Boxing


Cuba’s Luis Ortiz Smashes Bert Cooper To Defeat, Probable Retirement With 2nd-Round TKO

By James Slater: Unbeaten Cuban defector Luis Ortiz romped to 8-0(6) last night in Miami, as he made brutally short work of veteran former heavyweight title challenger Bert Cooper. The 32-year-old southpaw, taking something of a step up, showed good hand speed and accurate, powerful shots to head and body. Sporting a new platinum blonde hairstyle, the man who had close to 400 amateur fights never allowed Cooper into the fight.

“Smokin” Bert was staggered badly in the final stages of the 1st-round and the punishment continued in the 2nd. Downed twice from head shots, the gutsy 45-year-old bravely beat the count on both occasions, but he could do nothing but cover up as “Big Thing” teed off on him with speedy punches. Finally, at the 1-minute and 29 second mark of the 2nd, referee Frank Gentile stopped the fight, saving Bert from further punishment. Cooper, who must surely retire for good now that his fanciful comeback has been derailed (hey, he gave it a shot, and had won his previous two) is now 38-23(31).

It’s still way too early to tell if Ortiz is the real deal or not. He sure looked good last night, but how much did Cooper have left? Still, the young-looking, fresh and energetic 32-year-old is without doubt a heavyweight to keep an eye on. In good condition at 237 (some fans say he could do with perhaps dropping a few pounds, even though he stands at 6’4”), Ortiz showed plenty of sparkle.

Now having had three fights this year, it is to be hoped Ortiz will remain busy, perhaps fighting again in a couple of months or so. Maybe, just maybe, Ortiz is a future jewel who will shine and go all the way. It would be great to see the amateur standout put in with the likes of a Chazz Witherspoon, a Dominick Guinn, a Jason Estrada or maybe a DaVarryl Williamson (who stopped another young heavyweight in Michael Marrone last night). Or, how about this for a match-up of up-and-comers: Ortiz Vs. Tyson Fury!

We want to know how good Ortiz is, maybe either one of the guys I’ve mentioned would be able to show us.

As for Cooper, he deserves some credit, and he also deserves a happy retirement. Never afraid to fight whoever his team put in front of him, the Philly warrior did well to come back after an eight-year hiatus and win a couple of bouts. He was in too deep last night against his young opponent but he tried his best. Bert will never be close to going into any Hall of Fame, but fighters like he are the backbone of the sport. And Cooper sure did give us some thrills during his amazing, 62-fight, 27-year pro career!

Article posted on 24.04.2011



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