Luis Ortiz: Who's next for Cuban wrecking machine?
This heavyweight monster is the goods.
On Saturday night in Washington, DC, 36-year old Luis Ortiz (25-0, 22 KO) floored tough and durable Tony Thompson (40-7, 23 KO) three times with well-timed overhand lefts, winning a sixth round TKO.
Sans Wladimir Klitschko, he became the only fighter to finish Thompson within the distance.
... And each of the three knowdowns were powerful, and caused by an isolated left hand, not a combination a shots.
It was an impressive exhibit for the big southpaw who showcased a combination of skill, quickness and punching power.
So who will Luis Ortiz fight next?
Problem: Not many fellas are willing to hop in the ring with a relatively unknown (to the general public) Cuban southpaw with an 88 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio.
He might need the WBA's help to force a top guy to face him.
There's talk of Ortiz, who HBO's Max Kellerman referred to as the 'best heavyweight in the world,' being showcased May 7 on the Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan undercard. If we see him again eight weeks from now, who knows who'll be his opponent?
Alexander Ustinov is one name being bantered but will that be enough time for him to prepare for such a consequntial bout?
Obviously, Ortiz, who is promoted by Golden Boy, wants a shot at the coveted lineal title and would love nothing more than to face the winner of Klitschko vs Tyson Fury 2.
A win over wither guy, especially Wlad, would catapult his stock from an international perspective.
As of January 19, 2016, the WBA's Top 15 heavyweights were as follows:
TYSON FURY - Super champion
* RUSLAN CHAGAEV - Regular champion
1 LUIS ORTIZ - Interim champion
*2 LUCAS BROWNE
3 WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO
4 SHANNON BRIGGS
5 ALEXANDER USTINOV
6 FRES OQUENDO
7 ANDREY FEDOSOV
8 ANTONIO TARVER
9 DAVID HAYE
10 ERKAN TEPER
11 JOSEPH PARKER
12 ANTHONY JOSHUA
13 BRYANT JENNINGS
14 KUBRAT PULEV
15 JARRELL MILLER
*Of course, Lucas Browne replaces Chagaev as Regular champion due to the former's stunning upet Saturday.
It's highly unlikely Browne's Team will invite Ortiz to Australia for the former's first title defense. That's not going to happen this year as Browne is more likely to face Shannon Briggs or Fres Oquendo. Browne's team probably wants no part of the Cuban and may sidestep him as long as they can.
And Briggs is probably not an option either as he will probably hold out for Browne or a big name, such as David Haye, Deontay Wilder or the winner of Klitschko vs Fury 2.
Look for Ortiz to fight once more, whether it's against Ustinov or a tune-up, before facing the winner of Klitschko vs Fury 2.