Tag Archives: ortiz

Ortiz Knocks Out Orozco In High Octane Card


By: Sean Crose

It was called “The Homecoming,” and that’s what it proved to be for undefeated welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz in Texas on Saturday night, as he bested Antonio Orozco in high octane fashion before a hometown crowd at the Theater in Grand Prairie. Ortiz was the headline attraction of a card, streamed live on DAZN, that wasn’t found lacking in the thrill department.

Before the main event, the 15-1-1 Joshua Franco did battle for the third time with fellow bantamweight Oscar Nagrete, whose own record walking into the contest was 10-2-1. The two men had not only met twice previously, Saturday night was the third time IN A ROW the two men faced off against one another – a true oddity in today’s fight game. Theie first battle, which went down in October 2018, ended in a draw. Their second battle, which went down last April, saw Franco win a somewhat controversial split decision victory. The third fight was supposed to clear the air once and for all regarding who was the better man.

Things didn’t go as planned, though the fight wasn’t a disappointment. Far from it. Franco seemed to be in a bit of trouble early on, as the harder hitting, and perhaps stronger, Nagrete moved forward with bad intentions. Franco was able to find his footing, however, and was able to fire off combinations with impressive quickness and timing. Not that Nagrete was willing to be denied. He kept up his attack for the most part, and, sure enough, was able to continue to land throughout the bout. The scheduled 10 round affair ultimately went to the cards, and was declared a draw.

The high energy atmosphere didn’t die down when the opening bell rang for Ortiz, 13-0, and Orozco, 28-1. Having won all of his previous bouts by knockout, Ortiz was clearly looking to impress his home audience. He went straight for the kill, hoping to make it a quick night. Orozco was tough, and experienced, however, and his skillful defense kept Ortiz from getting the early knock out. Orozco was interested in being more than just an opponent, for he engaged in an exciting fight with Ortiz, employing effective counter punching and possibly frustrating the rising welterweight. Ortiz kept his cool, though, worked the body, and kept firing crisp, rapid shots.

The fight was close in the sixth, but Ortiz was able to finally assert himself by sending Orozco to the mat. Rozco gamely got up, but was subsequently sent down again. Back on his feet for the second time, Orozco was able to hold Ortiz off for a bit. There was still plenty of time left in the round, however. By the time Ortiz sent Orozco to the mat for the third time, the referee wisely called off the fight. Up and coming slugger Ortiz had certainly been challenged, yet he had proven himself ready and able to rise to the occasion.

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Vergil Ortiz and Antonio Orozco Are Ready to Battle


By: Sean Crose

“I want to thank Golden Boy and Eric Gomez;” says welterweight contender and rising Golden Boy Promotions star Vergil Ortiz. “He was the first guy to discover me when I was an amateur and gave me this opportunity, and I’m just really grateful for it.” The hard hitting 13-0 Ortiz has won all his bouts by knockout, proving himself a valuable asset to his promoter. This Saturday night he’ll be facing the 28-1 Antonio Orozco in a scheduled 12 round affair which will be aired live on DAZN from the Theater at Grand Prairie, Texas. Orozco is no one’s easy out, which means the fight can certainly prove to be interesting.

“We know the tremendous fighter that Vergil Ortiz is,” Orozco says, “and everyone knows my style of fighting. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. It’s a great opportunity, putting us both towards that world title shot again, and I’m looking for to that victory on Saturday.” For Ortiz, this means a chance to make his mark as future star in the starstruck welterweight division. For Orozco, it means a chance to do what others have been doing in boxing lately – surprising people. Count an Orozco win to be up there with Ruiz-Joshua and Pascal-Browne as one of the bigger upsets of the year.

Ortiz, however, makes it clear that he’s grounded in his rise up the division and that he takes his opponent this weekend very seriously. “I think everything has been said already,” he claims. “I’m not here to mess around. Golden Boy has given me some tough fights and I have passed them with flying colors, even though I’m color blind. Orozco is a very tough opponent, I’m not taking him lightly at all.”

