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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.”

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Victor Ortiz Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Sexual Assault Charges


By: Jake Donovan

While his future as a pro boxer remains in doubt, Victor Ortiz continues to fight for his freedom outside the ring.

The 31-year old former welterweight titlist—who was arrested on September 24 and charged with three counts of felony sexual assault—pled not guilty during a hearing Wednesday morning at Ventura County (Calif.) Superior Court.

Having also waived his right to a prelim within 60 days of arraignment, the case will be next heard on December for early disposition.

Charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible anal and genital penetration by foreign object were filed on March 19 by an adult female—whose name is withheld due to Victim’s Right to Confidentiality—claiming to have been assaulted by the boxer inside an Oxnard city residence.

The matter prompted a months-long investigation by the Oxnard Police Department’s Family Protection Unit, which concluded in September that there existed sufficient grounds to file criminal charges. An arrest warrant was issued on September 23, to which Ortiz responded in surrendering to authorities one day later.

Ortiz was released on $100,000 bond, which led to false speculation that his freedom meant he could proceed with a scheduled September 30 bout versus fellow Californian and former sparring partner John Molina Jr, due to air live on FS1. The brass at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) cleared the air the following day, announcing that Ortiz was removed from the card altogether, and that Molina Jr. would find his way onto a future show.

The filed charges were also ruled to have violated his probation, which was revoked during Wednesday’s hearing and now also assigned to the December 3 court date.

Ortiz was serving two years probation from a DUI in 2016–exactly two years prior to his aforementioned latest arrest. He pled guilty to the DUI charge, with his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeding the 0.08% limit. His plea came in exchange for the probation sentence in lieu of jail time.

Once upon a time, Ortiz (32-6-3, 25KOs) was viewed as a rising star to watch but has remained best-known—in the ring, at least—for several stoppage losses. His June ’09 loss to Marcos Maidana aired live on HBO, complete with an on-air post-fight interview that left Ortiz wondering if even wanted to continue as a boxer.

It took nearly two years to restore his image, his April ’11 off-the-canvas points win over Andre Berto to win a welterweight title paying homage to the old ‘winning cures many things’ adage. It certainly didn’t hurt that the boxers traded knockdowns and a lot punches in their Fight of the Year-level slugfest.

Ortiz’ title reign was short-lived, although it produced his most high-profile bout to date—an infamous 4th round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Their Sept. ’11 Pay-Per-View headliner in Las Vegas was riddled in controversy, with Ortiz flirting with disqualification after a deliberate headbutt cost him a point on the scorecards and ultimately his cool in the ring. The oft-aloof boxer repeatedly apologized to Mayweather immediately following the incident, to the point of failing to acknowledge that action had resumed as he was subsequently knocked out by a Mayweather combination.

The loss was the first of three straight stoppage defeats. His 9th round loss to Josesito Lopez nine months later—in which Ortiz was unable to continue after suffering a broken jaw earlier in the bout and sustained serious punishment in the later rounds—ruined laid plans for a Sept. ’12 showdown with then-unbeaten 154-pound titlist Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Not even a 15-month ring break—which included a stint on Dancing With the Stars and filming for his acting debut in “The Expendables 3”—was enough to turn things around, as his comeback ended in disaster when former titlist Luis Collazo flattened him in the 2nd round of their Jan. ’14 clash on a New York City card staged during Super Bowl week.

He’s since managed a 3-1-1 run in his last five starts. The non-wins came against his more relevant competition along that stretch, a knockout loss to Berto in their April ’16 rematch and a 12-round draw with fellow former titlist Devon Alexander in his most recent bout this past February, both of which aired live in prime time on Fox TV.

It could very well be the final in-ring bout of his 14-year career, though his future as a free citizen remain very much up in the air. Each count comes with a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, none of which are eligible for parole prior to a minimum of 85% of prison time served.

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PBC Changes Sunday’s Main Event After Victor Ortiz Charged With Sexual Assault


by: Sean Crose

“John Molina, Jr., who was scheduled to be in the main event, will be rescheduled to return to the ring soon. And former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz, who was slated to face Molina, will no longer be on the card.” So read a Wednesday press release, making it clear that Sunday’s scheduled John Molina – Victor Ortiz battle, which was to be aired live on Fox Sports 1, was cancelled. Although no specific reason was given in the press release, the cancellation comes as no surprise, as Ortiz was arrested on very serious charges of sexual assault this week in California.

