“Well anyway, neither Beast nor man. Something monstrous. All powerful. Still living. Still holding that island in a grip of deadly fear. Well, every legend has a basis of truth.”—From King Kong (1938)
Saturday night at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, interim WBA World heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs), the lethal southpaw from Miami, Florida, by way of Camaguey, Cuba, successfully defended his title by stopping Bryant “By-By” Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs), from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the seventh round of a scheduled 12-round fight.
Ortiz landed several body blows in the opening seconds to make his presence and punches felt. Jennings responded in kind with a few shots to the champ’s head. Midway through the first, Ortiz tagged Jennings with a right hook followed by a straight left. The challenger retreated to the ropes and held on to buy some time. Another left rocked Jennings less than a minute later. Ortiz was in the zone. He was a sharpshooter with a bazooka. He was determined to get the Philly fighter out of there.
In round two Jennings closed the gap and targeted the soft midsection of the man before him, but Ortiz was having none of it. He landed a hard right uppercut. Jennings was looking to avoid Ortiz’s thunderous left hand. Good luck with that. One can run, but one can’t hide, and “The Real King Kong” landed another big left (this time an uppercut) that had Jennings on the ropes and gasping for air.
Ortiz won rounds one and three with his dazzling offense. Jennings reasserted himself in the fourth. “Kong” danced and jabbed in the fifth, before landing another left uppercut with a minute to go before the bell.
Ortiz and Jennings used the ring and traded jabs in the sixth.
Jennings dug deep in round seven and caught Ortiz with a right hook but failed to capitalize. The two samurai traded punches when a perfectly timed double left uppercut caught Jennings and put him down the first time as a professional. He beat the count and appeared frustrated. Ortiz loves to hit frustrated fighters and landed a right jab followed a short left hook. “By-By” stumbled backwards and into the ropes. He was hurt. Ortiz connected with another left hook which prompted referee Richard Podozki to wave it off at 2:41.
Following the stoppage, Ortiz said he’s ready to face the top heavyweights in the division. “The Real King Kong” is the real deal and the other champions, if they have any say in the matter, might want avoid him like the plague.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.