Ortiz also speaks highly of Orozco, opting out of the shallow trash talk that sometimes comes with the fight game.

“He deserves all the respect in the world,” says Ortiz, “especially on that ring. It’s sink or swim…good thing I’m a good swimmer. I’m just looking forward to seeing those familiar faces in the audience. Best of luck to Orozco. This isn’t personal, we are here to support our families.”

DAZN will also feature a bantamweight battle on Saturday evening which is well worth noting, for the 15-1-1 Joshua Franco will engage in his third, that’s third, battle with the 10-2-1 Oscar Nagrete. Franco won their last battle by split decision. The first fight between these two ended in a draw. In short, there’s much to like about this matter of unfinished business. “ I think I won the first one,” says Franco. “I won the second one, and this time is even going to be worse for him.” Nagrete, of course, sees things differently. “I fought two exciting fights in the past,” he says. “Those two fights were very good fights, emotional fights, where I felt like I won, and most people have told me that I won. I’m here to prove that I won and show that I am the true champion.”

“I hope Joshua Franco is prepared,” he adds, “and I hope that this time, he comes to fight and not to run.”

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Wilder to Face Ortiz, Opens Up Fury Against Whyte Later in Year


By: Michael Kane

Deontay Wilder used social media to announce his next opponent over night.

He will face Luis Ortiz later in the year in a rematch, they both faced each other in March 2018, in a bout in which Ortiz had Wilder rattled only to be knocked out in the 10th round.

This announcement puts any potential rematch with Tyson Fury or a unification fight with Anthony Joshua back until next year at the earliest.

Joshua, who is preparing in New York for his U.S debut on Saturday said recently that he wanted face to face talks with Wilder to try and thrash a deal out, Joshua was expected to call out Wilder if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday.

There is pressure from fans, especially in the UK for Joshua and Fury to face the best, if no deal can be made for either to face Wilder, could we see the two meet each other? Unlikely at this stage. Both are with different TV companies in the UK and U.S.

The fighter who could win from this situation is Dillian Whyte should he beat Oscar Rivas next month. It seems a fight between Whyte and Fury could be next on the cards with Eddie Hearn saying a deal had been done. Although it would seem Eddie Hearn was talking with his tongue firmly in his cheek in an effort to get Fury to face Whyte.

“It’s very likely that the Oscar Rivas fight will be for the interim WBC title, and then we have confirmed we are happy to fight Tyson Fury next,” Hearn told IFL TV.

“Because he came out and said he will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt, so, we wrote to the WBC and said, ‘Great news, Tyson Fury will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt’. So, we’re in for that now.

“After (Whyte) beats Rivas, he will become the mandatory (for Wilder). That’s what we requested, but Deontay will be allowed another fight in October or whenever he’s going to fight, and we’ll fight Fury next, and then after Dillian beats Fury, he’ll fight Wilder.”

Tyson Fury’s coach, Ben Davison has said that Fury won’t fight a final eliminator but that a fight with Whyte would make sense if they can’t tie down Wilder or Joshua.

Davison told metro.co.uk, “Dillian Whyte stylistically is not the toughest fight for Tyson, but with that being said, Tyson’s not going to fight a final eliminator, that’s ridiculous.

“He’s the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and everyone knows he beat Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion of the world. Why would he have to fight a final eliminator? That’s the bad bit of it.

“But, Tyson is chasing fights with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua and if those fights can’t be made, don’t get it twisted, we’d gladly make that match-up with Dillian Whyte.”

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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.

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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.

Luis Ortiz

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.

Adam Kownacki

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.

Anthony Joshua

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.

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Canelo vs. Jacobs Undercard Results: Diaz and Ortiz Shine with Stoppages


By: William Holmes

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s middleweight showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs on the DAZN Streaming network.

The main card started at 9pm, and the undercard before the main card featured a shocking 13-1 underdog upset by Anthony “Juice” Young of Pleasantville, New Jersey over former junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali by a third round stoppage.

