Heavyweight boxing: Is Cuban wrecking machine best of the crop?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Heavyweight boxing is hot again.
Not only is the division ripe with young lions such as Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Joseph Parker, seasoned veterans like Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, Alexander Povetkin and, yes, even Shannon Briggs are rising to the sport's forefront.
However, the one heavyweight who is generating the least buzz among top fighters in the division may be the most fearsome of them all.
Luis Ortiz 25-0-0-2NC, 22 KO.
He's big, strong and mean. And most of all, the Cuban fighter dubbed 'King Kong' has some serious skills. And did we mention he's a southpaw too?
A veteran of a reported 362 amateur fights, Ortiz sported a 343-19 pre professional career record, learning his craft from Cuba's top trainers.
And yes, he's 37 but he might as well be 27 because he turned pro in 2010 and has had only 27 pro fights.
Ranked No. 7 in the world by BoxRec, the 6'4" Cuban floored tough and durable Tony Thompson (then 40-7, 23 KO) three times with well-timed overhand lefts, winning a sixth round TKO last March.
It was an impressive exhibit for the big southpaw who HBO's Max Kellerman labeled the 'best heavyweight in the world.'
Ortiz showcased a combination of skill and technique and quickness and punching power, and actually looked good against the awkward Thompson, something that's not easy to do.
And keep in mind, no one aside from Wladimir Klitschko had stopped Thompson inside the distance.
Luis Ortiz also has an impressive stoppage win over previous Klitschko foe Bryant Jennings who entered his bout with the Cuban sporting a 19-1 record.
Recently, Luis Ortiz left Golden Boy Promotions to sign a contract with Matchroom Boxing. In fact, he's now slated to face the rugged Carlos Takam 33-3-1 on November 12.
Will Ortiz earn yet another knockout over another tough Top 20 contender?
Simply put, Luis Ortiz, offensively, may be the closest thing to a young George Foreman since the 'old' George Foreman.
He's a sharp ring technician who is incredibly powerful. But whether he can he take a punch like George remains to be seen.
Unfortunately, since he's not a big name, he's too much risk for the reward for any of the heavyweight young lions as well as the division's accomplished veterans. As a result, look for Ortiz to continue to be avoided until a sanctioning body stands firm and makes him a mandatory challenger.
Is this wrecking machine the most feared fighter in heavyweight boxing?
... Is he the uncrowned champion?
Let's hope we see him in the ring with a big name next year.