What’s Next For Luis Ortiz?
By: Hans Themistode
Luis Ortiz had the WBC Heavyweight title won.
In his rematch against Deontay Wilder this past Saturday night, he was out boxing the long reigning champion. At no point was it close, as Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) seemed to have no answer at all. Fans of the champion seemed to grow worried as he just could figure out a way to let his hands go.
When the seventh round came rolling along, there was good reason to believe that Wilder hadn’t won a single round. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Wilder landed his signature right hand and down went Ortiz in heap.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The referee counted him out as he staggered to his feet.
Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) might be 40 years of age but he looked impressive against Wilder until that right hand landed right on the button. He might not be able to beat Wilder, but that doesn’t mean he can’t defeat anyone else.
He should have a long line of opponents waiting for his next ring appearance. Let’s breakdown his best options.
The undefeated Adam Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) is looking to really burst on to the Heavyweight scene. He has been impressive in his short career thus far, but he looks primed and ready for a big opportunity.
Luis Ortiz on the other hand, has had his shot at the big time. Unfortunately for him, he has come up short on both occasions. But that doesn’t mean he should slip down to the bottom of the rankings. If Ortiz wants to place himself on the short list for a third fight with Wilder, then a win against Kownacki would be a huge statement.
Why not place the two most recent Deontay Wilder victims against one another? Dominic Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) was last seen on his back courtesy of a right hand from Wilder. Ortiz, of course, was last seen doing the same thing.
The Heavyweight division isn’t particularly deep, so both men could find themselves fighting for a world title once again in the near future. Both Ortiz and Breazeale hit extremely hard and aren’t afraid to bang it out. This might not be worthy of a title eliminator, but it would be a very fan friendly contest.
It wasn’t very long ago where Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) was viewed as over the hill. A draw against the unheralded Fred Kassi to go along with a no contest against Travis Kauffman, coupled with a stoppage loss against Deontay Wilder, spelled the end for Arreola.
Following that loss to Wilder however, he managed to win two fights in a row and gave the undefeated Adam Kownacki the toughest fight of his life. Proving that he has plenty left in the tank. Chris Arreola vs Luis Ortiz has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Wilder Stops Ortiz Cold in the Seventh Round
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Fox Sports Pay Per View Main Event between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.
The undercard featured a lot of close action-packed fights. The co-main event between Santa Cruz and Flores as well as the bout between Figueroa and Ceja featured a high volume of punches.
Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez were originally scheduled to fight on the undercard, but that bout was cancelled after Nery came in a pound overweight.
The Leo Santa Cruz fight didn’t end until 11:45 PM EST, which meant the main event didn’t start until after midnight. Luis Ortiz entered the ring first and Wilder entered second in an extravagant outfit to an entire arena standing on their feet.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The following is a round by round recap of the main event of the night.
Deontay Wilder (41-0-1) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Wilder has the height and reach advantage over Ortiz. Both boxers appear to be a little cautious at first. Ortiz pressing forward but doesn’t pull the trigger yet. Wilder throws a lazy jab to the body. Ortiz throws a right hook to the body of Wilder, and Wilder answers with one of his own. Ortiz blocks two jabs from Wilder. Ortiz touches Wilder with a good straight left hand. Wilder misses with a straight right and Ortiz lands a jab in response. Wilder flicks out a short jab. Ortiz has a slight cut by his right eye. Ortiz straight left is blocked by Wilder. Not a lot of action in the first round, but Ortiz had the best punch of the round.
Ortiz throws out two jabs but misses. Wilder is pawing his jab in the face of Ortiz. Both boxers are keeping their distance looking for a counter. Ortiz misses with a wild left to the body of Wilder. Wilder throws out a straight right hand that is partially blocked. Wilder throws out a check left hook and Ortiz stabs a jab to the body. Wilder and Ortiz both miss straight crosses. Wilder flicks out three jabs and a cross to the body. Ortiz is showing good head movement. Ortiz bangs to the body of Wilder. Ortiz lands a left to the head and body of Wilder. Wilder lands a jab to the nose of Ortiz. Another slower round.
10-9 Wilder; 19-19
Wilder goes back to pawing a jab in the face of Ortiz. Ortiz lands a left to the body of Wilder. Wilder misses with a left hook to the body. Ortiz lands a straight left on Wilder’s face. Lots of feints early on in the round. Ortiz blocks a straight right by Wilder. Ortiz almost has Wilder trapped in a corner and lands a body shot. Wilder responds with a jab in the face of Ortiz. Wilder throws out a double jab. Ortiz bangs a good left off the head of Wilder and follows it with a body shot. Wilder lands a good straight right that catches Ortiz’s attention. Ortiz is backing Wilder up this round.
10-9 Ortiz; 29-28 Ortiz
Ortiz pressing forward slowly and throws out three consecutive jabs. Wilder lands a check left hook. Wilder looks a little looser this round. Ortiz momentarily traps Wilder by the corner and throws out two hard left hooks that barely miss. Ortiz ducks under a Wilder right and lands a combo in response. Wilder tells Ortiz to bring it and Ortiz smiles at him. Ortiz is still stalking Wilder, but neither boxer is throwing anything of note. Both appear to respect each other’s power. Wilder throws a power right hand that is blocked. Ortiz throws a left to the body of Wilder.
10-9 Ortiz; 39-37 Ortiz
The slower pace of this fight so far favors Ortiz. Ortiz barely misses an overhand left. Wilder pawing his jab in the face of Ortiz. Crowd is chanting for Ortiz. Ortiz lands another left to the body of Wilder. Wilder is hesitant to open up and take a risk. Ortiz ducks under a two punch combo by Wilder. Ortiz lands another shot to the body of Wilder. Ortiz misses a looping left hook to the body. Ortiz continues to throw to the body of Wilder. Wilder bangs two punches off the shoulder of Ortiz. Ortiz has Wilder backing into a corner again. Wilder lands a good left hand that seems to stun Ortiz a little bit. Ortiz lands a left cross and Wilder tags Ortiz with a jab. Wilder wins the round based on that jab maybe hurting Ortiz, but close round.
