Premier Boxing Champions brought us a fun showdown between Vito Mielnicki Jr. and Nicholas DeLomba for Christmas and they’re back at it with a heavyweight scrap between Luis Ortiz and Charles Martin for New Year’s Day. The boxing odds have Ortiz as the favorite, but with a potential title shot on the line, expect this one to be a competitive scrap.
- Date: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
- Venue: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, FL
- Watch on: Pay Per View
Ortiz vs Martin: Gunning for Another Shot
Ortiz (32-2-0, 27 KOs) and Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) are longtime veterans who are looking for one final shot at glory. They were both former champions who have only lost to the best: The Deontay Wilders and Anthony Joshuas of the world.
Ortiz won the WBA interim title six years ago while Martin was a former IBF champion. Although both have a knockout rate of over 80 percent in their victories, these two couldn’t be more different in style. This would make for a match that could go either way despite the online gambling odds strongly favoring the Cuban.
Martin Seeks to Recapture Gold
At 36 years old, Martin appears to still have plenty of shelf life. He is coming off his biggest career victory by knocking out Gerald Washington early in 2020, stringing together consecutive KO wins to stake his claim at a title shot.
Martin may have fallen short against the likes of Adam Kownacki and Joshua, but he has dusted the other 17 opponents he’s faced. Against Kownacki, Martin lost, but not without gaining a few fans as he gave the Polish slugger a fight. The pair traded heavy leather in the final round in what many pundits considered a “Round of the Year” contender.
So even in a loss, Martin increased his stock. If he can get past Ortiz, who has not lost to anyone outside of Wilder, it would be a big feather on his cap as he looks to return to the top of the mountain.
Ortiz Out to Prove He’s Still a Top Contender
At 42 years-old, Ortiz’s chances at changing the narrative of his career is quickly coming to a close. While he did hold an interim title, Ortiz will best be remembered for his close calls. He almost won the 2005 Boxing World Cup in Moscow, finishing with a silver.
After moving up from the amateur ranks, Ortiz came within a few punches of handing Wilder his first professional loss. Ortiz’s first fight with Wilder was the first time Wilder looks vulnerable. But Ortiz could not quite close the deal. He would once again come up short in the rematch.
Now, Ortiz will be heavily backed to get past Martin and book a shot against the new champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
Provided that Ortiz does not “show his age,” he should be able to dispatch of Martin and be an “easy” bet online. Earning the moniker of “King Kong,” Ortiz will still have the counterpunching acumen and heavy hands to dust any boxer, Usyk included.
This is it for Ortiz. He will need to kick that proverbial door down and seize his shot.