Dream Match: Carlos Ortiz vs. Wilfredo Benitez

14.12.05 - By Jim Amato: Carlos Ortiz vs. Wilfred Benitez for the all-time Puerto Rican jr. welterweight championship. What a match up! Ortiz who turned pro in 1955 lost only two of his first 32 bouts. Johnny Busso, who he defeated in a rematch and Kenny Lane. Among the notables he defeated were Tommy Tibbs, Joe Lopes, and Dave Chamley..

In his rematch with Lane the world's 140 pound title at stake and he halted Lane in the second round. He successfully defended his crown twice against Battling Torres and Duilio Loi before losing the title to Loi in a rematch. In their rubber match Loi won again ending Carlos' tenure at 140 pounds. He would win the lightweight title in 1962 and establish himself as a Hall of Famer. In 70 career bouts he was stopped only once, in his final fight.

Wilfred Benitez shocked the boxing world on March 6, 1976 when as a 17 year old with 24-0 record he upset Antonio Cervantes. Benitez used a sharp, quick jab and his amazing reflexes to outbox and befuddle the seemingly invincible Cervantes. Wilfred made three successfully defenses before growing into the welterweight division where he captured the title. He would also win the jr. Middleweight championship and finish his career as a middleweight.

When Benitez campaigned as a 140 pounder he was a mere boy. Blessed with great hand speed and a slick defense he would have given Ortiz plenty of trouble. Still Ortiz was no ordinary plodder. He was smart and cagey and although Benitez was naturally bigger, Ortiz was very strong and a good puncher who scored 29 career knockouts against top flight opposition.

I see Benitez starting fast and confusing Ortiz with a lot of movement. He would be using the jab often to hold Carlos off. Ortiz was very adept at cutting off the ring and when he did catch Benitez he would work the body in an effect to slow him down. At that stage of his career Wilfred was not as formidable fighting off the ropes as ha would later become. Ortiz would begin to punish the body of Benitez along the ropes. Benitez would control the action at mid-ring but Carlos would eventually pressure Wilfred to the ropes and away from his fight plan.

I don't think Benitez could have hurt Ortiz and I don't feel if he remained along the ropes that he could have handled Carlos' power. This fight reminds me of Ortiz-Vs-Ismael Laguna. After losing their first fight, Carlos figured out his style which was similar to Benetiz and beat Laguna the next two times they boxed. The difference is that Laguna had a better chin than Wilfred.

I'll pick Ortiz by kayo in twelve rounds.

Article posted on 15.12.2005

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