10-9 Wilder; 48-47 Ortiz
Ortiz is once again backing Wilder up slowly. Ortiz throws a misses barely with a left to the body. Wilder has been mainly landing jabs. Wilder misses with a jab. Ortiz is looking for a counter on Wilder. Ortiz lands good short jab. Wilder tags Ortiz with a jab. Both boxers land lead hooks. Wilder lands another lead left hook. Ortiz throws out a three punch combo but it is mainly blocked. Wilder lands a jab. Another close round.
10-9 Wider; 57-57
Wilder opens up with a left hook to the body of Ortiz. Ortiz lands a good left to the body. Wilder gets tagged with a counter left hand. Ortiz lands another good left hand. Ortiz has to be careful with freely exchanging with a power puncher like Wilder. Wilder touoches Ortiz with a jab. Wilder lands a good lead straight right. Wilder barely misses with another straight right hand. Wilder misses with a right hook. Wilder throwing more right hands this round. Ortiz flicks out three jabs that are short. Wilder lands a left hook to the body. Ortiz lands a two punch combination. Ortiz may have Wilder a little stunned. Wilder is backing into a corner and Ortiz lands an over the top left. Wilder lands a vicious straight right hand and Ortiz drops to the mat. Ortiz is unable to get up before the count of ten.
Deontay Wilder once again proves when you have power, all it takes is one punch.
Deontay Wilder wins by knockout 2:51 of the seventh round.
Luis Nery on a Mission to Rule the Bantamweight Division Once Again
By: Rich Lopez
As we get ready for the Wilder vs Ortiz rematch this weekend in Vegas, there will be a good undercard in store for fight fans. The undercard will feature Leo Santa Cruz and Brandon Figueroa. Also on the undercard is one of the best bantamweight fighters today, Luis Nery.
Luis “Pantera” Nery (30-0, 24 KO’s) of Mexico, is undefeated and has been boxing professionally for seven years. The 24 year old southpaw wants to reclaim his throne in the bantamweight division. Nery steadily climbed up the rankings which landed him a major title shot back in 2017 against long time WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka in Japan. Yamanaka had made 12 title defenses and was the Ring Magazine champion at bantamweight. In their fight, Nery was able to match Yamanaka with speed and power and he showed who the better fighter was. Nery stopped Yamanaka in four rounds and won the WBC title but most importantly he was now considered the best in the division. However, the Ring Magazine title was stripped from Nery and reinstated to Yamanaka. Nery failed a pre-fight drug test as he tested positive for the banned substance called Zilpaterol. This was a result of Nery consuming contaminated meat. The WBC ruled that Nery could keep the title but had to grant a rematch to Yamanaka.
Prior to the rematch, Nery lost the WBC title for not making weight and would not be able to regain the Ring Magazine title as well. To prove the victory was no fluke, Nery stopped Yamanaka in two rounds in their rematch of 2018. So even though Nery scored his biggest wins of his career, he was beltless. Afterwards, Nery fought twice in 2018 in Mexico scoring two more stoppages.
Nery is now looking towards the future.
Nery signed a deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and has already won two fights by stoppage. First, he fought on the Errol Spence vs Mikey Garcia undercard back in March. He stopped McJoe Arroyo in four rounds for his debut under PBC. Next, he fought on the Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman undercard in July. He knocked out former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in nine rounds with a body shot. Now, Nery will face another former champion in Emmanuel Rodriguez on Saturday. Should Nery get past Rodriguez, another title shot opportunity looms for Nery.
The ultimate goal for Nery is to be ruler of the bantamweight division once again. At the end, this could lead to a possible mega fight with the “Monster” Naoya Inoue. Inoue has taken over the bantamweight division while Nery has been fighting his way back into title contention. Nery knows he would need to score another spectacular victory this weekend to land a fight with Inoue in the future. Ironically, Nery’s last win over Payano and his upcoming fight with Rodriguez, are both knockout victims of Inoue. You can assure Nery will be looking for a knockout again against Rodriguez to put Inoue on alert.
Luis Ortiz Looks To Continue The 2019 Upset Trend
By: Hans Themistode
The 2019 boxing calendar has been filled with big fights, and even bigger upsets.
Fighters who are expected to lose should never be counted out. With that being said however, that sentence takes a whole new meaning this year.
Remember when multiple division world champion Jorge Linares decided it was time to move up to the Super Lightweight division? He was fresh off a competitive loss to the consensus best fighter in the world in Vasiliy Lomachenko and his stock was never higher.
His introduction to his new weight class was against veteran fighter Pablo Cesar Cano. It was a fight which on paper, was an easy one for Linares. Cano after all, was never known as a great fighter and failed each and every time he stepped up in opposition. None of that mattered as he scored a first round brutal stoppage win over Linares.
How about Julian Williams shocking unanimous decision win over then undefeated unified Jr Middleweight titlist Jarrett Hurd? Williams was a great fighter in his own right, but a previous stoppage defeat in his lone attempt at a world title prior to his contest against Hurd, seemed to spell out another loss would be on the docket for him once again.
Instead, Williams dropped and subsequently won a fairly wide decision over Hurd.
The Heavyweights have received their fair share of upsets as well. Earlier in the year, fringe Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings was on his way to a decision victory over Oscar Rivas until a miraculous twelve round onslaught by Rivas sent Jennings down to the canvas and out.
The biggest upset of not only 2019, but also quite possibly of this decade occurred when former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was dropped four times en route to picking up his first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
With so many upsets happening around him, the question for Ortiz is, can he follow in the footsteps of those who came before him and become the first Cuban born Heavyweight champion in their storied history. Not only does he believe that he will get the job done this time around, but he also has no intentions of allowing this contest to make it to the judges scorecards.
“I have plans to finish all of this before the final bell ends,” said Ortiz. “But if I need to go the distance, I’m also ready to reach the end of the fight.”