Knowing that the show must go on, however, PBC and Fox have offered a replacement for the card’s main event on Sunday. To quote the press release: “Undefeated Featherweight Contender Brandon Figueroa Takes on Former Title Challenger Oscar Escandon in Main Event.” Figueroa is an undefeated up and comer, boasting a record of 16-0, with 11 knockouts to his name. Escandon, Figeroa’s 25-4 opponent, is a former Olympian from Columbia who notably lost to the very impressive Gary Russel Junior back in 2017. A victory over Escandon will help Figueroa on his rise to what he hopes is the top of the division.

As for Ortiz: he was once one of boxing’s most notable names, so much so that he faced Floyd Mayweather in a pay per view match back in 2011. The California based fighter lost that fight in extremely strange fashion, when Mayweather knocked Ortiz out after Ortiz tried to touch gloves after butting Mayweather in the head. Ortiz’ public life has been rather odd ever since. He’s appeared on Dancing With The Stars and in an Expendables film. Yet he’s also been arrested at a country concert, and has only won three of his last seven bouts. What’s more, he’s been knocked out viciously by Louis Collazo and Andre Berto respectively since the Mayweather fiasco.

Regarding Molina, the game veteran was coming in off a win over Ivan Redkach last December in California. A victory over Ortiz would, at the very least, have signaled a win over a name opponent after Molina was stopped b Terence Crawford in the 8th round back in 2016. As of press time, there was no word on who Molina would fight next. As for Ortiz, the certain is particularly uncertain.
“Bad news,” Molina said on Instagram, “the fight has officially been canceled, obviously due to uncontrollable circumstances from Team Ortiz.”

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PBC on Fox Sports 1 Preview: Joyce vs. Kiladze, Figueroa vs. Escandon


By: Oliver McManus

*The main event featuring Victor Ortiz has been cancelled as of 9/27/18.

Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce touches down on US soil at the weekend as he looks to continue his rocketing rise up the rankings against Iago Kiladze over eight rounds. The card itself is headlined by a 12 round welterweight contest between Victor Ortiz and John Molina Jr with the pair, who’s combined ages hit 66, looking for one final crack at the jackpot.

Truth be told, both gentleman look as though their best days are behind them but you suspect Ortiz will come into it the more confident with the ever brash 31 year old having held talks to fight Brandon Rios earlier in the year – Ortiz admits that he will be throwing fire from the very off, those are his intentions anyway, and the 12 rounds he shared with Devon Alexander, whilst not of any particularly notable quality, will stand him in good stead.


Photo Credit:PBC Twitter Account

Molina is in his second contest since a brutal, one-sided demolition loss to Terence Crawford – a fight that saw him knocked out in the eighth round – and that initial comeback fight, against Ivan Redkach, was far from impressive. A reckless fight, Molina was dropped before sending his counterpart to the canvas twice to claim a fourth round stoppage but that was a result that flattered to deceive.

These two know that, with all due respect, they are fairly inconsequential names in the welterweight division as it stands with no major draw for those at the top, if they are to get back into the mix where they are even being TALKED about in the same sentence as Amir Khan, Manny Pacuqiao and so on then they need to pull it out of the bag and send a statement come Sunday night.

Joe Joyce will be in his sixth paid contest and goes up against the ‘Georgian Grizzly Bear’ in Iago Kiladze. Once hailed as a prospect to watch in the cruiserweight division – some eight years back – Kiladze returned to the ring in 2017 as a heavyweight, following a two year absence, and since then has racked up wins against Byron Polley and Pedro Rodriguez before becoming the prey against Adam Kownacki and Michael Hunter.

Both those defeats came this year – January and June, respectively – and the odds are stacked firmly against him this time around. He’ll give it a go, though, he always does but this fight is more about getting Joyce the American exposure that Ringstar crave so desperately.

In a career filled with late replacements and disappointing opponents, this is the 2nd best foe that Joyce has looked to slay thus far and with a combined 13 rounds under his belt – an average 2.6 per contest – it wouldn’t do him harm to get some rounds under his belt.

