Heavyweight Luis Ortiz dominated Monte Barrett through three-plus rounds before stopping the veteran in Round 4 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., on Thursday.
It may hard to assess if Ortiz, a former Cuban amateur standout, is a legitimate contender as Barrett is nowhere near the fighter he used to be.
The bout headlined a “Night of the Heavyweights” card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
Ortiz had not fought since Nov. 26, when he knocked out Alex Gonzales in the first round. Up until Thursday night, Ortiz had not fought a fighter with any type of experience such as Barrett, a former contender and title challenger.
The 42-year-old Barrett has fought a who’s who of contenders and champions throughout his career. Prior to his fight against Ortiz, Barrett was knocked out in the fourth round by fringe contender Shane Cameron in July of 2012.
While Barrett may still have ring generalship, his reflexes are no where near what they used to be. From the opening round, Ortiz landed left crosses to the head of Barrett. Near the end of the first round, Ortiz landed a left cross to Barrett’s head, opening a cut below his right eye.
Barrett tried to counter with right crosses to Ortiz’s head, but fought in spurts and never really mounted any sustained and consistent offense.
As the fight progressed, Ortiz kept landing more at will. While Barrett was not noticeably hurt, he repeatedly kept getting hit to the head. Barrett was not able to keep his hands up in time as Ortiz mostly landed to the head.
Moments into the Round 4, Ortiz landed a hard left hand across Barrett’s head. Barrett immediately grabbed what looked to be his nose and took a knee. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stepped in and stopped the bout at 38 seconds.
The Cuban-born Ortiz, who resides in Miami, Fla., goes to 21-0, 18 knockouts. Barrett, from Queens, N.Y., drops to 35-11-2, 20 KOs.
De La Hoya cruises to decision win
Featherweight prospect Diego De La Hoya dropped Jaxel Marrero in Round 1, eventually winning a one-sided six-round unanimous decision.
De La Hoya, who is the cousin the Oscar De La Hoya, dropped Marrero with a straight right hand 30 seconds into the first round. After Marrero got up from the knockdown, the 19-year-old De La Hoya chose to box and not go in for the kill.
Trained by Joel Diaz, De La Hoya mixed in an assortment of combinations behind a jab. Marrero tried to hang in there, but was mostly fighting on the defensive as De La Hoya would beat him to the punch.
It looked as though De La Hoya hurt Marrero near the end of the Round 5. Luckily for Marrero, his mouthpiece came out twice during the round, giving him time to recover from absorbing punishment from De La Hoya.
All three judges scored the bout 60-53 in favor of De La Hoya, who improves to 4-0, 3 KOs. Marrero, from Puerto Rico, drops to 1-2-1.
Washington scores questionable KO
Heavyweight Gerald Washington scored a controversial second-round knockout over Skip Scott.
Washington, who played collegiate football at USC, stopped Aaron Lyons in Round 5 of his last fight on Jan. 24, which also took place in Indio. Scott entered his fight against Washington having won 16 fights in a row after losing his professional debut.
Both fighters threw wild hooks and crosses and clenched often during the first round. Both fighters landed an occasional punch during that time.
During an exchange midway through the second round, Scott dropped to one knee, although it did not appear he was dropped from a punch. While Scott was on one knee, Washington threw and landed a right to Scott’s body. Scott went down to the canvas, writhing in pain. He would get up, but fell down again, prompting referee Dr. Lou Moret to stop the bout at 1:40.
Scott complained to Moret that he was hit while he was on one knee. Television replays confirmed that.
Washington, from Vallejo, Calif., goes to 12-0, 9 KOs. Scott, from Houston, Texas, drops to 16-2, 10 KOs.
Breazeale decisions Aguilera
In the first televised bout of the Golden Boy Live! telecast, heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale saw the final bell for the first time in his career, winning an eight-round unanimous decision over Nagy Aguilera.
Breazeale had not fought past the fourth round in any of his previous nine bouts, while Aguilera has faced some of the best heavyweight prospects and contenders in boxing, including Chris Arreola, Tomasz Adamek, and Oleg Maskaev.
After an even Round 1, Breazeale began imposing his strength and four-inch height advantage. Towards the end of Round 2, Breazeale stunned Aguilera with a barrage of punches.
Aguilera did find some success landing a straight jab or two through the guard of Breazeale. He was not busy enough though, as Breazeale would walk him down, keeping Aguilera on the defensive.
Breazeale continued to batter Aguilera with wide, yet effective hooks and crosses to the head of Aguilera. There were times when Breazeale rocked or stunned Aguilera, especially at the end of the Round 5. Not to be outdone, Aguilera landed a counter left hook that stunned Breazeale right before the bell sounded.
Breazeale still controlled the tempo in the second half of the fight, but his punch output dropped with each passing round. Aguilera fought in spurts, but never had Breazeale in any significant trouble.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Breazeale, 79-73, 79-73, and 80-72. According to final PunchStat numbers, Breazeale landed 248 total punches to Aguilera’s 99.
Breazeale, fighting out of Alhambra, CA, improves to 10-0, 9 KOs. The Dominican-born Aguilera, who fights out of Houston, TX, drops to 19-8, 13 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing