Brooklyn, NY – Ortiz Stays In Heavyweight Title Mix
This was not a classic heavyweight bout Saturday night at Barclays Center In Brooklyn But Luis “King Kong” Ortiz of Cuba and Christian Hammer of Germany were fighting to go another step in a division that has made a comeback with champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Ortiz had a classic 12-round battle with Wilder last March at Barclays. In that bout, Ortiz put Wilder on the mat and he was eventually put down and stopped in the 10th round and lost a quest for the WBC heavyweight title.
The story here is soon to be 40-year old Luis Ortiz. That fight with Wilder made believers out of the skeptics and that quest for a heavyweight title never stopped. Saturday night was not classic. By all means it was one not to be remembered but Ortiz got the unanimous 10-round decision and remained in that hunt to be the first heavyweight champion from Cuba.
“The fight wasn’t what I expecting” Ortiz said. “It was a hard fight and my corner really had to work with me. It was a hard fight. After I got the rhythm, I heated up a little bit. Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder. I’m ready.”
Ortiz, 31-1, 26 KO’s, felt he did what had to be done. He added,”I fought a fight that I hadn’t for years which is box and work. So I’m not disappointed. I didn’t knock him out. I showed some of my boxing skills tonight.”
LARA DENIED 154-TITLE: For the second time in a year Erislandy Lara, the super welterweight from Cuba, was denied a world title. In a tight 12-round contest for the WBA Super Welterweight title, Lara and champion Brian Castano fought to a draw that went to a split decision.
The judges at ringside had it 115-114 for Castano and 114-114 that resulted in the draw. Last April, Jarrett Hurd defeated Lara for the title via a 12-round split decision in Las Vegas.
A rematch with Hurd and Lara is now in question for the title. At 154, there may be other options for Castano. Lara, though disappointed, hopes he can get another chance to wear a title.
“If we have to fight him again, Hurd or Castano,” Lara said. “Anybody. I’ll have the rematch with both.
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