Bring on that Putney-Mexican hybrid style of dancing after the fight because Joyce looks certain to win unless Kiladze can produce a colossal upset.

Also in the heavyweight division is Efe Ajagba who will be hoping to get more of a challenge than he did last time out – Curtis Harper, that’s all that needs to be said – and he shares the ring with, also unbeaten, Nick Jones over the course of scheduled six rounds.

Brandon The Heartbreaker Figueroa will look to continue his impressive development by adding Oscar Escandon to a CV already 16 names long – his last three fights have seen him emerge victorious thanks to a knockout and it seems that, as the 21 year old goes through the motions, he’s really growing into his man power and that’s not meant in a disrespectful way but his body is still filling out and if you look at the 3, 4lbs that he’s put – on the scales – over the past couple years then you start to understand where that extra power is coming from.

Escandon, vastly experienced, is looking to cause an upset and resurrect his career which is currently on a drastically downward spiral having lost three of his last four and the last two back to back – against Gary Russel Jr and Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Neither are opponents to sniff at, by no means, but you get the impression that Escandon is becoming a bit of a gatekeeper for these up and coming prospects to get a name on their resumé.

Two ageing sluggers, a James DeGale hoping to look as good as he did four years ago, 11 unbeaten prospects – Figueroa, Joyce, Davies, Ajagba, to name four – and a debutant. Sunday night on FOX Sports 1 delivers it all and it is set to be a stonker.

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Ortiz-Molina: Why the Show Must NOT Go On


By: Jake Donovan

While currently out on bail stemming from his latest arrest, there is nothing that legally prevents Victor Ortiz from proceeding with Sunday’s scheduled clash versus John Molina Jr.

It hardly means that the show should go on.

The September 30 edition of PBC on FS1—which takes place at Citizens Business Bank Arena—has now gained national attention, but for all the wrong reasons. One half of its headlining act, Ortiz was arrested Tuesday afternoon on three counts of felony sexual assault—forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and forcible anal and genital penetration by foreign object.

Ortiz surrendered to authorities on Tuesday in response to an arrest warrant issued by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office one day prior, stemming from charges filed on March 19.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Gilbert A. Romero set bail at $100,000, which was posted on behalf of the former welterweight titlist who is due to return VCSC on October 10, according to the filed docket.

A months-long criminal investigation was conducted by the Oxnard Police Department’s Family Protection Unit (FPU), who took over the case shortly after the incident was reported on March 19. According to the police report filed with Oxnard PD, an adult female—whose name has been withheld as per Calfornia Penal Code 293 (Notice of Victim’s Right To Confidentiality)—claimed to have been sexually assaulted inside an Oxnard city residence.

Ortiz was identified as the suspect, and now faces three felony charges that—if found guilty—each carry a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison, none of which are eligible for parole prior to a minimum of 85% of prison time served.

The incident is hardly the first time Ortiz (32-6-3, 25KOs) has run afoul of the law, although most of his sordid past has been limited to an array of traffic violations. The most serious charges the California boxer—by way of Garden City, Kansas—has faced came in separate arrests in 2015 (suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon) and 2016 (DUI), both of which resulted in probation sentences.

For the moment, Ortiz will be permitted to soldier on in the ring as Premier Boxing Champions brass have yet to give any indication in a lineup change. Should the show remain intact, Ortiz will collide with Molina (30-7, 24KOs) in a battle of friends and former sparring partners both of whom have seen better days.

Ortiz was once viewed as a rising star to watch, but has remained best-known—in the ring, at least—for several stoppage losses. His June ’09 loss to Marcos Maidana aired live on HBO, complete with an on-air post-fight interview that left Ortiz wondering if even wanted to continue as a boxer.

It took nearly two years to restore his image, his April ’11 off-the-canvas points win over Andre Berto to win a welterweight title paying homage to the old ‘winning cures many things’ adage. It certainly didn’t hurt that the boxers traded knockdowns and a lot punches in their Fight of the Year-level slugfest.

Ortiz’ title reign was short-lived, although it produced his most high-profile bout to date—an infamous 4th round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Their Sept. ’11 Pay-Per-View headliner in Las Vegas was riddled in controversy, with Ortiz flirting with disqualification after a deliberate headbutt cost him a point on the scorecards and ultimately his cool in the ring. The oft-aloof boxer repeatedly apologized to Mayweather immediately following the incident, to the point of failing to acknowledge that action had resumed as he was subsequently knocked out by a Mayweather combination.

