Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over a game Christian Hammer (24-6, 14 KOs). Although the judges scored the fight 100-90 and 99-91 twice, both men fought through bloody noses at different points in the fight and both were stunned in a back-and-forth second round.
Ortiz, who earned his third consecutive victory since dropping a thrilling slugfest with WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder one year ago, is now looking for another world title shot.
“The fight wasn’t what I was expecting,” said Ortiz. “It was a hard fight and my corner really had to work with me. After I got the rhythm, I heated up a little bit. Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40-years-old. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I’m ready.”
Although Hammer fought with more energy and with more resolve than in previous fights with other top-tier heavyweights Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin, Ortiz used his superior technique and skills to eventually cruise to the lopsided decision.
Ortiz averaged 45 jabs thrown per round and landed 61 jabs to just 20 for Hammer, while also connecting on 49 percent of his power punches. Ortiz made a conscious effort to attack Hammer’s body with 33.6% of his total connects (45 of 140) coming via body shots.
“I fought a fight that I hadn’t for years, which is box and work,” said Ortiz. “So I’m not disappointed I didn’t knock him out because I showed some of my boxing skills tonight.”
Also on the card, Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KOs) caught Bryan De Gracia (24-2-1, 20 KOs) with a vicious right uppercut in the ninth, stunning his opponent and suddenly breaking open a close fight. Ramirez pounced on the dazed De Gracia and unleashed a wave of punches which forced referee Benjy Esteves to call the fight at 2:10 of round nine.