A win over Wilder doesn’t seem likely. Ortiz might be a great fighter, but Wilder has been one of the most dominant champions in recent memory. With that being said however, did any of you expect any of those outcomes from the upsets that took place earlier this year? I doubt it.
It won’t come easy, but Ortiz has the opportunity to join the long list of 2019 fighters who upset the apple cart.
Luis Ortiz Looks To Finish Deontay Wilder Off This Time Around
By: Hans Themistode
It was a mistake. One that Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz vows will not happen again.
The big punching Cuban bred boxer wasn’t just undefeated in his career coming into his championship matchup with WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. He was also arguably the most feared fighter regardless of weight class.
The Heavyweights of this era aren’t exactly known for having the best boxing abilities. Instead, they all seem to have one punch knockout power. None compares to Wilder of course, but then again, there aren’t many men throughout history who can.
Ortiz isn’t just a big man standing at six feet four inches and weighing routinely over 240 pounds, but he is also a slick boxer as well. He spends most of his contests making his opponent look silly before ultimately closing the show. When Ortiz gets his opponents in trouble, the end is usually near.
The Heavyweight contender had Wilder exactly where he wanted him in the seventh round. After Ortiz picked himself up off the ground in the fifth, he had Wilder in the most trouble of his career in that aforementioned seventh round.
Wilder staggered across the ring looking to hold on after he took shot after shot. To the surprise of many, including Ortiz, Wilder made it out of the round.
“As soon as I made the connection and hurt him and I knew I was going to finish him and that the fight was basically over,” Ortiz said recently. “I haven’t had a situation like that where I hadn’t gotten a knockout in a scenario like that.”
To witness Wilder withstand the barrage of punches that came from Ortiz unscathed was impressive. The Cuban Heavyweight gave it everything he had in that seventh round and as a result of that unsuccessful onslaught, he tired himself out and was subsequently finished off in the tenth.
In part two of their rivalry which will take place on November 23rd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ortiz vows to not only be prepared physically but mentally as well.
“It’s just a matter of putting some punches together and winning this fight,” said Ortiz. “One thing for sure is that both mentally and physically I’m at my best and prepared.”
Even at the age of 40, the skills of Ortiz does not seem to be diminishing. With that being said however, in terms of being a professional fighter, he is getting up there in age. Ortiz has been recently seen in pictures and videos during the lead up of this contest and it seems as though he is in the best possible shape of his career. Will that be enough to rip the belt away from Wilder who is looking to defend his title for the tenth time? We will all find out come this Saturday night.
Abraham Nova Stops Castillo in the First
by: Paul Yates
Super-featherweight contender Abraham Nova scored an easy first round knockout over Luis Castillo last night at The Encore Boston Harbor casino. A single, straight right cross to the jaw dropped Castillo to one knee, where he remained shaking his head in pain as the referee tolled the ten count The time was 2:42. The victory represents Nova’s first successful defense of his NABA super-featherweight title and improves his record to 16-0, including 12 KO’s. Castillo, a native of Mexico, falls to 20-4 with 15 KO’s.
From the opening bell, the bout proved to be a mismatch. Although the 6’0″ Castillo enjoyed a significant height and reach advantage, it was immediately clear that he lacked the speed, agility, power, and skill to compete with a fighter in Nova’s class. The difference in physical strength was clear just from observing the pair, as Castillo’s frame appeared skinny — even frail — in comparison to Nova’s heavily heavily muscled back, shoulders, and upper arms. At one point Castillo backed Nova against the ropes and opened fire with both hands, but lacked the power to do any damage to the Puerto Rican born NABA champion. During skirmishing in center ring, Nova had no difficulty finding holes in his lanky opponent’s guard. Sensing Castillo’s vulnerability, Nova maneuvered the Mexican against the ropes and ended matters promptly with a fast, bazooka-like right hand.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney/Fightography
Nova is rated 6th worldwide by the WBO, and matches against world-class opposition will definitely come before the medium term future. So far, Nova has not been tested against high caliber fighters as a professional. In no way did tonight’s bout qualify as a measure of Nova’s potential against top flight opponents. Castillo was simply too far out of his depth to give Nova any kind of test. Therefore, Nova’s devastating performance tells us nothing that we did not already know about him. As for the weights, Nova scaled 129.6 lbs against 130 lbs for Castillo.
On the undercard, two other rising prospects scored impressive knockouts. Middleweight Carlos Gongora looked like a ferocious uncaged tiger as he blasted Alan Zavala into a first round TKO defeat. At welterweight, Brian Ceballo put on a brilliant display of speed, agility, and boxing ability in scoring a fourth round knockout over Luis Eduardo Florez.
Gongora, now 17-0 with 13 KO’s, jumped on Zavala from the opening bell. Spreading his feet wide and bending low at the knees, Gongora packed maximum power into all his left-handed punches. Zavala demonstrated quick foot movement on the retreat in addition to utilizing agile, fluid upper-body movement on defense, but Gongora had no trouble cutting off the ring and blasting the Mexican on the ropes. The end came when Gongora floored Zavala with a crackling left hook to the head. Zavala managed to beat the count, but looked badly hurt as he arose and the referee signaled the end at 2:05 of the round.
Billed as the “South American middleweight champion” upon entering the ring, Gongora is now ready to vastly upgrade the quality of his opposition. His next logical career move would be to face tough, experienced fringe contenders in order to pick up a WBA, WBC, WBO, or IBF regional belt, after which he will be ready to crash the world ratings. The Ecuadorian, who weighed 159.2 lbs., now lives in Boston and is definitely a fighter to watch: he is probably headed for high status in boxing. Zavala, who deserves respect for being a tough, competent clubfighter, weighed 157.6 lbs and his record falls to 15-4 with 13 KO’s.
Ceballo moved his record to 10-0, including 5 KO’s by flooring Florez with a single left hook to the body. The blow, which was preceded by a left-handed feint to the head, took the wind out of Florez, who fell to his arms and knees on the canvas. Florez never stirred as he was counted out by the referee, the ending coming at 2:33 of the fourth. Ceballo exhibited full control of the action throughout the fight, relying on lightning-quick speed of foot to evade his Colombian opponent’s occasional attempts to land power punches.
