FightPost Boxer of the Week: Luis Ortiz
By Gary Kittilsen
On a week that was supposed to be dominated by young prospects putting on showcase performances and young champions taking the biggest tests of their young careers. It was one of the sports elder statesmen who made the loudest statement.
41-year-old Cuban, heavyweight contender, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz scored a sensational one-punch, body shot knockout of Alexander Florez in just 46 seconds.
In scoring the first-round stoppage Ortiz moved his record to 32-2 (27). He also reestablishes himself as a legitimate title contender in the heavyweight division and takes home our Fighter of the Week award.
The quick work was Ortiz’s first fight back since being viciously knocked out by then WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder nearly a year ago. A fight that Ortiz was in complete control of until Wilder landed with a perfect right hand that ended the fight in the seventh round.
Luis Ortiz stepped into the ring at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California with a sense of urgency. He was fully aware he needed an impressive performance to get himself back in the heavyweight picture and make one last run at a heavyweight title.
The 41-year-old started quickly and firing shots with evil intentions and staggering his overmatched opponent just 18 seconds into the bout with a straight left hand that sent Flores into the ropes. Ortiz scored with another overhand left that seemed to again buzz Flores, who immediately went into retreat.
The southpaw, Ortiz, went after his hurt opponent and landed a short right hook to the body of his opponent at the 2:28 mark of the opening round that dropped Flores straight to the canvas.
Flores valiantly tried to get back up and did beat the count. He was able to make it back to his feet. However, he was unable to stabilize himself and get his legs underneath him, causing referee Thomas Taylor to wave off the bout 46 seconds after the opening bell. Giving Ortiz the first-round KO victory.
Following the fight, the victorious Ortiz said through his head trainer German Caicedo. “I definitely wanted to get some more work in and I wanted to see what the Mexican heavyweight (Flores) was all about in preparation for the Ruiz fight, which is the fight I really want now.”
Alexander Flores is a decent enough opponent that has been in the ring with former heavyweight title holders Charles Martin, and Joseph Parker. However, beating him, even as quickly and as impressively as Ortiz did, does not get him back in the title picture Immediately.
“King Kong” has twice challenged for heavyweight titles and came up short both times. being stopped by Wilder in each of his world title fights. If Ortiz wants to get back into position to fight for a world title for the third time he’ll need to secure another victory or two against higher-level opponents.
An Ortiz fight with former unified heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz has been rumoured and could very well happen next. If that fight fails to get made, undefeated prospects like Efe Ajagba and fellow Cuban Frank Sanchez also fight under the PBC banner and could fill the void. A win over an up and coming prospect could perhaps propel Ortiz back into the world title picture.