The long-time heavyweight contender makes short work of his opponent Saturday night on FOX PBC Fight Night as he eyes the bigger names in the heavyweight division.
With sweat pouring down his face, Luis Ortiz sat stoic in his dressing room at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, brooding like a volcano about to explode.
It had been just over 11 months since the 41-year-old southpaw Cuban expatriate had thrown a punch in a pro fight. Poor Alexander “The Great” Flores would be the recipient of all the pent-up hostility Ortiz had been building since his loss to then-WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder back in November 2019.
Ortiz, who came in at a rather lean 241½, needed just :45 to devour Flores (18-3-1, 16 KOs) with a right to the body on the PBC Fight Night on Fox show Saturday night. Ortiz barely got in any work, and it was a strange sequence in which the 30-year-old Flores was dropped.
Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) did connect with a punch. He leaned in and roped Flores on his left oblique with a right hook, but as Flores was falling, his left eye smacked into Ortiz’s right forearm on the way down.
Referee Thomas Taylor did not need to be convinced that Flores wanted no part of Ortiz.
“King Kong” Ortiz wanted to put the heavyweight contenders on blast that he’s still a viable threat. Stopping Flores might not have meant much, but Ortiz was very nimble and his aim is Andy Ruiz sometime early next year.
“I definitely wanted to get some more work in and I wanted to see what the Mexican heavyweight (Flores) was all about in preparation for the Ruiz fight, which is the fight I really want now,” said Ortiz through trainer German Caicedo. “I can’t help what I can’t help.
“I’m happy I won, and I did prepare to go rounds. This guy (Flores) went three rounds with Joseph Parker and fought back, he went four rounds with Charles Martin and fought back. There’s no excuse. Those other guys needed rounds to stop him. I want Andy Ruiz.
“He needs a fight, and it makes sense. I prepared for a championship-level fight, and the new conditioning paid off, because I felt more athletic and more explosive.”
A frightening thought for the rest of the heavyweight division.
Frank Sanchez makes easy work of Brian Howard
Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez’s was frustrated over his last outing, a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough, though awkward Joey Dawejko back in March, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Sanchez (16-0, 12 KOs) felt he didn’t show everything he could do against Dawejko, so Brian Howard had to pay the price.
Sanchez knocked down Howard (15-4, 12 KOs) three times, once in the final :20 of the third round, which came off a right uppercut, followed by a left hook; and two more times in the fourth, with the second knockdown coming with 2:41 left in the fourth off another left hook, and the third knockdown with 2:11 left off a chopping right.
Referee Jerry Cantu didn’t wait long after Sanchez landed a right to wave it over at 2:07 of the fourth in the scheduled 10 rounder.
Sanchez completed dominated, connecting on 66/190 total punches thrown (35%) to Howard’s paltry 11/80 (14%). Those figures include Sanchez’s lopsided 49-to-4 power punch difference.
Michael Coffie stops Joey Abell in two rounds
Former U.S. Marine Michael Coffie (11-0, 8 KOs) remained undefeated by stopping 39-year-old Joey Abell (35-11, 33 KOs) at :49 of the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder, when Abell injured his right arm while throwing a punch. Abell’s corner later said that Abell tore his right biceps.
“I shielded myself from a punch and I noticed he hit my guard without turning his hand all the way, so I just threw the body shot off of that and he went down,” Coffie said. “I wanted to show a lot tonight. I worked on setting traps in the gym. I saw that he was lunging a lot with his lead hook. So, I was trying to sit back and get under that and throw an uppercut.”
On the undercard, Carlos Negron (22-3, 18 KOs) snapped the nine-fight winning streak of Rafael Rios (11-3, 8 KOs) with a second-round knockout at 2:33 of a scheduled six-rounder.
For a closer look at Ortiz vs Flores, check out our fight night page.