LUIS ORTIZ DIDN’T ELECTRIFY — Most were expecting an early, if not spectacular, knockout when Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz met David “The White Rhino” Allen in an 8-rounder buried in the Joshua-Molina undercard in Manchester. Coming off of a surprisingly dull decision win over Malik Scott in Monaco, Ortiz, utilizing his right jab and his crunching left uppercut, easily dominated and won every round as he clubbed and bludgeoned his durable and stubborn opponent. He finally exploded and, putting his punches together, took Allen out late in the seventh stanza, but it was anything but spectacular. Allen, noticeably gassing, did not go down though he did wrestle Ortiz to the canvas as he was trying to hold on before the stoppage.
While not quite extinct, it’s unclear where the Rhino goes from here (a fight with Scott might be interesting). As for the 37-year-old Ortiz (now 27-0), he keeps his train rolling but at a reduced speed. He has failed to deliver a clean one-punch KO in his last three bouts, thus removing the aura of invincibility he had achieved when he dispatched talented Bryant Jennings a year ago with a hellacious uppercut. The ooohs and aaahs are no longer as discernible. He is no longer being referred to as the heavyweight division’s new danger man. The shine is off. Kong just might be mortal after all.
Some might question his inclusion in the top mix of heavyweights, asking whether he has done enough or has impressed enough to fight for a title, but if Erik Molina and Dillian Whyte have gotten title shots, then certainly the “Real King Kong” more than deserves a shot too.
The Scott fight failed to be a showcase affair for Ortiz in his first match under the helm of his new promoter Eddie Hearn. While Ortiz did better this time, it took him seven non-electrifying rounds to do what most expected him to do in one.
Future opponents and/or current title-holders, knowing that the Cuban is aging rapidly, might want to keep him dangling until the time is ripe. Conversely, and given Luis’s recent efforts, that time may have already arrived for Wilder, Joshua, or even Parker based on their perception of things.
A fight with even older Shannon Briggs has been rumored. Also, Kubrat Pulev comes to mind as does the winner of Povetkin vs. Stiverne (should that fight come off). Finally, troubled Lucas Browne is another possibility.
WHYTE – CHISORA
“It was astounding that both men were still upright after absorbing punches that could have taken out a small tank” –Jeff Powell
“Each rocked the other in the closing exchanges, ending in a toe-to-toe war which sent the crowd wild…” -Powell
This one lived up to the pre-fight hype. Now either warrior could provide Ortiz with the opportunity he needs to force a title fight, assuming he could beat either one—not a safe assumption.
Their barnburner on the same Manchester card as Joshua-Molina and Ortiz-Allen has Fight of the Year possibilities, as these two promised and more than delivered the goods in a grueling 12 rounds that featured constant switches in momentum. Chisora mounted a determined assault in the early rounds but the bout exploded in the fifth round as “Del-Boy “Chisora almost downed his bitter rival with some hammering shots and “The Body Snatcher” came back with his own huge artillery. This back-and–forth round should be a candidate for Round of the Year.
Both men were wobbled, exhausted and bleeding from the mouth but continued to club one another with power punches that had the large crowd up and roaring. In the end, Whyte won the thriller with scores of 115-113 and 115-114. The third judge had it 115-114 for Chisora. Clearly, this non-stop brawl could have gone the other way as both men reached down deep and gave their all– and both embraced at the end as they had earned the respect of one another. Did it steal the show at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom? Manifestly. Was it the Fight of the Year? Quite possibly. Was it something special? Absolutely.
Here is what Jeff Powell of the Mail Online said in his post-fight report: “A week of brawling obscenity ended in epic redemption for the two baddest men in heavyweight prizefighting….Dillian Whye and Dereck Chisora channelled all their vexation and hatred of each other into a heavyweight fight of such savage magnificence that we have rarely seen its like before…After the dust cart of table and microphone chucking, a Lord Mayor’s Show of pugilism so heroic that the 21,000 crowd in the Manchester Arena went from booing their entrance to roaring them out of the ring.
Meanwhile, Luis Ortiz (ranked Number Two by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board), is staying very active and continues to work toward his goal of winning a world title and engaging in big payday fights, not to mention becoming the first Cuban heavyweight boxing champion.
But time is running out and destiny may no longer be on his side.
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Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing and is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.