The last time King Kong was in New York, he fell to his death from the Empire State Building. On Saturday the “Real King Kong” goes to New York again, hoping to win a piece of boxing’s heavyweight title.
Return of King Kong
Cuban Heavyweight prospect Luis Ortiz battles American Bryant Jennings for the interim WBA heavyweight title. With Wladimir Klitschko already dethroned by Tyson Fury, the heavyweight division has suddenly become an open field. Ortiz and Jennings hope to take one step forward and challenge either Fury or Deontay Wilder for the more lucrative heavyweight belts.
An Amateur Standout
Although he is a virtual unknown in the U.S. market, Ortiz made an auspicious New York debut with a 3rd round KO win over Matias Vidondo last October 17. With that win, Ortiz re-captured the interim WBA interim heavyweight title. He first won that title with a quick 1st round stoppage of Lateef Kayode in September 2014 but he was stripped of the title and later suspended after failing a post fight drug test. On Saturday night. the man known as the Real King Kong returns to New York, hoping for another huge win. Ortiz is unbeaten at 23-0 with 19 KOs. According to Cuban records, he had an amtateur record of 343-19. Despite an impressive amateur career and a long stint in the Cuban National team, he never won a big boxing tournament as an amateur.
While Ortiz has been racking up victories, Jennings is looking to bounce back from a one-sided loss to Wladimir Klitschko last April 2015. Before losing to Klitschko, Jennings won his first 19 professional bouts, knocking out 10 opponents. The 31-year old Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native owns victories over notable foes like Andrey Fedosov and Arthur Szpilka, who will face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on January 16. Against Ortiz, Jennings isn’t just eyeing the WBA interim belt but he’s also looking for the comeback win after the Klitschko loss.
Who Takes this?
Because this is a heavyweight bout, the bigger puncher is the favorite. In this case, it’s Ortiz by just -175 but Jennings is just a slight +125 underdog and that’s because overall, he has the better skill set than Ortiz and has the better movement. But make no mistake though, Ortiz has fast hands and quick reflexes. He also has the kind of power Jennings only dreams he has. But Jennings says he’s become better since losing to Klitschko and that he’s learned a lot both on and off the ring. He believes that he is the smarter boxer between the two and by that he may be implying that he’s not going to brawl with King Kong. Should he succeed in fighting from a distance, Jennings could be looking at an upset win over Ortiz. Experts are picking Ortiz to win by KO or TKO.