After an uneventful first round in which Ceballo proved his vastly superior speed and agility, the action picked up in the second. Ceballo, a former amateur standout from Brooklyn, became progressively more aggressive as he chased Florez around the ring. Constantly spearing Florez with blindingly fast left jabs , Ceballo never stopped initiating exchanges as he sought to find openings to throw power punches. Florez showed ring savvy by executing quick, sophisticated defense maneuvers, but he lacked the hand speed and coordination to land any punches against Ceballo. By the third round, Florez’s facial expression signaled fatigue and fading self-confidence. Still, the ending came very suddenly and unexpectedly.
The weights were 149.4 lbs for Ceballo against 152.6 lbs for Florez, whose record falls to 24-14, with 20 KO’s. The win was easy for Ceballo, as Florez is essentially a professional opponent who has served as cannon fodder in the past for big names like Miguel Berchelt, Regis Prograis, and Anthony Peterson. But still, considering the vast disparity in professional exposure (Florez has been fighting for eight years), the victory is a meaningful one for Ceballo at this early stage in his career. Without doubt, Ceballo is moving quickly and he should soon be pitted against tough fringe contenders in matches for regional titles. This writer believes that Ceballo will be rated among the world’s top-15 contenders with in the next one to two years.
In a welterweight bout, Khiry Todd of Lynn improved his record to 9-1 (7 KO’s) by knocking out Alex Duarte at 2:41 of the first round. A sudden right hand to the body forced Duarte to his hands and knees, where he was counted out at 2:41 of the round. Until the ending, Todd demonstrated superior speed and athleticism against his Brazilian opponent, who fought back aggressively but ineffectively. Duarte, now 14-8-1 with 6 KO’s, showed a rigid, slow punching style and consequently the fleet-footed Todd dodged his blows with ease. Todd, who weighed 147.8 lbs, exhibited speedy upper-body movement on the defense in addition to using his left jab effectively while on the attack. Duarte weighed 145.8 lbs.
James Perella, a former amateur star from Mansfield, scored a fourth round TKO over Argentina’s Jose Aubel in a welterweight fight. Most noteworthy about this fight was the vast height disparity between the two boxers: the 5’1″ Aubel appeared to be almost a foot shorter than the tall, lanky Perella. For most of the bout Perella, 147 lbs., easily dominated his muscular opponent, who looked like a weightlifter and fought out of a low, awkward crouch. However, Perella did not show the same level of efficiency that he has demonstrated in past bouts. The southpaw Aubel sometimes pierced Perella’s guard with slow, heavy lefts. Perella also missed with many punches, and despite landing his vaunted left-hook frequently, did not have an easy time putting his over-matched opponent away. Perella managed to knock down Aubel once in the first and again in the third, before pounding Aubel to the canvas again in the fourth. Upon being floored for the third and final time, Aubel complained that he had been hit behind the head, but the referee did not agree and waived the fight off at the 1:29 mark. Perella is now 5-0 with 4 KO’s; he weighed 147 lbs. Aubel, who fought valiantly and made the most of his limited ability, falls to 8-6 (7 KO’s) and weighed 146.4 lbs.
The card was rounded out by three other bouts, each scheduled for four rounds. At cruiserweight, James Perkins and Aaron Trecell Smith fought to a draw. The final scores were 39-37, 38-38, and 38-38. Perkins weighed 185.2 lbs against 186.2 lbs for Smith. Both fighters are from the greater Boston area, and were making their debuts. In a lightweight bout, Jonathan Depina stopped Michigan’s Robbie Thomas at 1:13 of round three. Depina, from Boston, weighed 134 lbs and his record is 1-0 (1 KO). Thomas, who is now 0-2 (no KO’s) weighed 137.2 lbs. In a free-swinging junior-middleweight bout between two debutantes, Brian Urday outpointed Greg Bono. The scorecards read 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37. Urday is from Whitman, and weighed 152 lbs. Bono, a Watertown resident, weighed 153.2
Tonight’s event was promoted by Murphy’s Boxing, and based on this writer’s estimate, drew a crowd of well over 1,000 fans. According to ringside talk, the promoter is rumored to have another event planned for this same venue in November.
Luis Ortiz Dropped from WBO Rankings
By: Shane Willoughby
Luis King Kong Ortiz has lost his place in the WBO Heavyweight rankings. The Cuban has won 3 fights since his defeat to Deontay Wilder for the WBC title.
Since then, the 40 year old has been linked with a potential rematch with Wilder at the end of the year and he was offered a reported $7 million dollars to fight Anthony Joshua on June 1st. However, that big money fight with AJ could be in doubt.
Ortiz isn’t ranked in either the WBA or the WBO rankings which are both titles AJ holds and without a top 15 Ranking a fight with Joshua can’t happen.
With that said, those minor technicalities are easily rectified with these governing bodies. When there is money to be made they can work miracles.
Just look at Tyson Fury, he beat Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta and is ranked number 2 with the WBC. If that isn’t a miracle, then what is?
The question of why the WBO has dropped Ortiz remains a mystery. The former WBC title contender was ranked 8 last month with the WBO. But for no apparent reason he wasn’t placed in this months rankings.
The most plausible explanation is that the WBO doesn’t have an accurate perception of the division. Any rankings system that places Tom Schwarz at number 2 has to be questioned.
Not to mention them having 5 fighters in their top 15 that doesn’t appear in any other governing bodies rankings. In the WBO’s defence Ortiz hasn’t beaten anyone of significance in recent years.
Luis Ortiz most noticeable victory in the last 3 year’s was against Tony Thompson who is older than Ortiz, and that alone should be a good enough reason to drop him from their rankings.
What’s Next for Deontay Wilder?
