Joe is a great guy. Russell has tried getting us major fights but we get turned down time and again which isn’t his fought.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the questions:
AMIR MANSOUR: Thanks Mr. Hissner.
Louis-Conn II: A Heavyweight Title Fight Comes To Television
Louis-Conn II: A Heavyweight Title Fight Comes To Television
By: Sean Crose
For those who don’t know, Joe Louis was one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. What’s more, he was one of the greatest boxers of all time. Believe it or not, these are facts that few fight analysts and/or historians will ever argue against (boxing know-it-alls are a traditionally ornery bunch). As in the case of Ali (and precious few others) Louis’ greatness is pretty much universally accepted. Just how good was the guy? Well, from the year 1936 to the year 1950, the man didn’t lose a single fight. Not. A. Single. Fight. Oh, and he had well over thirty bouts during that time span.
Jack Sharkey, James Braddock, Max Baer, Max Schmeling, and Joe Walcott were just some of the notables Louis met and bested during his notable run. Impressive stuff for a man widely known for taking out one no-hoper after another (for a while, Louis’ competition was known as “the bum of the month club”). Yet, while Louis is rightly regarded as one of the most dominant boxers to ever slip on a pair of gloves, there were men out there known to present the guy with a challenge. Schmeling beat him the first time they met. Walcott gave him almost more than he could handle. Even the over the top “Two Ton” Tony Galento had Louis briefly taste the mat.
One fighter that gave Louis more trouble than the man could have possibly imagined, though, was Billy Conn. A product of Pittsburgh, Conn had a less than terrific start as a boxer, before finally getting the hang of things and collecting a whole lot of wins for himself. After winning and defending the light heavyweight title, however, Conn decided to go for greatness and take on Louis for the heavyweight championship of the world. It was a bold and daring move. Louis wasn’t just any heavyweight, after all. And besides, moving up to take the biggest prize in sports against a bigger man (Louis would outweigh Conn by at least twenty pounds)was a daunting challenge in and of itself.
Yet Conn almost pulled it off. Meeting Louis at New York’s Polo Grounds on the evening of June 18th, 1941, Conn employed incredible boxing skills to frustrate Louis and avoid the impact of the champions’ frightening power punches. Not only was Conn proving to be the great Louis’ equal – he was handily beating the man. Then came the thirteenth round. The slick, slippery Conn decided to play tough guy after surprisingly hurting his opponent. Yet the results of Conn’s hubris were entirely predictable…Louis ended up winning by knockout that very round. The story, however, wasn’t over. After the Second World War, which saw both Conn and Louis serving in the military, the two fighters were to meet again, on June 19th, 1946, at Yankee Stadium.
A lot of time passed since the first fight, however, and the world had changed in incredibly dramatic ways. The United States, previously seen as a kind of marginalized, movie making nation where poor people were apt to move, was, as a result of the war, now the world’s great power, deeply engaged in a “cold war” with the Soviet Union for the direction of civilization (hard to believe, but true). What’s more, American life itself had changed since Louis and Conn had first squared off. Television, which had been around for years, was about to really take hold with the American public. And boxing was to become one of the young medium’s prime attractions.
And what better way to bring boxing to tv fans than to broadcast a live rematch between the great “Brown Bomber” and his slippery foe?
Unfortunately, the second fight wasn’t nearly as thrilling as the first. “He can run, but he can’t hide,” Louis claimed beforehand, in perhaps the first utterance from a fighter that absorbed itself into everyday language. Louis was right. He was able to end Conn’s second attempt at glory in the eighth round. Conn’s big moment had passed, having slipped into the vapor of time half a decade and a full historical era earlier. Still, the rematch between Louis and Conn served it’s purpose, bringing a heavyweight title fight to a groundbreaking new medium. Make no mistake about it, boxing is still living in the shadow of that long ago night in New York
The Night Joe Louis Became An Icon
The Night Joe Louis Became An Icon
By: Sean Crose
Joe Louis is a pleasure to watch. Unlike many fighters who might be considered “Old Time,” there’s nothing archaic about Louis when one sees him go through an opponent. Styles may have indeed advanced – or diminished, depending upon how you look at it – since Louis’ time, but Louis was very much a modern fighter. For he was fast, exciting and very fluid. Footage of Louis shows that he wasn’t clunky, as Jack Johnson might appear to contemporary eyes, or wildly undeliberate, as Dempsey might seem. No, Louis on film is very much a craftsman, and an exciting one, at that. Watching the man’s fights – at least those of his prime – can be truly entertaining.
