Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) came from behind to defeat former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (28-3-1, 25 KOs) by a shocking sixth round knockout in an IBF title eliminator on Saturday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Ortiz, 43, had been dropped twice earlier in the fight, hitting the deck in the first and fourth round. However, in the sixth round, Martin got careless and was flattened by Ortiz after being badly hurt by a powerful combination.
When Martin got back up, he was badly hurt unable to defend himself as Ortiz went after him and quickly dropped him for the second time in the round. The fight was then stopped by the referee at 1:37 of the sixth.
What an incredible turnaround for the Cuban Ortiz because he looked like he was well on his way to a loss after being knocked down twice by Martin.
Ortiz’s win has now earned him an unlikely title shot against IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk or whoever holds the title by the time the International Boxing Federation orders the fight.
Frank Sanchez (20-0, 13 KOs) fought a safety-first fight in winning a 10 round unanimous decision over Christian Hammer (26-9, 16 KOs) in a heavyweight showcase fight for the Cuban fighter on Saturday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida
The 29-year-old Sanchez landed most single shots against the slow-moving, chubby Hammer, and he fought like he was facing a dangerous KO artist.
The scores were: 100-89, 100-89, and 100-89.
In the 10th round, Sanchez knocked Hammer down with a nice shove to the canvas. The distracted referee failed to see what virtually everyone at the Seminole had seen in noting that Hammer had been pushed down.
Sanchez’s gym-mate Canelo Alvarez was at ringside to watch his fight tonight. It would be interesting to know what Canelo’s thoughts were during the fight.
Jonnie Rice (15-6-1, 10 KOs) outworked a sluggish-looking Michael Coffie (12-2, 9 KOs) in winning a conclusive 10 round unanimous decision in heavyweight action in their rematch.
Rice was the better-conditioned fighter, and it made it look easy in dominating the 35-year-old Coffie. The judges scored it 97-93, 97-93, 99-91.
Last year, Rice stopped the 6’5″ Coffie in the fifth round in Newark, New Jersey.
Heavyweight contender Ali Eren Demirezen (15-1, 12 KOs) plodded his way to an eighth round stoppage victory over the struggling 6’6″ former world title challenger Gerald Washington (20-5-1, 13 KOs).
Washington fought well early on, but then faded badly by the fifth and was fighting on fumes by the eight when his corner pulled the plug on the bout. The official time of the stoppage was at :27 of the eight.
If Washington had better stamina, he could given Demirezen some problems, but he was too tired to do much by the sixth. It was inevitable that Gerald was going to be knocked out. With the defeat, Washington’s record in his last seven fights is a lowly 2-5.
In a thrilling war, unbeaten Ukrainian heavyweight Viktor Faust (9-0, 7 KOs) needed to get up off the canvas twice to defeat Georgian Iago Kiladze (27-6-1, 19 KOs) by a questionable second round knockout.
Kiladze, 35, was knocked down twice in round one by the 29-year-old Faust. In the same round, Faust was also down from a big shot from Kiladze.
In the second round of the contest, Kiladze flattened Faust with a massive shot to the head. To his credit, Faust got up off the deck and came back to knock Kiladze down for the third time in the bout.
Surprisingly, the referee Sam Burgos then stepped in and halted the bout for some unknown reason. Kiladze looked perfectly fine, showing no hint of being badly hurt.
Nevertheless, the fight was halted by the referee. The time of the stoppage was at 1:44 of the second.
Despite winning, Faust looked chinny, and it’s difficult to imagine him mixing it up with the upper-tier heavyweights without getting knocked out.
Due to the premature stoppage, it would make sense for Kiladze and Faust to fight again so they can clear up the controversy.
Talented unbeaten Frank Martin (15-0, 11 KOs) made easy work of Romero Duno (24-3, 19 KOs) in knocking him out in the fourth round in a scheduled 10 round fight.
The hard-hitting Martin flattened the tough 26-year-old Duno in round four. The bout was then halted. The time of the stoppage was at 2:54 of the round.
The loss for Duno snaps the three-fight winning streak that he’d had going since his loss to Ryan Garcia in November 2019.
It was a good victory for the 26-year-old Martin, who started his career in 2017. In Martin’s previous fight, he defeated Ryan Kielczweski by a 10 round unanimous decision last August.
At this point, it’s still too early to know if Martin has the talent to be a major player in the 135 lb weight division because he’s still yet to cut his teeth on high-caliber opposition.
While it was good that Marin beat Duno tonight, you have to realize that this same fighter was destroyed in one round by Ryan Garcia in 2019.
Undefeated heavyweight prospect took Geovany Bruzon (6-1, 5 KOs) to school, beating him by an eight round unanimous decision. The judges scored it 77-75, 78-74, and 78-74.