Ortiz continues dominance as he stops Thompson in 6th. Vargas hands Ali first loss

Ortiz continues dominance as he stops Thompson in 6th. Vargas hands Ali first loss

By Daniel Zaldivar (Z-BoxingNews)

March 6, 2016


Tony Thompson could not find any answer for Luis Ortiz's power and strength on March 5.  Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty

Tony Thompson could not find any answer for Luis Ortiz's power and strength on March 5.  Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty

Known as “The Real King Kong,” Luis Ortiz has been forcing his way through the heavyweight division and Saturday night was no different at the DC Armory.


Tony Thompson had no answer for the heavy hands of Ortiz. He tasted the canvas in the opening round from an Ortiz left hand that kept pestering him through the bout. The 44-year-old Thompson barely made the referee's count in the first round, but was able to survive the remainder. 

“He is strong as advertised,” Thompson, who was fighting in his hometown of Washington DC, said. “It’s sad that my hometown got to see me at the end of my career versus the peak of my career. I just think it would have been a much better fight with prime Tony Thompson that’s all. But, the guy is as strong as a monster.”

Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) was able to drop Thompson twice more throughout the fight, with the final blow coming in the sixth round (as seen below) at 2 minutes and 29 seconds remaining. Ortiz, who is just shy of his 37th birthday, connected on 88 of 250 total punches, while Thompson finished with 43 of 221.

Being 44 and past his prime, Thompson wasn't ever viewed as a challenger leading up to the bout, which was broadcasted on HBO. He had only accepted this fight three weeks ago and really had no time to train. No other opponents who were offered the matchup with Ortiz wanted to step into the ring with him. The March 5 date had already been in place, even though Ortiz still had no official announced opponent. 

Thompson stepped up to the plate, however, struck out swinging like many before him against Ortiz. The Cuban and now Miami residing Ortiz, easily controlled the tempo and displayed the power and precision in his left hand. A possible fight with with Alexander Ustinov of Russia should be next, as he is the mandatory for Ortiz's interim WBA title. 

“You still haven’t seen the best of me,” Ortiz said after the fight. You have not seen the best of ‘King Kong.’ I am ready for anyone in the ring, anytime.”

Vargas adds a '1' to Ali loss column

Sadam Ali was supposed to fight Timothy Bradley Jr. after Bradley had defeated Jessie Vargas in a controversial ending last year in Los Angeles. Bradley instead chose for a third match with Manny Pacquiao and Ali and Vargas negotiated to step across the ring from each other. 

Vargas suffered his first professional loss to Bradley and had been vying for a rematch through the last several months. After no apparent negotiation window with Bradley and his team, Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) set his sights on Brooklyn's Ali, who had not suffered defeat until Saturday night. 

Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Both had their moments in the fight, however, it was Vargas who looked more calm and collected. The 27-year-old Vargas followed up on connected shots and did enough damage to essentially cause a closure to Ali's (22-1, 13 KOs) right eye. Ali didn't seem to capitalize on punches and stated he had injured his ankle sometime during the bout. The fifth round could have been the cause as Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, looked to lose his balance after throwing and barely glancing the top of Vargas' head. He fell against the ropes, but ultimately looked like he used them to bounce off and regain his balance. Ali went down twice in the ninth and the referee ended up calling the fight after Ali took a powerful straight right hand in the corner. 

“He caught me with a good shot,” Ali said of Vargas. “When I got up my ankle was messed up. No excuses. He landed some good shots, some shots I didn’t see. I was a little off. No excuses.”

Vargas was fighting under the coaching of Dewey Cooper, a 41-year-old former cruiserweight who last fought in 2012 in a TKO victory against Donnie Davis. Vargas has been notorious for switching his trainers throughout the past few years. Names such as Roger Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr., and Erik Morales have been at the helm of the Vargas team, which could indicate that Vargas has been confused on what type of fighter he wants to be. Whatever the case may be, Vargas still has revenge on his mind in terms of a rematch with Bradley, and this victory definitely did not hurt his case. 

“I want Bradley, win or lose [against Pacquiao],” Vargas said. “We have unfinished business.”

Daniel Zaldivar is a boxing contributor for Frontproof Media. He is the founder and CEO of Z-BoxingNews, which delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @Z_BoxingNews

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