Saturday, April 01, 2023  |


Luis Ortiz unable to stop unwilling Malik Scott, wins 12-round decision

Unbeaten heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz. Photo: Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

Luis Ortiz’s 12-round unanimous decision over Malik Scott on Saturday wasn’t the showcase HBO was hoping for, but at least the Cuban heavyweight contender got some much-needed exposure and rounds under his belt. Ortiz, THE RING’s No. 4-rated heavyweight, won by lopsided scores of 120-105, 120-106 and 119-106, fighting past eight rounds for the first time.

Scott, whose sole goal was clearly to go the distance, did not offer any kind of professional resistance. The 36-year-old Philadelphia native spent most of the fight trying to stay away from Ortiz (26-0, 22 knockouts), and though he failed to win rounds he did avoid taking punishment from the ballyhooed former amateur standout.

Ortiz, a 37-year-old southpaw boxer-puncher, has world-class speed, power and technique. He is regarded as one of the top big men in the sport, capable of winning the heavyweight championship (which is why the Scott fight was televised on Sky Sports in the U.K. and on HBO in the U.S.), but his ring-cutting ability isn’t among his better attributes.

Inactivity could have played a part in Ortiz’s unimpressive performance against the American underdog. The Miami resident last fought in March, when he scored a sixth-round KO of veteran gatekeeper Tony Thompson. Ortiz then sat out the middle part of the year while he switched promotional companies, from Golden Boy Promotions to U.K.-based Matchroom Boxing, which presented Saturday’s show in Monte Carlo.

Scott (38-2-1, 13 KOs), who suffered stoppages to Derek Chisora (TKO 6) and Deontay Wilder (KO 1) in his last five bouts, had not fought since a 10-round decision over Thompson last October.

Ortiz stalked Scott behind a steady jab to the body and head, scoring awkward knockdowns off his vaunted left hand in Rounds 4, 5 and 9 (courtesy of a body shot), but he was unable to corner and put Scott away. He was effective but unspectacular. He soundly beat Scott but was unable to hurt him. The questions is, following a performance like this, did Ortiz hurt his reputation? That’s up to fans to decide.