By: Hans Themistode
Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) told every and anyone that would listen, that he would kill Dominic Breazeale. (20-2, 18 KOs). On Saturday night, May 18th 2019 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, he nearly did just that. Wilder completely destroyed Breazeale with a devastating right hand in the opening round. Breazeale was out cold before he even touched the canvas. We can all expect to see Wilder back in the ring later this year, but against who?
Keep reading and we’ll give you the best possible opponents.
Outside of his showdown with Tyson Fury, WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has dominated his competition. Never has he looked to be in any real trouble, that was true until he stepped in the ring with Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) on March 3rd, 2018. It was a great contest, one that saw Wilder visibly hurt for the first in his career. Ortiz landed several monster shots that had Wilder in serious trouble. Not only was Wilder hurt, but he seemed to be getting outboxed as well. The problem for Ortiz is that he ran into the right hand of Wilder. From there it was goodnight. A rematch between these two would produce great fire works once again. Ortiz is one of the very few boxers in the world that stands a chance against Wilder. Let’s book the rematch as soon as possible.
The Brooklyn born Adam Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) has quickly become a fan favorite, and for good reason. His come forward all action style has led to some exciting fights. Although he only has 19 fights, he has picked up some high quality wins including, knockouts of former title challengers Gerald Washington and Artur Szpilka. He also outpointed ex brief belt holder Charles Martin. The time has come for Kownacki to get this shot. Not many has what it takes to be a legitimate threat to Wilder, Kownacki is one of those very few.
Even with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury batting to a draw in December of 2018, current unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) is still the man we all want to see face Wilder next. For as great of a fighter that Fury is, he just isn’t a big puncher. A match between Joshua and Wilder would undoubtedly end in a knockout. Both men are considered to be the best in the division. It’s time to end the debate.
Luis Ortiz “I Know What It Takes To Be At My Best”
By: Sean Crose
“Everybody knows I don’t talk a lot, and prefer to make my name in the ring,” says the sometimes surly, always exciting to watch, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz, “On Saturday you’re going to see what I do best and that’s throw punches. That’s my job.” Part of Ortiz’ job this Saturday, when he faces the 25-5 Christian Hammer at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, is to not only win, but win impressively. For the fractured heavyweight division means there are possible openings available for Ortiz to get a second shot at a world title.
“This is a big fight for me to prove that I deserve another shot at the title,” he says. “In my heart I still believe I had that fight against Deontay Wilder in my hands. It was mine to win. Hopefully he will step up and face me again.” The fight with Wilder that Ortiz is referring to was an absolute war last year that saw the Cuban slugger have his opponent badly hurt, before the hard hitting WBC champion ended the affair by successfully stopping Ortiz in the 10th round. Before he can get another chance at a belt, however, Ortiz has to get past Hammer.
“Christian Hammer says that he’s coming to win so he better come with a lot of energy,” Ortiz says. Officially 39 years old (though he’s rumored to be even older), Ortiz is a fighter who simply doesn’t have time on his side. “I fight for my family and I bring that passion into the gym every day,” says Ortiz. “You will see it in the ring Saturday night. I hope that Hammer has prepared because I’m leaving it all in the ring like I always do.”
For his part, Hammer is exuding confidence in the leadup to Saturday’s fight. “I’m completely focused on this fight,” the German (by way of Romania) fighter says. “I’m here to cancel his plans for a Wilder rematch. I’m going to put myself in a position for even more big fights.” Needless to say, Ortiz isn’t coming across as intimidated. “I don’t know how I’m going to win on Saturday,” he claims, “but I’ll leave with my hand raised. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do everything to make it happen.”
With little likelihood of Wilder, Anthony Joshua, or Tyson Fury facing off anytime soon, it’s been suggested there’s plenty of room and opportunity in the heavyweight playground at the moment. There are already whispers that, should Ortiz prevail on Saturday, a rematch with Wilder might go down in the spring. At the moment, though, Ortiz looks content staying locked in on what’s directly in front of him. “My focus is completely on Christian Hammer,” he says. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know what it takes to be at my best. After this fight, I’ll see where we’re at and see which of the top heavyweights will be available to me.”
The Wilder-Hammer fight is part of a Premiere Boxing Champions card featuring Erislandy Lara and Brian Castano, which will be aired live on Showtime starting at 9PM Eastern Standard Time this Saturday night.
Luis Ortiz Excited To Appear on Wilder-Fury, Wants Wilder Rematch in 2019
By Jake Donovan
Luis Ortiz may have begun his 2018 ring campaign with a loss to Deontay Wilder, but he wants to end the year with a firm reminder that he’s still very much in the heavyweight mix.
The Cuban southpaw is making the most of life after his first career defeat, having suffered a 10th round stoppage at the hands of Wilder in their title fight thriller this past March. Having already rebounded with a 2nd round knockout of Razvan Cojanu in July, Ortiz (29-1-0-2NC, 25KOs) will close out 2018 with a December 1 showdown versus Travis Kauffman.
Their bout will take place at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, gracing the Pay-Per-View undercard of Wilder’s latest title defense as he faces undefeated Tyson Fury in a battle of unbeaten heavyweight behemoths.
“I’m very happy to be fighting on the December 1 card,” a gleeful Ortiz told BoxingInsider.com. “My manager Jay Jimenez, along with Luis DeCubas Jr. and Al Haymon have done a great job of keeping me active and lining up opponents who will actually fight. I don’t want to do anything other than fight.”
The bout will be Ortiz’ fourth in exactly 52 weeks after having sat out nearly all of 2017 for a variety of reasons. The 39-year old heavyweight—who lives and trains in Miami—joined Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions family early last year, but stumbled out the gate in making his debut.
An untimely injury earlier in the year and a clerical error on his VADA paperwork leading to his planned Nov. ’17 clash with Wilder being postponed left Ortiz inactive since a stoppage win of David Allen in Dec. ’16. He finally returned to the ring last December, scoring a 2nd round knockout of Daniel Martz in Hialeah, Florida, minutes from his adopted hometown.
