Ortiz destroys Martin in IBF title eliminator

By Boxing News - 01/02/2022 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Luis “King Kong’ Ortiz may have finished off the once-career of former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in stopping him in the sixth round in an IBF title eliminator in their main event fight on FOX PPV on Saturday night.

Fighting in front of a sparse crowd at the Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the younger fighter Martin (28-3-1, 25 KOs) dominated the fight through the first five rounds, beating the 42-year-old ‘King Kong’ Ortiz to the punch and knocking him down twice.

Luis Ortiz has to rally to win

Ortiz was down in rounds one and four from solid shots from Martin, but he wasn’t hurt in either of the knockdowns.

Realizing things were getting out of hand, Ortiz came out for the sixth round, meaning business.

At midpoint in the round, Ortiz landed a mighty left hand to the head of Martin, causing him to lose his senses entirely after taking the shot.

For a moment, Martin stared at the crowd as if he had no idea where he was at. Ortiz then rushed the defenseless Martin, hitting him with repeatedly clubbing left hands to the head until he finally fell into the ropes.

During that sequence, Ortiz hit Martin with ten consecutive shots to the head without him throwing anything back in retaliation.

Martin was defenseless

When Martin fell into the ropes, his left glove became entangled, and he needed to be helped by the referee. This, in turn, gave Martin a little extra time to recover, but it wasn’t enough for him to recoup from the initial left hand that Ortiz had hurt him with.

Image: Ortiz destroys Martin in IBF title eliminator

When Martin got back up, he looked shaky, like he was still completely out of it. Ortiz then teed off on Martin, sending him down for the second time in the sixth.

Referee Frank Santore then stopped the bout, which some would say was a tad bit early. But in Martin’s condition, he would have been immediately dropped by Ortiz if the referee had let the contest continue a bit longer. The 6’5″ Martin’s punch resistance was utterly shot after being dropped twice.

It was very difficult going southpaw against southpaw,” said Ortiz. β€œAt the end of the day, my intelligence won the fight.”

You can argue that the fight should have been stopped on the spot after Ortiz hurt Martin with the initial left-hand shot in the sixth that had him out on his feet.

Martin was so badly hurt from that punch that he didn’t know where he was at. Hence, Martin was looking at the crowd, as he didn’t know where he was at after getting hit by that scorching left hand from Ortiz.

Ortiz now mandatory for Oleksandr Usyk

In the opening round, Martin hit Ortiz with an overhand left that he never saw coming, and the shot bowled him over. Ortiz struggled to get comfortable in rounds two and three.

Image: Ortiz destroys Martin in IBF title eliminator

Although the Cuban slugger Ortiz was landing shots, he was getting outworked by the former IBF heavyweight champion Martin, and he looked sluggish and old.

You could tell from watching the 42-year-old Ortiz that the 14-month layoff he had going into tonight’s contest with Martin greatly impacted his performance.

In the fifth round, Ortiz started to time Martin and connected with some tasty shots that caught his attention.

From there, one could tell that Ortiz would land something big sooner or later because he looked like he was finally getting warmed up and comfortable for the first time in the fight.

With the win, Ortiz moves forward to wait for a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.

However, Ortiz will need to stay busy fighting other fighters because Usyk will be tied up for the remainder of 2022. If Usyk loses to Anthony Joshua in April or WBC champion Tyson Fury later on in the year, then it’ll be one of them that eventually defends against Ortiz.

“He knocked me down, but then I finished him. I respect him a lot and now I’m coming after every heavyweight in line for the title,” said Ortiz.

In the meantime, Ortiz will have to fight other fighters and risk losing his IBF mandatory position.

Ortiz’s management will likely have him fight two or three soft opponents while waiting for his eventual title shot in 2023 or 2024.

Where to now for Charles Martin?

Tonight was the equivalent of the boulevard of broken dreams for Charles Martin. In tonight’s fight, he still seemed embittered and haunted about his second round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in 2016.

Fighting Ortiz tonight was a second chance for Martin, an opportunity to begin again and get a fresh start to fix what happened to him six years ago.

Martin spoke candidly this week, revealing his vision of him fighting Joshua twice more and beating him both times in the UK and the U.S.

It was a vision that Martin had put together in his head, and he felt this fight against Ortiz was the stepping stone for him to get to the Joshua rematch.

If Martin chooses to continue his career with the hopes of getting another title shot, he could be wasting his time.

He’s 35 now, and he’s not young enough to slowly build for another six years like he just did after losing to Joshua in 2016.

Also, Martin’s punch resistance isn’t good enough for him to defeat any of the top heavyweights in a title elimination if he ever were to be given another shot.

Fighting the 42-year-old Luis Ortiz was the ideal situation for Martin, as he wasn’t going up against a dangerous younger guy like Filip Hrgovic, Daniel Dubois, or Andy Ruiz Jr.

Where to now for Charles Martin?

This was as good as it gets for Martin in fighting an older fighter, who hadn’t fought in 14 months and had been knocked out twice in the last four years by Deontay Wilder.

Given Martin’s advanced age, weak punch resistance, defensive liabilities and the amount of time that would be required to try and get a title shot, it might be a good idea for him to retire.

If Martin was living in Britain, where over-the-hill fighters like Dereck Chisora make millions headlining cards, he should continue his career. But in the U.S, it’s different. You got to be a championship-caliber heavyweight to make money in the States, and Martin doesn’t have a belt, and he’s not super popular.