Luis Ortiz is seen as the most avoided heavyweight in the game, as the Cuban born hitter nicknamed King Kong has had a devil of a time luring foes to sign the dotted line.
On Saturday in Monaco, the 37 year old burly banger fought Malik Scott, in a bout which ran on HBO. He didn't do a Kong demo job on the running and clinching and survivor minded Scott, so maybe he will have an easier time booking bouts.
Ortiz got the W, via wide UD12, and he will need to be sharper and stronger next time to lay proud claim to that nickname. The cards read 120-105, 120-106 and 119-106 and not even boxing judges could muck up this verdict.
Ortiz (entering at 25-0; 239 pounds) jumped from Golden Boy to Eddie Hearn two months ago and has been off for almost a year while trying to find work.
In the first, Scott (entering at 38-2; from Philly; 246 pounds) darted about and stayed out of range of Ortiz launches to start. The lefty Cuban stalked and glared. The ref at 1:40 told Scott to engage, not dance. It was a dreary round, unless you thought you were tuning in to a track meet.
In the second, Scott again wasn't interested in offending. Then he hurled a power right which Ortiz ducked. Left and right, moving all the time, Scott wanted to stay with his head connected to his shoulders.
In the third, we saw the distance shorten. Scott went down off a slip. He was grabbing more now. Ortiz landed a couple decent lefts.
In the fourth, Ortiz stalked of course. Down went Scott and he complained of a rabbit punch. The ref yanked him up…He went down again but no knockdown was called. By now, Scott was back to the ropes and not moving so much. In the fifth, down went Scott. He clowned then and indicated Ortiz had nuthin.
To round six–Ortiz did the same thing. Stalked, hurled mombo bombs. Scott was moving far less, pawing a jab, winging a wild hook and clinching. He was scoffing at Ortiz more so.
In round seven, Ortiz popped a jab, often short. But he had trouble landing clean as his hand speed isn't A grade. To 8…same song, not very catchy or peppy.
Down went Scott in the ninth off a body blow. Scott landed a couple crisp counters then, his right has speed if not power. To ten…Ortiz recalled that body work works. Scott defended smartly and didn't win the round, once again. Same for 11 thought I admit my attention lagged and I checked Twitter. In the twelfth and mercifully final round after trainer Fred Jenkins yelled at Scott to perk up Scott didn't really comply. Ortiz did to try and close strong. But we saw the final bell…To the cards we went.