The win was predictable, but came with the cavaet of building toward a rescheduled date with Wilder, who was seated ringside as a guest commentator for that specific portion of the FS1 telecast. The two jawed at one another inside the ropes, paving the way for their eventual clash this past March.
Ortiz gave Wilder all that he could handle but was dropped and eventually stopped in suffering his frst loss since 2008 when he was still an amateur in Cuba. Still, his brave performance was a reminder that he was still the same top-rated heavyweight who rose through the ranks with a stream of spectacular wins, perhaps none bigger than his 7th round stoppage of Bryant Jennings in Dec. ’15.
For the most part, it has been a struggle to line up opponents for Ortiz. His southpaw style and high skill level isn’t exactly a matchmaker’s dream, so he remains grateful for any opportunity that can come his way—even those that aren’t necessarily owed to him.
“We’re grateful to be on this card,” Herman Caicedo, Ortiz’ longtime trainer told BoxingInsider.com. “This is Wilder’s show, and he could have easily blocked this fight and let Luis make his name elsewhere. Instead, he welcomed the (supporting) fight and Luis with open arms.”
The PBC brass could very well have their own agenda for adding Ortiz-Kauffman to the show; historically, a good heavyweight fight belongs anywhere, regardless of its future implications. Ortiz’ motivation is simple: win big, and begin 2019 with a fresh pursuit of the only heavyweight titlist he believes will take on all comers.
“Wilder has already proven he’d fight us, and I’m sure he’d love to do it again after he takes care of Fury,” suggests Ortiz, in effect offering predictions on both his fight and that of Wilder. “I’m confident that he will beat Fury by knockout, and then he and I can go at it again in 2019 since no other top heavyweight will face either of us. You saw what Wilder has gone through chasing the other so-called champ.”
The latter part is an obvious dig at Anthony Joshua, the unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist from England. There has been heavy demand for a Joshua-Wilder showdown, dating back to 2016 when Joshua won his first title and both heavyweights were part of the Showtime boxing family.
Fast forward to 2018, where petty bickering still remains as the two sides continue to foolishly negotiate through the media while making little progress.
“Joshua is a p***y so forget about him ever facing Wilder or myself,” Ortiz believes. “Honestly, my coach has a better chance of getting Joshua in the ring. I’m just going to focus on the guys that want to fight me—beginning with Travis Kauffman. Once I take care of him, I’ll clean up and grab a ringside seat for Wilder’s fight.
“Once he wins, we can begin planning our rematch in 2019.”
Showtime Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Cojanu, Garcia vs. Easter
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will broadcast three bouts live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This fight card will be presented by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the night will be between Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. in a WBC/IBF Lightweight Title Unification Bout. The co-main event of the night will feature the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he takes on Razvan Cojanu.
Other boxers on the undercard include Mario Barrios, Jose Roman, Roberto Marroquin, and other prized prospects. The Barrios vs. Roman fight looks likely to be broadcast on Showtime in addition to the Easter-Garcia and Ortiz-Cojanu bout.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Luis Ortiz (28-1) vs. Razvan Cojanu (16-3); Heavyweights
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz fought a hard battle against Deontay Wilder in his last match but eventually succumbed to Wilder’s power.
He returns on Saturday against Razvan Coajnu, a three loss Romanian heavyweight that should be viewed as a comeback opponent that stands little chance of winning.
Cojanu will have a rather large five and a half inch height advantage, but will still be giving up about three inches in reach. Ortiz is eight years older than Cojanu.
Ortiz has a strong edge in amateur experience. Cojanu has no notable amateur accomplishments while Ortiz was a multi time National Champion in boxing mad Cuba as an amateur.
Ortiz’s age and recent inactivity could be a factor. He only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017 and is pushing 40. Cojanu fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016, but it should be noted that two of his past three wins were against opponents with losing records.
Ortiz has beaten the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. His lone loss was to Deontay Wilder.
Cojanu doesn’t have any big wins on his resume, but his best wins have come against Zhiyu Wu, Ed Fountain, and Manuel Alberto Pucheta. His losses were to Alvaro Morales, Joseph Parker, and Donovan Dennis.
This fight will likely not be competitive. Ortiz should stop Cojanu within the first six rounds.
Mikey Garcia (38-0) vs. Robert Easter Jr. (21-0); WBC/IBF Lightweight Titles
Mikey Garcia is considered by many to be one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters. He’s held world titles in four different weight classes spanning from featherweight to the junior welterweight divisions.
Garcia is facing a fellow undefeated fighter in Robert Easter Jr. Garcia is only thirty so he’s still in his athletic prime, but Easter is three years his younger and will have a large four inch height advantage and an even larger seven inch reach advantage.
Garcia does have an edge in power. He has thirty stoppage victories on his resume while Garcia only has fourteen. Garcia has stopped two of his past five opponents while Easter has stopped one of his past five opponents.
Easter had a close win against Javier Fortuna in his last bout. He has also defeated the likes of Denis Shafikov, Luis Cruz, Richard Commey, and Argenis Mendez.
Garcia has enver tasted defeat and has beaten the likes of Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin, Juan Carlos Brugos, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Orlando Salido.
Garcia did have an extended break from boxing from January of 2014 to July of 2016 while he was working out promotional issues, but has been fairly active since then.
Both boxers enjoyed moderate success as amateurs in the national scene. Garcia was a Bronze Medalist in the National Golden Gloves while Easter was a US Olympic Team Alternate.
Technically, Garcia is one of the best in the sport. The height and reach of Easter should give Garcia problems early on, but Easter doesn’t have enough power for Garcia to worried about trying to force his way on the inside.
The opening few rounds should be close, but Garcia should be settled and win a comfortable decision victory when the final bell rings.
DiBella Entertainment Boxing on Showtime Preview: Rosa vs. Evans; Butaev vs. Gonzalez; Fa vs. Latham
by B.A. Cass
You don’t have to be Freemason to gain entrance on Friday night to the Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, OH where DiBella Entertainment will put on an exciting line up of boxing matches. You don’t even have to be living in the Cleveland area because you can catch the main event, along with the two preceding undercard fights, on Showtime starting at 10 p.m. ET.
