Luis Ortiz outpoints Christian Hammer in a one-sided affair.
At age 39, Luis Ortiz (32-1, 26KO) couldn’t afford any setbacks; essentially making any fight he’s in a must-win. As for Hammer (26-5, 14KOs), this is a step-up fight where if victorious, he immediately enters the the upper tier of the heavyweight division.
A loss for the German would relegate him to journeyman status.
To start the fight, Ortiz immediately shows his superior footwork; circling Hammer while landing his jab. The Romanian born German fighter didn’t throw many jabs, however, was very alert looking to counter and successfully forced a few exchanges.
In round two, Hammer buckled Ortiz with a body shot, nearly dropping him. Ortiz, undaunted, began to hook off his jab while mixing in his straight-left. Before the round ended, Ortiz stunned Hammer with a body shot of his own.
As the fight entered the middle rounds, Ortiz’s superior skill surfaced as he began to pick his opponent apart. There was an ominous tone to the fight. While he is seemingly breaking down Hammer, the German slugger is doing damage with his right-counters.
He even managed to bloody the Cuban tactician’s nose. Ortiz would respond by settling down and keeping Hammer on the end of his jab. This seems to be the easiest and most effective approach, as Ortiz is faster and technically on a higher tier.
As the rounds go by, the lack of activity is costing Hammer rounds and eliminating paths to victory. Going into the tenth and final round, it was apparent he would need a knockout to win. Ortiz was having no parts of a Hammer comeback, as he took charge landing jabs and straight lefts to the body.
The final scores were 100-90 on one scorecard and 99-91 on the remaining two scorecards, all for Luis Ortiz.
As for what’s next for the winner, it’s very interesting. With his back against the wall, he needs a clear path to one of the champions. The best case scenario would seem to be a fight against Dominic Breazele or Dillian Whyte.
The problem there is that WBC champion Deontay Wilder will have first choice between the two candidates. As for Hammer, this one sided loss has put him in journeyman status.
By: Corey Cunningham