Although he was from the American South, Louis was very much a product of the city of Detroit, where he was raised. His first twenty plus fights showed just how brilliant the guy was, as he knocked out competitor after competitor. Here was a man who was the complete package, both skilled and aggressive. He was also an African American who white Americans might actually find acceptable. Although such a thing shouldn’t have mattered, it sadly did in Louis’ time. And the fact that the Detroit native was unassuming and easygoing – in other words, the exact opposite of Jack Johnson – greatly helped Louis along his career path.
Yet Louis was about to come across a major stumbling block while he was still in his early twenties. German heavyweight Max Schmeling might have been seen by some as a has been by the time Louis began to rise to the top of the heavyweight division, but the truth is that appearances can be deceiving. A former heavyweight champion of the world, Schmeling was confident he could best the young upstart, despite what people may have thought of his own career. Needless to say, Schmeling’s confidence paid off when he met Louis in the ring on June 19th, 1936 at Yankee Stadium.
For Schmeling ended up stopping Louis in the 12th round. It was one of those cases where an old master comes around and takes a flashy newcomer to school. Schmeling, strong, smart and disciplined, was able to best his man in impressive fashion. Louis, however, simply wasn’t a man to curl up in a ball and die on account of a single, albeit devastating, defeat. He went on to win his next eleven fights, ten of them by knockout or stoppage. But that wasn’t all, Louis also picked up the heavyweight championship of the world along the way, knocking out a game James Braddock in Chicago’s Comiskey Park just over a year after the Schmeling battle.
Louis was, in a sense, on top of the world. Not only was he a thoroughly dominant champion, he was the first African American to be heavyweight king since Jack Johnson decades earlier. And if that weren’t enough, Louis was arguably the best heavyweight titlist to date. Johnson and Dempsey were great, but Louis looked like he may well have been on another level entirely. He was something different – a standout – not only because he was an African American sports star, but because he was an explosive talent, as well. Sure, he had lost to Schmeling, but that was old news, right?
A rematch was eventually set for June 22nd, 1938, exactly one year after Louis bested Braddock. It was indeed an important and significant title matchup for the world to look forward to. Believe it or not, however, it was a battle that would have dark political implications surrounding it. “Because Schmeling was from Germany,” the International Boxing Hall of Fame points out, “the bout took on a broader meaning.” The IBHOF also states that during his career, Schmeling’s “title and image were used as a propaganda tool by Adolf Hitler to demonstrate Aryan supremacy.” And so a boxing match became a symbolic battle between freedom and tyranny.
The battle, however, was over about as soon as it started. This wasn’t going to be any replay of the first match, as far as Louis was concerned. He simply pummeled his man, knocking the former champion down several times before finishing Schmeling off in highlight reel fashion. Dempsey-Willard may have been the most brutal heavyweight title fight in history, but in its rapid onslaught of highly skilled violence, Louis’ knockout of Schmeling remains one of the most impressive – and frightening – in boxing lore. Needless to say, the heavyweight champion of the world had been avenged and the free world had struck a symbolic blow against the forces of injustice.
Yet, while all that is true, a keener eye is needed when it comes to the story of Louis and Schmeling. How odd it was, for instance, that the American hero of a global drama (and make no mistake about, Louis was, and perhaps still is, viewed as the hero) was black at a time where racism was the norm. Louis doesn’t get much credit for it, but – despite his flaws – he helped show his country that African Americans were not only equal to white Americans, but could actually be looked up to by white Americans, as well.
As for Schmeling, the poor guy really got a raw deal. He may have been from a country run by a mad regime, but you weren’t apt to find the guy making plans to round up Jews, march on Poland, or bomb London night after night. Schmeling wasn’t only a pawn of some evil forces, he was actually a pretty decent man. “Many years later,” the IBHOF claims, “it was revealed that Schmeling risked his own life by hiding Jewish children in his hotel room and helping them escape Germany.” Not exactly the picture of a goose stepping Nazi thug. Later in life, when Schmeling was a successful businessman, he went out of his way to help out Louis financially after his former foe had fallen on hard times.
In an age where biting irony is considered the height of sophistication, it’s refreshing to look back on the story of Louis and Schmeling, a tale where irony acts as a positive rather than as a tool of vicious snark. For an African America proved to be the role model his country needed, while his opponent proved to be far from the villain easy thinking would make him out be.
More Boxing History
The Cuban Heavyweights Professional and Amateur!
The Cuban Heavyweights Professional and Amateur!
