Luis Ortiz Goes In With Bert Cooper Tonight, A Test For The Cuban Amateur Standout?

By James Slater: A heavyweight fight that might turn into an interesting encounter takes place tonight in Miami, Florida, as unbeaten Cuban defector Luis Ortiz, just 7-0(5) as a pro, goes in with the come-backing Bert Cooper. The recipient of virtually no pre-fight publicity (that I’ve seen anyway), the clash between the 45-year-old former title challenger and the 32-year-old prospect could mark as a step up in class for the southpaw with the reported 343-19 amateur record.

Based in Hollywood, California and representing The Heavyweight Factory stable, Ortiz has been a pro since February of last year and he has fought largely under the radar. Ortiz has been in with some good men though; especially for such a novice pro. The usually rock-solid Zack Page was stopped in the 8th-round last October and Ortiz has scored two stoppage wins this year. Looking a little hefty at 240-pounds (Ortiz tipped-in at 237 for tonight’s fight with Cooper), Ortiz, at first glance, may remind some fans of recent heavyweight title challenger Odlanier Solis.

It’s way too early to be able to tell if Ortiz - 6’4” and known as “Big Thing” - will live up to his promise, or fail as Solis did. We might get a bit of a clue tonight, in the Cooper fight.

“Smokin” Bert, 38-22(31) overall and 2-0(1) in his latest, unlikely comeback, looks to be in pretty good shape at a fraction above 237-pounds, and he can still fight. It’s truly amazing Cooper is still boxing here in 2011, after all the trials and tribulations he’s been through. Can he possibly extend his comeback with a win tonight?

Cooper always could punch and, as the saying goes, the punch is the last thing a fighter, a heavyweight especially, loses. Ortiz should win tonight, no doubt about it; it’s all about how he looks in doing so. Maybe Cooper can test his chin a little, maybe even take him further than he’s ever been at pro level (the fight is set for 10-rounds, Ortiz has previously been eight completed rounds just once).

Some knowledgeable fight folk believe Ortiz can go all the way. He can afford no slip-ups tonight against Cooper. It’s hard not to root for a gutsy old warrior like Cooper (and it really would be some story if he did win tonight and then went into a bigger fight or fights!), but an up-and-coming heavyweight is always one to watch. Hopefully, Ortiz is a “young” 32, who has not succumbed to the excesses that some of his fellow defectors did after arriving in the U.S.

The southpaw should be able to get a mid-rounds stoppage tonight, or failing that a clear points decision. If not, and if Cooper pulls off a win, he will have upset a lot of plans.

Article posted on 24.04.2011

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