Once-beaten Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz will, on July 28 in LA, return to action for the first time since his exciting stoppage loss to WBC ruler Deontay Wilder. On the Mikey Garcia-Robert Easter lightweight unification showdown, Ortiz will face Joe Hanks at The Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
39 year old Ortiz, 28-1(24) is hungry for another world title shot and he must have no slip ups against the 35 year old from New Jersey. Hanks, 22-2(14) and known as “The Future” was once a very promising young heavyweight. Going unbeaten in his first 22 pro fights, the tall and athletic Hanks was getting himself noticed. Then, in July of 2013, Hanks was stopped inside four-rounds by Andy Ruiz. Since then, Hanks has boxed just twice. In May of 2014, Hanks dropped a close decision to Derric Rossy, before engaging in a two-and-a-half year inactive spell.
Returning to action this past December, Hanks scored a UD over an unbeaten guy named Joel Caudle. So how much has Hanks got left to offer these days? Stopped only by Ruiz, the 6’4” Hanks is an imposing looking heavyweight and if he’s in top shape for this one he could possibly give Ortiz a few problems.
At his age (39, but some say the Cuban is in fact a good deal older than that) the wheels could come off at any time. Of course Ortiz is a real danger-man, maybe THE danger-man of the heavyweight division, but he has looked slow in a number of his fights. And against Wilder, Ortiz was huffing and puffing and feeling the pace.
It’s up to Hanks to really make Ortiz feel his age (not that Hanks is any spring chicken at 35) and he can do this, maybe, by setting a hot pace and letting his hands go. Ortiz is of course the pick to win, but it could be interesting – if Hanks is up for it. It would be interesting to know just how much notice Hanks got for this fight.