Luis Ortiz works hard but Wins Wide Decision Over Christian Hammer

When the final bell rang Saturday night, Christian Hammer raised his hands, pumped his fists and smiled to the crowd.

Hammer didn’t defeat Luis Ortiz, but he scored a figurative victory just by lasting all 10 rounds against one of the heavyweight division’s biggest punchers. Ortiz was expected to win this bout by knockout, yet the 6-feet-4, 238¾-pound contender settled for a convincing points win against a game Hammer at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Judge Joseph Pasquale scored all 10 rounds for Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC). Judges John Basile (99-91) and Waleska Roldan (99-91) each scored nine of the 10 rounds for Ortiz, whose win was the second of three fights Showtime televised.

Ortiz’s victory over Germany’s Hammer came one day shy of the one-year anniversary of his memorable battle with Wilder.

The hard-hitting Wilder dropped Ortiz three times in that fight, twice in the 10th round, when it was stopped. Ortiz had hurt Wilder late in the seventh round, but he failed to finish off the WBC champion.

The courageous Hammer came to fight Saturday night, too, and took Ortiz’s vicious shots all the way until the final bell. The Romanian-born, Germany-based Hammer (24-6, 14 KOs) didn’t land nearly enough punches to win, but he caught Ortiz with enough right hands to keep the hard-hitting southpaw honest.

He also mocked Ortiz at times during an entertaining encounter by pretending Ortiz’s left hands hurt him. There were times Ortiz hurt Hammer to the body, just not enough to afford Ortiz chances to capitalize.

The hard-hitting Wilder dropped Ortiz three times in that fight, twice in the 10th round, when it was stopped. Ortiz had hurt Wilder late in the seventh round, but he failed to finish off the WBC champion.

Ortiz, 39, won a third straight fight since suffering his lone loss to Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs). He previously knocked out Razvan Cojanu (16-5, 9 KOs) and Travis Kaufmann (32-3, 23 KOs, 1 NC) in the second and 10th rounds, respectively, on July 28 and December 1 – each time at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The busier, more accurate Ortiz spent the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds out-landing the retreating Hammer. The former WBA interim champion couldn’t hurt Hammer bad enough to end their fight, though.

Ortiz attacked Hammer early in the sixth round. He landed a left hand to the body in that round that made Hammer move away, eventually into his own corner.

Ortiz tried to land fight-changing power shots while Hammer was backed into his corner.

Ortiz tattooed Hammer with left hands throughout the first half of the fifth round. Hammer made him stop punching by blasting Ortiz with a right hand that bloodied Ortiz’s nose.

Continual left hands by Ortiz bloodied Hammer’s nose during the fourth round. Hammer had his moments during those three minutes as well, mostly by keeping Ortiz honest by landing occasional right hands.

Ortiz was wobbled by an accidental clash of heads early in the second round. Ortiz’s left glove touched the canvas as he tried to keep himself upright, but Murdaugh correctly avoided counting that as a knockdown.

Hammer attempted to follow up and drilled Ortiz with several straight right hands.

Those shots awakened Ortiz, who fired back hard shots of his own. Ortiz blasted Hammer with a straight left to the body late in the second round, which caused Hammer to retreat and stick out his tongue at Ortiz.

Ortiz clipped Hammer with straight left hands during the first round, but Hammer stood his ground and came forward. Hammer hit Ortiz with a hard, straight right hand with just under 30 seconds to go in the first round.

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