The loss was the first of three straight stoppage defeats. His 9th round loss to Josesito Lopez nine months later—in which Ortiz was unable to continue after suffering a broken jaw earlier in the bout and sustained serious punishment in the later rounds—ruined laid plans for a Sept. ’12 showdown with then-unbeaten 154-pound titlist Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Not even a 15-month ring break—which included a stint on Dancing With the Stars and filming for his acting debut in “The Expendables 3”—was enough to turn things around, as his comeback ended in disaster when former titlist Luis Collazo flattened him in the 2nd round of their Jan. ’14 clash on a New York City card staged during Super Bowl week.

He’s since managed a 3-1-1 run in his last five starts. The non-wins came against his more relevant competition along that stretch, a knockout loss to Berto in their April ’16 rematch and a 12-round draw with fellow former titlist Devon Alexander in his most recent bout this past February, both of which aired live in prime time on Fox TV.

Much was made of his pairing with Molina from the moment the fight was announced. Molina has been out of the ring since December—when he climbed off the deck to stop Ivan Redkach in four rounds—and moves up to welterweight after a career largely spent in the 135- and 140-pound divisions.

Still, the matchup has been met with favorable response given the all-action style of both boxers. Molina—who is just 3-4 in his last seven starts—was lauded for his valiant-in-defeat effort versus Lucas Matthysse in their April ’14 war that was honored by Boxing Writers Association of America as the 2014 Fight of the Year.

The always likeable 35-year old Covina, Calif. Native is stuck in a hard place, as he has the right to extend his career as he sees fit and thus shouldn’t lose an opportunity to get paid this Sunday.

Likewise, Ortiz is certainly due his day in a court of law—where he will be presumed innocent until proven guilty. His current freedom, however, doesn’t need to mean a final solution to the concern of keeping Molina’s fight plans alive.

With news of Ortiz’ arrest coming just hours after disgraced actor-comedian Bill Cosby being sentenced to 3-10 years for aggravated indecent assault, boxing—for a change—needs to put its best foot forward, especially in light of today’s political climate.

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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.

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Vergil Ortiz KO’s Former Champ Juan Carlos Salgado on ESPN2 Saturday


By: Ken Hissner

Golden Boy Promotions featured 20 year-old hot unbeaten knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. against former world champion Juan Carlos Salgado at the Belasco Theater, in L.A., CA, Saturday night over ESPN2.

In the Main Event Super lightweight Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 10-0 (10), of Dallas, Texas, knocked out the former IBF & WBA Super Featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado, 27-9-1 (16), of Mexico City, MEX, at 1:52 of the third round of a scheduled 10.


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Page

In the first round Ortiz rocked Salgado with a left hook to the head. Halfway through the round Ortiz landed a left hook to the solar plexus of Salgado. In the second round Salgado drove Ortiz back several steps landing four unanswered punches. Ortiz was warned for pushing Salgado to the canvas on the back of his neck. Ortiz landed a right hand to the chin driving Salgado to the ropes.

In the third round Ortiz landed half a dozen unanswered punches driving Salgado into the ropes. Both fighters exchanged right hands. Ortiz landed a left hook to the liver and down went Salgado causing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off.

“I do not want to get ahead of myself but I am looking to become a champion,” said Ortiz. At ringside, trainer Joel Diaz, Sr., proclaimed how great of a prospect Ortiz is whom he helped train.

In the co-feature Super Featherweight Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr., 14-0 (5), of San Antonio, TX, defeated Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez, 19-2-1 (16), of Maracaibo, VZ, over 8 rounds.

In the first round coming off his first loss Gutierrez is pressing Tanajara looking for a quick stoppage. Gutierrez was warned for hitting behind the head by referee Wayne Hedgpeth. Tanajara came back landing a left hook south of the border and receiving a warning. In the second round it was much closer with Tanajara giving as much as taking.

In the third round the highly regarded Tanajara started getting more offensive landing a double left hook to the body and head of Gutierrez. Tanajara rocked Gutierrez with a lead right hand to the head with less than a minute left in the round. In the fourth round both fighters exchanged right hands to the head.