By: Ken Hissner
TEOFILO STEVENSON was 6:03 andin 1972, 1976 and 1980 won Olympic Gold Medals.He won World Gold Medals in 1974, 76 and 1980. He won Pan Am Gold in 1975 beat future WBA championMichael Dokes, 79 and a Bronze in 1971. He stopped Duane Bobickin 1972 after losing to him in 1971. He won the Val Barker Trophy in 1972. In 1976 he KO1 John Tate, future WBA champion andin 1981 defeated Jimmy Clark 1978 twice and in 1980 once and in 1982 he lost tofuture WBO champion Francesco Damiani. In 1984 he defeated future 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs and in 1986 beat Alex Garcia. He also defeated future WBA champion Tony Tubbs, Marvin Stinson and Phillip Brown. Stevenson was awarded the Merited Master of Sport of the USSR in 1972, 1976 and 1980. He is the only boxer to have received this. He died in June of 2012 at age 60 from heart failure.
FELIX SAVON was 6:00 and in 1992, 96 and 2000 won Olympic Gold Medals as a heavyweight. In Pan Am Games in 1987, 1991 and 1995he won Gold Medals. He won4 Central American& Caribbean Games and 4 World Cups. He was 362-21 with all losses avenged. He defeated RuslanChagaev twice. He KO’d DaVarryl Williamson. In 2000 Olympics he defeated Michael Bennett and retired at age 33. He won 6 world championships and aSilver Medal. He defeated Danell Nicholson and David Izon in 1992 Olympics. In 1996 he defeated Georgi Kandelak, Luan Krasniqi and David Defiagbon. In 2000 he defeated Michael Bennett, Sebastian Kober and Sultan Ibragimov. He defeated in Pan Am Games Michael Bentt, Shannon Briggs and Lamon Brewster. He is 67.
ALEXIS RUBALCABA was 6:08 and in 1999 he wonthe Pan Am Gold Medal. He representedCuba in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics at Super heavyweight. In 1997 World Games he won a Silver Medal. He is 44.
JORGE LUIS GONZALEZ at 6:07 was 31-8 as a professional. In 1983 won Pam Am Gold. He defeated Tyrell Bigss. In 1987 he won Pan Am Gold defeating Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis. In 1987 North American Championships he lost to Lewis.
ROBERT BALADO was 6:00 and was the 1992 Olympics super heavyweight Gold Medalist defeating Larry Donald and Brian Nielsen. He was World Championship Gold Medalist in 1989, 1991 and 1993. He was Pan Am Games Gold Medalist in 1991. He died in 1994 at age 25 in car accident.
JULIO CARLOS “BLACK PANTHER” GOMEZ was 6:03 1/2 and was the WBC cruiserweight champion and finishing at 55-4-1nc (39). He had 10 successful title defenses and moved up to heavyweight fighting twice with former heavyweight champion Oliver McCall winning the first which got reversed to NC but winning the second. He lost to VitaliKlitschko for the WBC heavyweight title and moved back to cruiser. He was 158-12 as an amateur and moved to Germany as a professional. He reversed 2 of his losses as a professional.
MIKE “THE REBEL” PEREZ at 6:01 won the World Junior championship in 2004. In 2007 he defeated Louis Ortiz in the Cuban National championships but lost to Osmay Acosta in the final. In 2007 he defected to Cork, IRE. He was 21-2-1 (13) as a professional finishing up in 2015 losing to Alexander Povetkin for the WBC Silver title at age 30.
ODLANIER SOLIS FONTEat 6:01 ½ was 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist defeating Sultan Ibragimov and David Haye. He won 3 consecutive World Championships in 2001, 03 and 05. In 1999 he defeated Felix Savon for the Cuban title and took 2 of 3 from him. He won the 1999 and 2003 Pan Am Games Gold Medals. His amateur record was 227-14. He is 22-3 (14) as a professional losing to WBC champion VitaliKlitschko in 2011. He won the WBC International, IBF Inter-Continental and the WBA Fedelatin titles. He is 36 and lives in North Miami, FL.
YANQUI DIAZ at 6:04 in 2002 came to Mexico and then Las Vegas, NV, and won 13 of his first 14 fights stopping Juan Carlos Gomez and defeating Vaughn Bean while losing to Tony Thompson. Then in 2005 and 2006 losses to Samuel Peter and Kirk Johnson followed by a pair of nc’s before losing to Damian Wills and Oliver McCall retiring at 30 the end of 2006 with a 13-5 (8) record.
ERISLANDY SAVON the nephew of Felix Salon in 2016 was Olympian Bronze Medalist. He won the Pan Am Games in 2015 and a Silver in the World championships. He won the World Junior championships in 2008. At the National Championships he lost in semi-final by DQ to Osmay Acosta. He is 26.