The three fights are part of the “ShoBox: Next Generation” series, and the first televised fight will be between Junior Fa and Fred Latham. The next fight will be between Radzhab Butaev and Janer Gonzalez.
The main event of the evening will be between Luis Ross and Yuandale Evens.
Charles Conwell (5-0) vs. Roque Zapata (4-1-3)
Great amateur boxers are often fundamentally more sound than great professional boxers. That’s because the sole objective of the amateur is to win and they do not have to think so much about entertaining the crowd.
Conwell, the youngest member of the 2016 Men’s USA Boxing Team, is just a year into his professional career and still maintains the integrity and solid defense strategy from his amateur days. And yet he’s fun to watch. He knows how to absorb punches without sustaining damage, and he has an impeccable sense of when to go for the kill.
He has won all five of his professional fights by TKO.
Roque Zapata is a jumpy fighter and throws punches as if his fists were just the extensions of his unraveled nerve endings. He moves wildly and can be dangerous. He may not be as skilled a boxer as Conwell, but he’s one of those fighters who could get hit in the face with a block of cement and barely flinch. He often unleashes his most brutal attacks on opponents after he has sustained significant damage himself.
Conwell has the reach advantage over Zapata, but Zapata has fought taller men before and beaten them. Plus, Zapata is unpredictable. He could give the fundamentally more sound Conwell a hard time.
Junior Fa (12-0) vs. Fred Latham (9-0-2); heavyweight
Fa, a New Zealander, made his professional boxing debut in February of 2016. Since then, he’s kept busy—extremely busy. In just over a year, he’s fought twelve times. That’s a remarkable number of fights for a boxer in today’s age—or in any age, for that matter. Fa is tough and brutal.
Pointing forward with his manicured little beard, the heavy-footed Latham knows how to work a clean jab. He likes to stand in one spot and punch, and it may prove difficult for him to move out of reach of Fa, who is known for his combination assaults.
Radzhab Butaev (7-0) vs. Janer Gonzalez (19-0-1); welterweight
The 23-year-old Butaev was born in Russia just two years after the fall of the Soviet Union. He is despot of the ring—cool, menacing, wielding complete power. Butaev has won all his fights, and all but one of these wins have been by KO.
Janer (19-0-1) makes his US fight debut when he steps into the ring to face Buteav. Janer, who has the advantage of experience, is unknown to US fight fans. Like Buteav, he’s undefeated, but we just don’t know what to expect from him.
However, we can expect one thing of this fight.
Both men will fight as if everything is on the line because everything is. This showcase fight has the potential to advance the career of the man who wins.
Luis Rosa (23-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (19-1); featherweight
Last seen in the sparsely crowded Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, CT where he defeated Carlos Osorio (then 13-6), the 26-year-old Rosa steps into the ring on Friday night as a man determined to win.
We all know that becoming a world champion requires something more than skill. It requires a dedication that borders on the psychotic and something else, something ineffable. Luis Rosa has that all of these qualities.
A smart inside fighter who knows how to make necessary adjustments during a round, Rosa often remains elusive in the ring despite the fact that fights at close range. He’s tough and likes to go
Evans is a different type of fighter, more of a pure boxer. But after suffering a first-round KO to Javier Fortuna in 2012, Evans stayed out the ring for nearly two and half years. He’s fought three times since his return in 2015, and he’s on a winning streak. The Cleveland born Evans is a skilled boxer and he will be fighting for the first in front of a hometown crowd.
Don’t discount Evens just because he’s been less active than Rosa. Disappointing his fans won’t be an option for him when he enters the ring on Friday night. Expect this to be one good fight.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Luis Ortiz in the Emergency Room
by B.A. Cass
Luis Ortiz made a visit on Friday night to the Baptist Hospital of Miami—not as a patient, though. He was there, along with his management team, to get documentation. According to his trainer, German Caicedo, Ortiz had been previously admitted to the emergency room for high blood pressure on two separate occasions.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
“He was put into the ICU because it [his blood pressure] was entirely too high,” Caicedo says. “His blood pressure was two hundred over something.”
VADA shows up unannounced. “In our scenario,” explains Caicedo, “we were at the track running. They called and said, ‘We’re at the gym.’ We raced over there. Luis peed. Then we were asked to fill out the paperwork.”
According to Caicedo, Luis Ortiz didn’t fill out any of the VADA paperwork: “I’m not saying he can’t read and write, but education is not his strong point. So, we filled it out for him. And we filled out everything. And when asked what he was taking, we put ten, twelve different things. But we were thinking fitness-wise, performance wise. If anything, we’re guilty of not filling something out properly. And VADA didn’t ask, because it’s not their job to help fighters pass.”
Still, Caicedo and Ortiz know that ignorance is no excuse.
“We’re not stupid people over here,” Caicedo says, responding to the suggestion that Ortiz may have been cheating the system. “We knew we were being watched like we’re under a microscope. If we were going to cheat, wouldn’t we put the blood pressure medication that we knew we were taking as a diuretic to mask—wouldn’t the first thing we do is put it on the form?”
Caicedo makes a very good point. Why would Ortiz and his team risk shocking VADA and the WBC? It would have caused much less of a scandal if they had simply reported it.
If it turns out to be true that Ortiz’s doctors prescribed him this life-saving medication and that he had to visit the ER twice because of high blood pressure, then it’s going to come down to the DiBella and the WBC vs. the American Medical Association. Is that a fight those organizations really want to have? If a licensed medical doctor prescribed a certain medicine to Ortiz, who are they to say it’s not right?
And if the WBC calls off the Ortiz-Wilder fight, then they must strip Luis Nery of his bantamweight title. After all, the 118-pounder tested positive for zilpaterol before his August fight Yamanaka. Does the WBC think it’s okay for fighters to inject substances used to increase the size of cattle, yet think it’s wrong for fighters to use medication prescribed for high blood medication? There can’t be different standards for different fighters. That wouldn’t be right.
