Saturday, June 22, 2024  |



Golden Boy targets March or April return for Luis Ortiz

Fighters Network
Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

He fills the bill of what we want, traditionally, from our standout heavyweights. He looks to separate a foes’ head from his shoulders.
Brutal truth, yes.
But there is a ceiling to the popularity of the skills pay the bills guys not named Mayweather. We the people respond to the excitement and finality of the knockout and, perception is there in some corners, that Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz is THE guy in the heavyweight space to best offer those elements when he gloves up.
Ortiz finished the year in boxing with a bang; he handled solid Philly pugilist Bryant Jennings Dec. 19 with relative ease and did so in a fan friendly manner. So, when does he glove up next? I posed that query to Golden Boy exec Eric Gomez.
“The kid wants to fight anyone, anywhere, any place,” he told me.
Nope, nothing is set for next, though. “We want him back in as soon as possible. He’s always in the gym but time is not on his side. He is now on a position to reap the rewards of what he’s sown.”
The 24-0 (21 knockouts) Ortiz is 37 in March, and started his pro stint late. But he can’t just wave a wand and make up ground.
“People don’t want to fight him,” Gomez continued. “I think we have to model a campaign, beat the drums, make the fans make the fight.”
A March or April return, on HBO, is likely.
Gomez and I agreed that many a time, buzz and momentum is lost after a standout win, and promoters and networks could do a better job channeling buzz. But as we said, the volunteer pool can tend to shrink when people see a legit beast. It looks like Ortiz is just that.