Dull heavyweight decision doesn’t help Luis Ortiz in Monte Carlo

It was almost enough to make a fight fan miss Tyson Fury.

This was about as close as Luis Ortiz and Malik Scott got for most of their 12 round heavyweight fight in Monte Carlo Saturday. Photo: Sky Sports

SAN DIEGO, November 12, 2016 – The silver lining to the stinker of a fight between heavyweight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (26-0, 22 KOs) and American Malik Scott (38-3-1, 13 KOs) of Philadelphia is this: Ortiz will have more opponents lining up to try and take him out.

The anticipated showcase for the hard hitting Cuban exile Ortiz never materialized, as Scott refused to make himself a target while offering little offense of his own. Scott survived all 12 rounds, but I doubt many of the fans watching survived to the end as they found more exciting things to watch, like an infomercial.

It was almost enough to make a fan miss Tyson Fury.

Judges scores for the unanimous decision to Ortiz were 120-105, 120-106, and 119-106. The scorecards were boosted by two called knockdowns in the fifth and ninth rounds, but Scott was on the canvas several additional times in the fight.

Malik Scott was on the canvas several times in the fight, and complained about rabbit punches. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports
Malik Scott was on the canvas several times in the fight, and complained about rabbit punches. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports

Not all the blame can be placed on Scott. Ortiz was rusty after not having a fight in 11 months. If Scott wasn’t willing to engage, he needed to do something about it, similar to the way Gennady Golovkin bulldozed Willie Monroe Jr.

This fight was intended to remind boxing fans about Ortiz and whet their appetite for an Ortiz matchup with another rising heavyweight, likely the winner of the Joshua vs. Molina bout on December 10. Instead, fans watching commented on social media about the bad taste the fight left them.

Ortiz landed 146 of 472 punches thrown (31 percent); Scott landed just 45 of 155 punches thrown (29 percent). Do the math, Scott landed less than four punches per round, and Ortiz only 13. Ortiz landed 111 of 222 power punches (50 percent); Scott 42 of 136 (31 percent).

Ortiz remains undefeated, but he was unhappy the way the fight progressed. He told Sky Sports, “Ortiz blamed Scott for the scrappy fight after being forced to settle for a wide unanimous decision win.

“Malik was running around the ring and made it hard for me to fight,” said Ortiz. “Everybody comes to see a show and see someone fight and brawl. It made it hard for me. I’m a little disappointed because I wanted to knock him out, but he was moving around and made it hard.”

Even great fighters can have a poor outing once in a while. Fans might forgive Ortiz once, but Ortiz’s new promoter Eddie Hearn better put Ortiz in another tune-up with a more offense minded opponent before he gets in the ring against the bigger names like Joshua, Parker, or Wilder.

The undercard fights were more entertaining for the fans in Monaco and watching in Great Britain.

Jason Sosa and Stephen Smith gave fans an action-packed bout, with Sosa retaining his title.
Jason Sosa and Stephen Smith gave fans an action-packed bout, with Sosa retaining his title.

The fight that should have been televised instead of Ortiz vs. Scott was the main event of the evening. Stephen Smith of Liverpool and WBA super featherweight champion Jason Sosa of Puerto Rico threw caution to the wind and engaged in a no-holds barred, close quarters brawl. Smith suffered a badly cut eye in the third round, but he did his best not to let it bother him. The referee had it checked several times, and the fight was allowed to continue.

Smith won rounds along the way, but by the championship rounds Sosa was in control, Smith knew he needed a knockout. Smith hurt Sosa in the ninth, but Sosa was not going to be stopped. He kept Smith off with hard left hooks, and won the unanimous decision by 116-111, 117-110, and 116-112 to retain his title against Smith, who delivered a solid performance.

“I’m not going to stand here and give any more excuses,” said Smith “A bad start cost me. “I tried my best getting into the fight, but I think I lost it early … I believe I’ve got a lot left and I’ve got to regroup.”

Jamie McDonnell did enough to get the decision over a tough Libolis Solis. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports
Jamie McDonnell did enough to get the decision over a tough Libolis Solis. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports

WBA World Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell successfully defended his title against a determined Liberio Solis of Venezuela. As he did against Shinsuke Yamanaka in March, Solis started out strong and gave McDonnell a very tough fight. Several observers thought Solis did enough to win, but the judges scored it 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111 for McDonnell. The crowded booed upon hearing the scores. McDonnell insisted he felt in control the entire fight. He dodged a bullet in this one.

Super middleweight Martin Murray also prevailed in his unanimous decision victory over last minute opponent Nuhu Lawal with scores of 117-110 (X2) and 116-111. The durable Murray wore the game Lawal down in the end.

“He had a tough head, he was coming in low. We caught him a few times with a few power shots, but it was about slowing him down. He gave it a good go, but I showed that I was a class above.”

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

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