Unbeaten WBA World interim heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) of Cuba scored an impressive 7th round TKO of Bryant Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this past Saturday night. The main event bout took place at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York. HBO Championship Boxing televised the show that was promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions promoted. It was the first defense of the title Ortiz won in his last fight a third round KO of Matias Ariel Vidondo of Argentina.
Entering this past Saturday night’s fight the majority of the questions were on Ortiz’s credibility. He had not fought anywhere near the level of competition as pro that Jennings had. Jennings’ game effort in his distance loss to then champ Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight gained him a lot of respect by boxing experts. Oddly enough Oritiz’ extensive amateur background of more than 350 fights in the Cuban amateur boxing system far outweighs that of Jennings who only had just 17 amateur fights.
Round 1 saw Ortiz immediately show that his punching power is for real as he had Jennings badly hurt multiple times. Jennings to his credit managed to stay on his feet and survived the round. Round 2 saw Jennings get back into the fight and clear his head. He never hurt Ortiz but seemed to outwork him to win the round. The pair seemed to alternate winnings rounds leading up to round 7. There it was all Ortiz who finally dropped Jennings. It was very surprising to see Jennings beat the count. Once action resumed Jennings was quickly in trouble again having not fully recovered from the knockdown. The referee did the right thing and stopped the fight after some heavy shots landed by Ortiz to a visibly hurt Jennings.
The attention immediately went to what’s next for Ortiez. In his post-fight interview Ortiz pointed out that it was very important that the public new he was a clean fighter. He had tested positive following his fight with Lateef Kayode last year for an illegal substance. He and Jennings were both tested by VADA for their fight. Ortiz also mentioned that he would welcome the opportunity to fight Tyson Fury and or Deontay Wilder. One thing for sure is the heavyweight division just got that much more interesting heading in to 2016 following Ortiz dominance of Jennings.