The first fight of the main card was in the super featherweight division Jonathan Oquendo (30-5) and Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1).

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Oquendo was pressing forward early and able to land some shots that forced blood to come from Roach’s nose.

Roach was landing some solid hooks on Oquendo in the second round, but Oquendo was banging to the body and applying heavy pressure. Oquendo was warned in the third round for holding Roach and to keep his head up.

Oquendo had Roach hurt badly in the fourth round with some body shots that forced Roach to hold on for most of the round. However, Roach turned the tide back in his favor in the fifth round by landing some heavy shots, though he landed one at a time instead of throwing combinations.

Oquendo’s activity likely won him the sixth round, and he was the more active fighter in the seventh also though Roach did land some hard counters.

Oquendo lost a point in the eight round for an headbutt which was a little bit questionable. The final two rounds played out like most of the fight, with Oquendo pressing the pace but Roach landing the cleaner shots.

The judges scored it 97-92, 97-92, and 96-93 for Lamont Roach Jr.

The next bout of the night was Freddy Fonseca (26-2-1) and Joseph Diaz (28-1) in the super featherweight division.

Fonseca and Diaz both fought out of a southpaw stance, and this was Fonseca’s first fight in the United States.

Diaz looked strong and healthy at 130 pounds, and landed heavy body and head shots early on. By the third round it was clear that Diaz was clearly the superior fighter, and had landed 50% of his power shots by the fourth round.

Fonseca had a decent fifth round, though was still out struck and out landed by Diaz. Diaz brutalized Fonseca in the sixth round and out landed him 30-4 in punches and scored a late round knockdown when Fonseca was forced to take a knee.

Diaz continued to land power shots at will in the sixth round and forced Fonseca’s corner to step up and stop the fight.

Joseph Diaz wins by TKO at 2:07 of the seventh round.

The co-main event of the night was between Vergil Ortiz (12-0) and Mauricio Herrera (24-8) in the welterweight division.

Herrera looked a little soft going into the ring, but he was a rugged veteran who’s been in the ring with some tough fighters.

Ortiz showed off his power early by being patient and solving the jab of Herrera and hurting him with a left hook at the end of the round. Ortiz remained patient in the second round and badly hurt Herrera at the end of the round and forced a knockdown as the round came to an end. Herrera got back to his feet, but was badly hurt as he returned to his corner.

Ortiz came out blazing in the third round and landed a crushing straight right hand that sent Herrera to the mat and forced the referee to stop the bout.

Vergil Ortiz wins by TKO at 0:29 of the third round.

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Canelo vs. Jacobs, Ortiz vs. Herrera Fight Previews


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions will match their best welterweights against each other to unify the WBC, WBA, and IBF Middleweight Titles.

This bout will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The co-main event of the night will be between Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Mauricio Herrera in the welterweight division. Other undercard fights will feature boxers such as Pablo Cesar Cano, Michael Perez, Joseph Diaz Jr., Sadam Ali, Lamont Roach, and Jonathan Oquendo.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0) vs. Mauricio Herrera (24-8); Welterweight Division

Vergil Ortiz is a young up and coming prospect that has twelve wins on his record, as well as twelve stoppage victories. He’s only twenty one years old, and will be facing someone that is seventeen years his elder who only has seven stoppage victories.

Ortiz will have about a two and half inch height advantage over Herrera, but will be giving up about an inch and a half in reach. Ortiz has been very active and fought once in 2019, three times in 2018, and five times in 2017. Herrera has not been as active. He fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017.

Ortiz also has a significant edge in amateur experience. He’s a former National Silver and Golden Gloves Champion, while Herrera has no notable amateur achievements.

Ortiz hasn’t faced any top level competition yet, but has defeated the likes of Jesus A. Valdez Barrayan, Roberto Ortiz, Juan Carlos Salgado, and Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez.