Tanajara drove Gutierrez into the corner of the ring with a right hand to the chin.

In the fifth round Gutierrez landed a straight right to the chin of Tanajara. Gutierrez got a warning about using his head in clinches from the referee.

Tanajara worked his way back into the fight the past several rounds. In the sixth round once again Gutierrez looked to the ref for help and got hit with a right hand from Tanajara to the head. The fight seems about even at this point.

In the seventh round Gutierrez is getting spun around and holds Tanajara twice receiving warnings. Tanajara landed a left hook and when he tried it a second time he missed and ended up on the canvas. In the eighth and final round the clinching continued with the fight on the line one would think both would be looking to win the round not wrestle. Gutierrez landed several punches before taking a right to the head from Tanajara. Tanajara landed a right to the head of Gutierrez causing a cut over the left eye. I counted 8 clinches in this the final round.

Scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. This writer had it 77-75.

Super Welterweight Ferdinand Kerobyan, 9-0 (5), of Armenia now in Glendale, CA, stopped Edgar Ivan “El Profe” Garcia, 7-17-1 (2), of Sonora, MEX, at 2:48 of the 2nd round of a scheduled 6 rounds.

In the first round the taller Kerobyan gave a punishing beating to the body for the entire round. In round 2 Garcia got in a couple of punches but Kerobyan took over with more of a body beating until Garcia finally fell to a knee forcing referee Raul Caiz to wave it off. “I want to return to 147,” said Kerobyan. He had a big amateur career in Europe.

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Vergil Ortiz: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Be Remembered”


By: Sean Crose

“I have like four or five guitars,” super lightweight Vergil Ortiz tells me. “I got into music when I played Guitar Hero.” It’s not often that a contemporary fighter – perhaps with the exception of woodwind practitioner Keith Thurman – is known for a love of instruments. An interesting thing about Ortiz, however, is that he’s quite open to talking about an area of interest outside of the ring. “I like to play guitar or piano,” he explains. It was being exposed to the piano, in fact, that led to Ortiz discovering an interesting truth about himself. “I realized I kind of have an ear for music.”

Ortiz sees music as an outlet, a chance to be himself, after six full days of training a week. After four to six miles of daily roadwork and other grueling weekly routines (“Every other day we spar”) Ortiz appreciates his spare time. “I like to play my guitar or piano,” he says. Still, the 9-0 Texan knows that his primary focus has to be his ring career. When I ask if he has a wife, girlfriend or children, Ortiz makes it clear that there will be time for such fulfillment in the future. “I’m just focused on boxing right now,” he tells me. “That’ll all come later.”

A native of Grand Prairie, “a pretty big small town” outside of Dallas, the undefeated Ortiz is developing the reputation for having Texas sized power. None of the 20 year old’s fights have gone the distance. All of Ortiz’ opponents, without exception, have succumbed to the fury of the man’s gloved fits. Not that Ortiz is always looking to call it an early night each and every time. “They just come when they come,” he says of the KOs. “If I could go the distance, that would be great.” In order for such a thing to happen, however, Ortiz will have to find the opponent who can withstand his power.

“My dad took me to the gym after school,” Ortiz says of his start in boxing. “They put me in to spar with no training.” The older Ortiz was himself a boxer, though “he never went pro.” The younger Ortiz, who has “two brothers and three sisters,” is carrying the family legacy into the professional ranks, however. And yes, boxing is still a family affair. “My dad’s been my coach, “says Ortiz. Legacy is an important thing to the fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be remembered in boxing,” he claims.

Asked who throughout history he’d have liked to fight, Ortiz gives the honors to the late Arturo Gatti. “For me he was the toughest of the tough,” he says. Other fighters the man admires are Sergio Martinez, the late Salvador Sanchez, and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya. One Vasyl Lomachenko also earns a great deal of the man’s respect. “There’s a reason why he’s undefeated,” Ortiz says of the Ukrainian, stating that right now, the man called Loma “is the best fighter” out there. Like Lomachenko, Ortiz started as an amateur standout.