What does Deontay Wilder have to lose in taking this fight?
If Wilder wins handily, he can claim it was an easy fight because Ortiz is a bum. If he struggles and still scores a victory, he can claim it was only hard because Ortiz has been doping. And if Wilder loses, well, he can again say it’s because Ortiz has been doping. There’s no way Wilder can’t spin the result of the fight into a victory.
Unless of course, Wilder loses and loses big.
Wilder keeps saying he’s the most feared man in boxing, but he found a way to out of fighting Dillian Whyte. And let’s be honest, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington—these are hardly Hall of Fame contenders. Wilder hasn’t faced a serious threat in years. Caicedo puts it more bluntly: “He’s nothing but a coward. Him and DiBella.”
“Wilder already said he’d walk away from the fight,” Caicedo says. “That in no way shape or form is someone who wants to fight. Come on, man. If Wilder tested positive for everything in the book, Ortiz would still fight him. He wouldn’t think twice.”
Wilder he has a choice: face another easy opponent or take on Luis Ortiz on November 4th. Which one seems less cowardly to you?
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WithThePunch
Undefeated WBC Champ Deontay Wilder to face Cuban Challenger Luis Ortiz in November
By: Eric Lunger
WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will put his belt and his undefeated record on the line on November 4th in Brooklyn, NY, giving Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz his long-sought shot at a world title. Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) will make his sixth defense of the belt, and his second foray to Barclays Center.
“The Bronze Bomber,” as Wilder is known in homage to the great Joe Louis, was a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games. His last outing at Barclays Center in June of 2016 culminated with a brutal knockout of Poland’s Artur Szpilka. At 6-foot-7 and 228 pounds, the Alabama native is an imposing force with dynamite in his right hand: we are talking thirty-seven knockouts out of thirty-eight professional fights.
Luis Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) is a product of the vaunted Cuban boxing program, and he brings the full skill set that one expects from that system. Having defected to the USA seven years ago, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Ortiz made his mark defeating veteran contenders Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson, and Malik Scott. Now thirty-eight, Ortiz is hungry and determined to make the most of his opportunity.
“Wilder has been doing a lot of talking about me and this fight,” said Ortiz at the SHOWTIME press conference today. “I’m tired of hearing it. I like to do all my talking in the ring and that’s what I plan to do. I respect him. I know he hits hard, but I hit hard too. It’s going to be a great fight. I can’t wait to get in the ring and shut him up in front of everybody at Barclays Center on SHOWTIME on November 4.”
Wilder sees the fight as an important step towards unification: “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’m excited that the time has come to meet Ortiz,’’ said Wilder. “Luis Ortiz is considered the boogeyman of the sport and I am the hardest hitter in boxing. When you put us together in a ring, you will get one of the best heavyweight fights in a long time. I will unify the division. This I promise. This is the first step towards unifying.”
The bout will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, presented by Premier Boxing Champions on November 4th (9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT). Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports, framed the bout this way: “The main event on Nov. 4 features two dynamic punchers with a 92-percent knockout ratio between them. It will be the 21st world championship fight on SHOWTIME this year and the 16th time we’ve seen undefeated fighters going head-to-head.”
With WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in action this weekend in Manchester, UK, against Hughie Fury, with Anthony Joshua defending his IBF and WBA belts against Kubrat Pulev in October, and now Deontay Wilder taking on Luis Ortiz in November, this fall is the season of heavyweight boxing.
Luis Arias Interview: “The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year”
Luis Arias Interview: “The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Luis Arias is a young (26), undefeated (17-0 8KO), American middleweight boxer who will be appearing on the June 17th HBO pay per view showing of the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
Arias will look to make a big statement in the division as he takes on top ten ranked Arif Magomedov. Boxing Insider was able to speak with Arias as he took a break from his training camp in Florida.
Boxing Insider: Tell the fans a little about yourself and your fighting style.
Luis Arias: I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I picked up boxing at a young age, at about 7, 8 years old. I then had my first amateur fight at 8. I was an American amateur, seven time national champion, Olympic trial finalist. I’m currently 17-0 as a pro and ranked in more than one of the sanctioning bodies organizations. I have a very fan friendly style. Considered more of a boxer puncher, but I like to be more of a puncher first. I’m a little aggressive, I like breaking my opponent down. I like to go to the body like no other, I feel like I’m one of the best body punchers in the game and I’m ready to prove it.
Boxing Insider: You are a young fighter, what does it feel like to be fighting on the undercard of such a big event?
Luis Arias: It feels great. It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s like every fighters dream to make it to HBO. To have my first televised fight to be on a HBO pay per view card is amazing. It’s just truly a blessing and goes to show you that hard work really pays off. I’ve been working hard for this and my time has come.
Boxing Insider: What do you know about your opponent Arif Magomedov?
Luis Arias: Well, I know everything there is to know about him. I studied him, my team has studied him. I know he’s a tough guy, young, aggressive. I know he comes to fight. But he does already have a blemish in his record, he’s been beat before and come June 17th I have the perfect game plan to beat him again.
Boxing Insider: Do you feel that a win against Magomedov puts you as one of the top 20 middleweights in the world?
Luis Arias: Well, I’m already one of the top 20 middleweights in the world, but once I get this guy out of the way I will definitely be in the top ten. All I have to do is put on an A class performance, show the crowd that I am a threat to anyone in the division. I will be defending my belt (USBA) for the second time and I will definitely be in the top ten. The goal is to be the number one contender by early next year.
Boxing Insider: That leads into my final question, what are your overall goals for 2017.
Luis Arias: My goal is to creep up that ranking, keep climbing and to be the number one contender. GGG and Canelo are having a big showdown in my weight division. Once their fight is over with both are going to have to fight someone early next year, and my plan is to be the number one contender and force the winner of that fight to fight me. I want top 10 after June, by the end of the year be at least top 5 and just keep climbing and go from there.