Herrera has lost three of his past five fights. He has defeated the likes of Jesus Soto karass, Hector Velazquez, Henry Lundy, Johan Perez, Ji Hoon Kim, and Mike Dallas Jr. His eight losses, many of them recently, were to Sadam Ali, Pablo Cesar Cano, Frankie Gomez, Jose Benavidez Jr., Danny Garcia, Karim Mayfield, Mike Alvarado, and Mike Anchondo.

Herrera is a good test for Ortiz in that he has eight losses but was never stopped, while Ortiz has yet to go to the judge’s scorecards. If Ortiz is able to stop Herrera you’ll know his power is for real, but Herrera doesn’t appear to be a real threat to give Ortiz his first loss.

Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2) vs. Daniel Jacobs (35-2); WBC/WBA/IBF Middleweight Titles

Canelo Alvarez is only twenty eight years old, but already has fifty four fights to his resume and has been a champion in the light middleweight, middleweight, and super middleweight divisions.

His opponent, Daniel Jacobs, is thirty two years old and considered by many to be the best opponent that Canelo could face in the middleweight division.

Jacobs will have about a three and a half inch height advantage and about a two and a half inch reach advantage over Canelo. Canelo has the edge in youth, but both boxers are still in their athletic prime.

Canelo and Jacobs both fought twice in 2017 and 2018, which is pretty standard for most champions and top contenders in boxing. Both boxers have pretty decent power, with Canelo stopping thirty five of his opponents and Jacobs stopping twenty nine. However, Canelo only has two stoppage victories in his past five fights and Jacobs only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights.

Canelo turned professional at the age of fifteen so he doesn’t have the amateur accomplishments of Jacobs, but he was a former Junior Mexican National Championship Gold Medalist. Jacobs had a successful career in the amateur circuit in the United States. He’s a former Junior Olympics National Champion and a former Golden Gloves National Champion.

Canelo’s only loss in his career was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He has beaten the likes of Rocky Fielding, Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, Josesito Lopez, and Alfonso Gomez.

Jacobs losses were to Gennady Golvokin in a close decision and a stunning upset knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog. He has defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher.

This should be a close and intriguing fight. Canelo, rightly, is the betting favorite and he has the more impressive list of victories. However, Jacobs does have a rather significant height and reach advantage on Canelo and he has spent most of his career fighting in the middleweight division. If Jacobs can stay on the outside and use his reach and footwork to his advantage he can pull out the victory.

But the judges have been kind to Canelo in the scorecards before, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the same thing happens on Saturday.

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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.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Ortiz vs. Hammer, Lara vs. Castano


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will televise a card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York live on Showtime. Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions and Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment are the co-promoters of this card.

The main event of the evening will be between Brian Castano and Erislandy Lara for Castano’s WBA “Regular” Junior Middleweight Title. The co-main event of the evening will be a heavyweight clash between Luis Ortiz and Christian Hammer.

The undercard will feature prospects and contenders such as Bryan De Gracia, Eduardo Ramirez, Edward Rodriguez, and Antonio Russell.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime Boxing

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Luis Ortiz (30-1) vs. Christian Hammer (24-5); Heavyweight

Luis Ortiz challenged for the heavyweight title in 2018 in an exciting bout with Deontay Wilder but faded at the end and was stopped before the final bell. Since then he has come back to defeat Travis Kauffman and Razvan Cojanu as he attempts to get another shot at a heavyweight title.

On Saturday he’ll be facing Christian Hammer, a fighter who is about 8 years younger than him and about two inches shorter. Hamer fought twice in 2018 and three times in 2017 and has five losses on his record. Ortiz, despite his advancing age, has also been active and fought three times in 2018 and once in 2017.

Ortiz has the edge in most comparable stats. He also has the knockout power edge as he has stopped twenty six of his opponents while Hammer only stopped fourteen of his opponents. Ortiz also had a better amateur career as he was a multi-time Cuban National Champion while Hammer was a former Romanian Amateur Boxing Champion.

Ortiz has defeated the likes of Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Monte Barrett. Hammer has defeated the likes of Michael Wallisch, David Price, Erkan Teper, and Kevin Johnson.

