Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz scores KO win in his first fight in a year, immediately calls out champion Deontay Wilder who was sitting ringside in Miami, Florida.
Jean Pascal was able to end his career just as it began nearly 13 years ago—with a knockout win over a previously unbeaten foe.
In what he insists will be his final pro bout, the former light heavyweight champ went out on a high note after scoring a sixth-round technical knockout of previously unbeaten Ahmed Elbiali. A flurry of shots had the local prospect dazed, forcing a stoppage at 2:06 of round six in their PBC on FS1 main event from Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida.
Elbiali enjoyed a quick start, hardly a surprise as Pascal has been traditionally slow out the gate. Still, it appeared as if the night would go according to script for the favored 27-year old from Miami by way of Egypt.
Once Pascal was able to settle into a rhythm, however, the night would never be the same.
A left hook had Elbiali briefly dazed in round two, followed by a right hand shot in efforts to send a message to his younger foe. The 35-year old Haitian-Canadian—who came into fight week with a chip on his shoulder—refused to let age serve as a deterrent but instead rely upon his superior ring experience.
“It was a beautiful fight,” Pascal said. “I knew it would be my last one and I wanted to make a statement against a young, unbeaten fighter. It went basically as I expected, a couple of difficult moments but I was able to do everything I wanted.”
The fight was far from over, but it was certainly heading in the wrong direction for Elbiali who managed to hurt Pascal on a couple of occasions in rounds three and five. What he lacked more so than experience was the energy level to provide a sustained attack.
“ People asked me about ending it here in Miami and not Canada, but I am very satisfied with everything I've accomplished and to beat an undefeated fighter is a perfect way to end my career. ” Former Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal
Conversely, Pascal looked refreshed with each passing round. Moving past a few exchanges, he took over for good in round five before ending matters one frame later. Three consecutive right hands had Elbiali reeling, paving the way for a left hook and another right hand to cause serious damage.
The follow-up could’ve proven disastrous, but Elbiali’s handlers weren’t about to let that happen. They instead climbed the ring apron, alerting referee Telis Assemenios that their guy was done for the night.
“I fought his fight, I should have boxed more and taken him into the later rounds,” said Elbiali, now 16-1 (13 KOs) after suffering his first pro loss. “It wasn’t my day. He is a world class fighter. I felt like I hurt him in the first round, but I felt drained after that. I’m not sure why, it might have been the nerves. But I’ll learn from this.”
In the opposite corner, the celebration signaled a career that is done for good.
“This is absolutely the last fight of my career,” said Pascal (32-5-2, 19 KOs), who laid claim to the World light heavyweight champion with a decision win over Chad Dawson in Aug. 2010 and stayed atop the division for most of the past decade. “I've sold hundreds of thousands of tickets in Canada and I'm very proud of that.
“People asked me about ending it here in Miami and not Canada, but I am very satisfied with everything I've accomplished and to beat an undefeated fighter is a perfect way to end my career.”
“King Kong” returns with a KO
In the evening’s co-feature, undefeated heavyweight contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz made quick work of Daniel Martz. Two knockdowns in as many rounds provided a 2nd round knockout victory for Ortiz, who was given a tougher fight in the aftermath.
The fight was the first for the 38-year old Miami-based Cuban since a 7th round stoppage of David Allen last December. Injuries and drug testing clerical errors provided a 52-week ring hiatus before Friday’s return, prompting the unbeaten southpaw to pack a lot of content into a little bit of ring time.
Ortiz was prepared to go rounds, but his punching power was far too much for West Virginia’s Martz (16-6-3, 13 KOs). A body shot felled the visiting heavyweight late in round one, with a straight left hand ending matters at 0:38 of round two.
The fighting hardly stopped there, however.
No sooner than the fight was waved off, Ortiz leaned through the ropes to exchange words with Deontay Wilder, the unbeaten heavyweight titlist who joined the FS1 broadcast team just to call this fight.
“When I saw him here, I wanted to make sure to acknowledge it and to let him know in no uncertain terms that I want him next,” insists Ortiz, who improved to 28-0 (24 KOs).
Perrella rebounds from first defeat
Bryant Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs) rode a first-round knockdown all the way to the finish line, scoring a landslide decision victory over Cincinnati’s Alex Martin in a battle of welterweights rebounding from defeats in their most recent starts. Scores were 79-72 (twice) and 77-74 in favor of Ft. Myers’ Perrella, who dropped Martin with a right hook in round one and dominated nearly every round thereafter in his first fight since a stoppage loss to Yordenis Ugas last August.
“I felt pretty good about the fight," Perrella said. “There are some things I’d like to have done different, but considering I was out for 15 months and injured for a long time, I’m pleased with what I was able to accomplish. I didn’t get the knockout after hurting him, but I was able to handle him better than anyone else before me.”
Fulton stays unbeaten
Stephen Fulton (12-0, 6 KOs) overcame anxious moments in the opening rounds to score an eight-round majority decision over Adam Lopez. Scores were 76-76 even, and 77-75 and 78-74 in favor of Fulton in a battle of unbeaten featherweights.
“I worked hard to get the win,” Fulton said. “I had to adjust after the first two rounds but I took the fight to him and controlled the pace. He thought he had me hurt in round two, but it wasn’t anything. He landed a good shot but that was it. I never stressed about how the fight would turn out as long as I stuck to the game plan."
For a complete recap of Elbiali vs Smith, visit our fight page.