Sunday, April 02, 2023  |



Luis Ortiz patiently annihilates Travis Kauffman

Heavyweight Luis Ortiz (right) power jabs Travis Kauffman before stopping the veteran in the 10th and final round of their Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury undercard bout. Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing
Fighters Network

LOS ANGELES — If there was any fear there, Travis Kauffman certainly masked it well. The middling heavyweight from Reading, Pennsylvania, likes to call himself “My Time.” He certainly looked like he wanted to take his time against the terror-punching southpaw Luis “King Kong” Ortiz in the scheduled 10-rounder at the Staples Center Saturday night on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight title fight.

Through 10 rounds, it appeared to be a matter of time before Ortiz would stop the overmatched, though spirited Kauffman, which is what he did at 1:58 of the 10th.

But the stoppage did not exactly enhance the 241-pound Ortiz’s marketing power. Ortiz (30-1, 26 knockouts) looked like he could have ended the fight much sooner than he did. The 229-pound Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) didn’t put up much resistance, but he showed he could take a punch — and he took many, probably too many than he should have, since he received little help from his corner in saving him from further punishment.


Still, Ortiz was calling out the winner of Wilder-Fury, which wouldn’t be a bad proposition.

“I’m a warrior,” proclaimed Ortiz. “Nothing contains me.  We didn’t have to knock him out, but we wanted to show everything we have in our repertoire, and we showed it tonight.

“Of course I’ll fight the winner of the main event (Wilder vs. Fury). I want that second fight with Wilder. I want to fight anybody.”

Ortiz should certainly be fresh enough. He landed almost 100 more total punches than Kauffman, 135-37.

The two did little in the first round. But it was clear Ortiz would be the stalker. The smaller, shorter Kauffman was willing to stay on the outside and not get too close.

In the second, Ortiz began closing the distance and patiently pecked away at Kauffman before landing a big right at the bell ending the stanza.

At 1:46 of the third, referee Thomas Taylor stopped the action after Ortiz landed a low blow. It didn’t change anything. With around :34 left in the round, Ortiz backed Kauffman against the ropes and jabbed away, but not didn’t engage.

With 1:57 left in the fourth, Ortiz’s patience with Kauffman seemed to be wearing thin. The Cuban expatriate beat his chest and ran after Kauffman, but again was not able to land anything substantial. Kauffman harassed Ortiz — not a good move — by holding his hands up and inviting Ortiz to hit him, which he did.

Through four rounds, Ortiz was comfortably ahead and Kauffman was willing to do nothing to rock Ortiz’s comfort zone.

Halfway through the fight, the theatrics of both fighters were more entertaining than any punches they threw.

In the sixth, Ortiz came out with the jab, and then unfurled an overhand left at around 2:34 of the round, dropping Kauffman for the first time. It was Ortiz basically saying he’d had enough, and it was his time to stop “My Time.” But to Kauffman’s credit, he did get up.

He still wasn’t willing to engage Ortiz and survived the round, though not through anything he himself did.

By the eighth, with Ortiz pitching a shutout against the reluctant Kauffman, a spattering of boos could be heard from the Staples Center crowd. It didn’t matter to the two fighters. At 2:37 of the eighth, an Ortiz left on the tip of Kauffman’s chin dropped the game Pennsylvania fighter a second time.

After the eighth, it would have been understandable if Kauffman’s corner would have stopped the fight, but they didn’t.

With 1:35 left in the ninth, Ortiz hit Kauffman low again, and Taylor stopped the fight a second time. That seemed to charge up Ortiz, who brutalized Kauffman, working his body and head.

By then, it seemed the only victory Kauffman was looking for was ways to last the whole 10.

To his credit, Kauffman showed great verve by hanging in before he was knocked down a third time with another left. With 1:12 left in the 10th, Ortiz landed a crushing left straight on Kauffman’s face, and that’s when “King Kong” opted to end it.

Ortiz poured on a series of power punches before Taylor mercifully halted it at 1:58.