However, Hammer has also lost to the likes of Mariusz Wach, Taras Bidenko, Tyson Fury, and Alexander Povetkin.

Ortiz’s age is of concern, but he’s still an elite level boxer with considerable power. Hammer is basically a fringe contender.

Saturday should be a relatively easier fight for Ortiz.

Brian Castano (15-0) vs. Erislandy Lara (25-3-2); WBA Junior Middleweight Title

Erislandy Lara has long been considered a pound for pound great and one of the best boxers in the junior middleweight division. However, he has lost some of his shine since his loss to Jarrett Hurd and his advancing age of thirty five.

On Saturday he will be facing a tough young opponent in Brian Castano, who is six years younger than Lara.

Lara will have a significant edge in height of three inches and reach of seven inches. Lara does have fourteen stoppages on his resume, three more than Castano, but he fought twice the number of fights.

Castano had a good amateur career and was a gold medalist in the South American Games. He also beat current pound for pound great Errol Spence Jr. as an amateur. Lara was a Cuban National Champ and a World Champ as an amateur which gives him the slight edge in amateur experience.

Lara has lost to the likes of Jarrett Hurd, Canelo Alvarez, and Paul Williams. He has defeated the likes of Terrell Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith, and Austin Trout.

Castano has defeated the likes of Cedric Vitu, Michel Soro, Emmanue de Jesus, and Marcus Upshaw. At this point in their careers, Lara has defeated the better fighters.

However, Lara is advancing in age and showed signs of it when he lost to Jarrett Hurd. Castano is known for being an aggressive fighter who throws a high number of punches, a style that will usually give an older fighter fits as the fight progresses to the later rounds.

This writer feels this will be Castano’s breakout fight and will score an upset over Lara.

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Vergil Ortiz Ready To Hit New York


By: Sean Crose

With an impressive record of 11-0 with 11 knockouts, Texas native Vergil Ortiz is beginning to make a name for himself in the super lightweight division. The fact that the Golden Boy promoted fighter is now on his way to hit the Big Apple for one of the biggest fight cards of the year serves as an indication as to just how highly Ortiz is starting to be regarded. “It feels great,” he tells me of the upcoming experience. “I’ve never been to New York.” Now, the man isn’t only heading to the city that never sleeps, he’s taking part in the Canelo Alvarez – Rocky Fielding undercard, part of a major night of boxing that will be aired live on the DAZN Streaming Service.

“I haven’t heard anything yet,” Ortiz says of potential opponents, though it’s clear Golden Boy is looking to showcase their fighter’s talents before an east coast audience. “My one hundred percent knockout ratio is really catching people’s eyes,” he admits, adding: “I don’t want to say it should…but I’ve really worked hard for it.” Not that Ortiz has always gone for the knockout. In fact, during his last two bouts Ortiz wasn’t expecting the knockout to happen. “I wasn’t looking for it,” he says of his most recent opponent. “Both of us didn’t see it coming.”

Ortiz is happy to still be trained by Robert Garcia, brother of Mikey, former champion in his own right, and now famous cornerman. “I’m training in California,” says Ortiz of his preparation for the December matchup. “I get all the sparring done up here.” Ortiz makes it clear, however, that he stays in shape even when he’s not preparing for a fight. When it’s time to settle down, he heads west for Garcia’s tutelage. If things keep going at the pace they are, Ortiz and Garcia will be seeing a lot of each other in the upcoming year.

Provided he wins in New York, Ortiz aims to fight “four or five times” in 2019. Although it’s hard not to notice a man with Ortiz’ impressive resume to date, Ortiz is “taking things step by step” in order to secure an impressive future. Appearing on DAZN may well be a promising development. The streaming service, along with other streaming services like ESPN+, may well symbolize the future of boxing. As for the moment, Ortiz keeps life simple, focusing on matters like daily training and playing guitar in his free time.

“I’m playing it pretty much every day,” he says.

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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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