“It was good,” he says of his apprentice years. “I won seven national titles…most of my losses came when I was little.” It was during one particular tournament that Ortiz caught the eye of a company owned by one of his favorite fighters, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. In truth, the promotional outfit was also interested in another fighter, but when the two rising stars faced off, it was Ortiz who emerged victorious. “I knocked that guy out in about thirty seconds,” he says. Since signing with the famed company, Ortiz has found himself in places like Vegas and even AT&T Stadium, near his home.

“It was pretty cool,” he says of that particular experience, adding that friends and family were on hand live at the stadium to see him knock out Ernesto Hernandez. In fact, Ortiz is finding himself becoming a known commodity. “I get it a lot,” he says of public recognition, “especially in my hometown.” Good things happen when one has strong backing. “I fought on ESPN five times already,” he claims. As for the immediate future, the burgeoning KO artist plans on being back in the ring soon.

Should he continue on his current path, Ortiz may well be able to add quite a bit more to that guitar collection of his.

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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.

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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.

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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.

DEONTAY WILDER

“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.”

LUIS ORTIZ

“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.”

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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.

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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

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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.

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PBC on Fox Results: Alexander and Ortiz fight to a Draw.


by Eric Lunger

Tonight, on PBC on Fox, the talented but enigmatic Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) took on former world champion Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash. No belt was on the line, but both fighters knew what was at stake: the winner would have a meaningful claim in the deep welterweight division, while the loser very well might mark the end of his career.

In a close, professional first round, both men boxed from range, and Alexander just nipped the round, landing one clean shot. Ortiz was looking to land a lead hook in the second round, feinting his way in. Alexander’s hand speed was noticeable, however, and Ortiz suffered a cut on his forehead. It was another extremely close round. Alexander looked the better fighter in the third round, showing world-class accuracy and speed.

In the fourth, Alexander continued to land precise shots, with Ortiz’s left eye noticeably swelling. The pattern continued in the middle rounds, with Ortiz trying to feint his way in, but Alexander timing him with precise, short shots. Ortiz did get inside at the end of the fifth, but could not do any significant damage. In the seventh, Ortiz bulled his way in, and there was a lot of leather exchanged at close range. The eighth was an exciting round, two professionals exhibiting a high level of skill and courage. It might have been Ortiz’s best round, but Alexander seemed none daunted.

The ninth was full of action, but Alexander’s footwork allowed him to dictate the range (most of the time), and thus Ortiz could not make it an inside brawl. In the eleventh, Ortiz was looking to land some wide hooks, while Alexander remained sharp and accurate. In the final frame, Ortiz fought with urgency but he seemed unable to summon enough energy after a tough and exhausting effort. For a fighter who has taken a lot of criticism regarding his heart, Ortiz fought like a lion.

The scorecards came a stunner. Inexplicably, a majority draw with two cards 114-114, and one card 115-113 for Ortiz.

In the co-feature, undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) took on rugged and experienced Rogelio “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in a twelve-round world title eliminator at 168 pounds. Sold as America vs. Mexico, the storyline was more interesting as undefeated prospect against tested and tough veteran. Medina failed to make weight, however, and appeared in the ring with a brace on his left knee.

Plant showed a strong left jab in the first round, taking no risks. In the second, Plant dropped his left hand, and allowed Medina to come forward and dictate the action. Plant spent a significant portion of the round back-peddling, earning a Bronx cheer from the crowd. But in the third round, Plant appeared looser and more confident, bouncing on the balls of his feet and landing some clean counters. Medina had no answers and began to take real punishment.

Medina had some success in the fourth, but Plant landed more jabs and used his footwork to frustrate the Mexican veteran. In the middle rounds, Medina could not negate Plant’s advantage in reach and Plant’s jab. Plant was winning rounds jabbing and countering, but he never seemed like he wanted to get Medina out of there.

In the late rounds, Plant remained in control, always boxing, always safe. Medina showed a ton of heart and desire, but could not make inroads against Plant’s defensive footwork. Going twelve rounds for the first time in his career, Caleb Plant earned the decision 120-108, 119-109, 117-111, running his record to a perfect 17-0.

In earlier action, US Olympian Carlos Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs) showcased his elite-level skills, outpointing Jorge Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round lightweight bout. Prior to the televised bouts, Detroit’s Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) stopped George Sosa (15-12, 15 KOs) in the fifth round, for Harrison’s second win since losing to Jarrett “Swift” Hurd in February of 2017.

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