Luis Ortiz, destroys Cojanu, targets Joshua & Wilder
By Jeff Aranow: The talented Cuban heavyweight knockout artist Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) blitzed former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu (16-4, 9 KOs) in getting rid of him in two rounds last Saturday night on Showtime Boxing on the undercard of the lightweight unification fight between WBC champion Mikey Garcia and IBF champ Robert Easter Jr. at the beautiful Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Ortiz, 39, says he wants a rematch against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder or a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua. Ortiz doubts Joshua will give him a title shot, as he says he only fights guys that he knows he can beat. Moreover, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had zero interest in matching him against Ortiz when he was briefly promoting the Cuban talent. Ortiz easily beat David Allen and Malik Scott during Hearn’s watch, but the British promoter chose not to let him fight Joshua. Instead, Hearn complained about Ortiz not looking impressive in those fights.
Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round on March 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight was like watching a pair of rock ’em sock ’em robots going at it. Wilder finally knocked Ortiz’s block off in the 10th round after catching him with a big right hand to the head. Ortiz was kicking himself after the fight for failing to stop Wilder when he had him hurt in the 7th round. Ortiz was inches away from knocking out Wilder in round seven, but it was not to be.
“In my mind King Kong has not been defeated. I don’t feel I lost against Deontay Wilder. I want to fight [Anthony] Joshua, but he only fights boxers he’s sure he can defeat,” Ortiz said after his 2nd round KO victory over Cojanu. ”I’m going to ask the government to put me on disability, maybe that way Joshua will fight me.”
I think it’s safe to say that Joshua will never fight Ortiz. He’s not someone that is being mentioned as a future opponent for Joshua by his promoter. The guys on the list for future fights against Joshua are these fighters: Alexander Povetkin (in September), Dillian Whyte, Jarrell Miller, Tyson Fury, Bryant Jennings, Hughie Fury and Deontay Wilder. If Ortiz is still around after Joshua gets those seven fights out of the way, then maybe there might be a small chance that he could face Joshua. I don’t think it’ll happen. Ortiz has more of a shot at getting a rematch against Wilder than he does in facing Joshua. Ortiz isn’t rated highly by the IBF, WBA and WBO sanctioning bodies.
‘The Real King Kong’ Ortiz is ranked at #4 by the World Boxing Council, which means he has a very good chance of getting a second fight against Wilder in a year or two. If Joshua beats Wilder in their unification match in the future, then Ortiz would have his chance at facing AJ for all four – IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO – of the heavyweight titles. That would be the best possible situation for the 6’3” southpaw Ortiz, as he would be able to set himself up for life in facing Joshua. The money that Ortiz can make in a fight against Joshua as a mandatory challenger would be quite significant.
The southpaw Ortiz sent Cojanu down with a devastating right-left combination to the head. Ortiz blinded Cojanu with a lead right hook to the head and then followed with a monstrous straight left behind it that sent the Romanian fighter straight down on the canvas. Cojanu attempted to get up twice, but was unable to get to his feet. The referee Jerry Cantu had little option but to waive off the fight. The time of the stoppage was a 2:08 of round two. This was clearly a statement fight for Ortiz, who beat the 30-year-old Cojanu in a much more impressive fashion than former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Joseph Parker did in defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on May 6 last year. Parker won by the scores 117-110, 117-110 and 119-109. At no time during the fight did Parker have Cojanu hurt. Ortiz did a lot better against Cojanu than Parker did.
Cojanu stood in front of Ortiz in round two, and allowed him to measure him for a one-two combination that put him out. When Wilder fought Ortiz last March, he made sure that he moved around the ring to avoid being a stationary target for his powerful shots. When Ortiz did throw punches, he often had to throw at a mobile 6’7” Wilder, which made it difficult for him to land cleanly. In the 7th round, Wilder made the mistake of attacking Ortiz hard, and this left him open for a powerful straight left hand from the Cuban that hurt him.
Wilder was out on his feet after getting hit with Ortiz’s straight left hand shot. Ortiz tried to finish Wilder off, but he gassed out in the process of unloading on him. The difference between the Ortiz we saw against Wilder and the one that fought Cojanu last Saturday night was the conditioning. Ortiz weighed 241 pounds for both fights, but he looked to be leaner and in much better shape against Cojanu. The quickness was back for Ortiz. He hadn’t looked this lean and fast since his 1st round knockout win over Lateef Kayode in 2014. Ortiz clearly put in a lot of hard work in preparing for the Cojanu fight, even though he wasn’t facing a top 15 contender. Cojanu is a second tier heavyweight, who the World Boxing Organization previously had ranked at the time he fought Parker last year. Ortiz took Cojanu seriously despite him not being a highly ranked heavyweight.
Ortiz connected on 8 of 10 power shots for a 42% connect percentage. For his part, the 30-year-old Cojanu connected on 2 of 13 punches for a 15% connect percentage. The fight was obviously a massacre in terms of the outcome and the punch stats. The fact that Parker couldn’t do the same thing against Cojanu is strange, because he should have treated him in a similar manner to get him out of there quickly instead of letting him hang around for the full 12 rounds in their fight in 2017. Ortiz knew what he had in front of him in the 269 pound Cojanu, and he wasn’t going to let him stay in there any longer than he needed to. The boxing fans at ringside were pleased with the fast knockout for Ortiz, as he gave the fans the most exciting ending of the Showtime tripleheader. The other two televised fights on the card between WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. and welterweights Mario Barrios and Jose Roman, were less than exciting affairs.