OSMAY ACOSTA DUARTE won the 2007 Pan Am Games Gold Medal and was the 2008 Olympic heavyweight Bronze Medalist. In 2009 he was the Silver Medalist in the World Amateur championships. At the 2006 National Senior championships he lost to Odlanier Solis at super heavyweight and dropped back to heavyweight winning the Central American Games. He qualified for Beijing in an Olympic qualifier defeating current WBC champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder. He retired in 2009 after finishing with a Silver Medal in the World Amateur championships at age 24.
LOUIS “KING KONG” ORTIZ at 6:04 was 343-19 as an amateur. In 2005 he won the PAN AM championships. In 2010 he came to Miami, FL, and won 5 minor titles as a professional in 2010 the FECARBOX, 2011 the Fedelatin, in 2012 the Inter-American, WBC and WBO Latino titles. In 2015 he won the interim WBA World title. He is currently 27-0-2 nc’s (23). He is the current No. 1 WBA, No. 2 WBC and No. 6 IBF contender at 37 turning 38 this month.
NANCIO CARRILLO represented Cuba in the 1968 Olympics losing in the first round to East German Bernd Anders.
Other Cuban heavyweight professionals: Nino Valdez, 48-18-3 (36), OmelioAgramonte, 50-21 (32), Federico Malibran, 34-22-1 (25), Antolin Fierro, 8-8 (8), Santiago Esparraguera, 46-21-4 (42), RoleauxSaguero, 25-21-1 (23), Goyito Rico, 28-12-1 (25), Young John Herrera, 42-22-3 (28) and trained Stevenson, Elieser Castillo, 30-7-2 (17), Julio Mederos, 21-19-3 (14) who was managed by Jake LaMottaand Jose Ribalta, 38-1-1 (27), 55-8 (26) as an amateur in Cuba.
Is Louis “King Kong” Ortiz the Most Feared Heavyweight Since Mike Tyson
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?
When Will Deontay Wilder Step Up?
When Will Deontay Wilder Step Up
By: Matthew N. Becher
It has been two years now that Deontay Wilder (37-0 36KO) took on Bermane Stiverne in Las Vegas and became the WBC Heavyweight champion, winning a unanimous decision. Since then wilder has defended his title four times, against Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka and Chris Arreola. Out of those four fights, three have been in his home state of Alabama. Also, out of those four fights, zero have been against any major competition. Wilder has a fight scheduled in two weeks against former USC football player Gerald Washington, at the Legacy Arena in, you guessed it, Birmingham Alabama. The question that arises is when Wilder will actually decide to fight some legit competition, to either unify the titles or to just give fans a more evenly matched fight.
In the coming months, the Heavyweight division will be ripe with decent match ups where belts will exchange hands, and or new kings will be crowned. Joseph Parker will defend his newly minted WBO title against the Lineal champions (Tyson Fury), Cousin Hughie Fury, in New Zealand. It may not be a top of the line matchup, but it is none the less a very good fight that keeps the division rolling toward ultimate unification. Also, the best heavyweight of the past decade will see if he has one last run in him, when 40 year old Wladamir Klitschko will take on Anthony Joshua in front of 90 thousand screaming fans at Wembley Stadium in April. So while the likes of a young lion, Joshua , are breaking attendance records in the UKs most famous venue, Wilder will be fighting, yet again, in a small arena in Alabama (one that he will also, most likely, not sell out)
Recently, undefeated Cuban Heavyweight, Luis Ortiz, has called out Wilder on social media.
“Tell Deontay Wilder stop running, I’m Here: I’m ready to fight you on February 25th!” said Ortiz, who is now, currently ranked as the #2 Heavyweight in the WBC Rankings. Wilder responding to Ortiz’s offer of fighting him by saying he would never fight someone that has previously failed a drug test.
Something that Ortiz did do, in 2014. Since then, Ortiz has been tested 12 times, all coming back clean, and was enrolled in the VADA testing program since last September. It now looks like Ortiz will take on former WBC champ, Stiverne, to become the #1 contender.
It just seems that “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder is content with holding on to his one title and milk his championship run in the easiest manner possible. Taking fights against unranked fighters that are also under the PBC banner. Also staying away from prominent fight locations like Las Vegas, or even just not fighting in his own home state may show why he is keeping himself safe, locked away inside his own personal bubble. We would love to see what the young American champ can do when he is really tested against another quality opponent, but for now, we will have to watch him fight former college football players, who couldn’t make it to the pros.