Luis Ortiz vs. Bryant Jennings: Winner, Recap and Reaction

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIDecember 20, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Jr. kneels in the center of the ring at the end of his welterweight title fight against Andre Berto, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. Mayweather ran his perfect record to 49-0, tying a mark set by the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Luis Ortiz had been dealing with the flu all week.

That didn't stop him from taking command early and often and making quick work of Bryant Jennings on Saturday as Ortiz retained his WBA interim world heavyweight title via seventh-round knockout.

Ortiz's fight came just weeks after Tyson Fury upset Wladimir Klitschko to become the new world heavyweight champion. After years of domination by Klitschko, there's a new injection of life in the heavyweight division, and Ortiz knows it.

“I know it’s a new era," Ortiz said, via translator, to HBO's Max Kellerman after the fight. "Everyone has to take me into consideration as a heavyweight.”

It didn't take much time for Ortiz to impose his will on Jennings. He caught Jennings with a short left hook to the jaw midway through the first round, rattling his opponent. He followed that up with a right jab, which put Jennings on the ropes early.

HBO Boxing pointed out how many power shots Ortiz got off, and connected with, in Round 1:

HBOboxing @HBOboxing

CompuBox Power Punches through one round: @BYJennings 10/21 48% | Ortiz 32/68 47% #JenningsOrtiz

Bad Left Hook scored the first round for Ortiz but also joked about the previous fight between Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa, which ended in a draw but shouldn't have:

Bad Left Hook @badlefthook

Jennings got hurt repeatedly in round one. Tom Schreck scores it 10-9 Jennings ha ha ha I am making #boxing joke

For the next few rounds, Jennings controlled the pace. He didn't turn the tide, but he did enough to stay on his feet and make Ortiz work for every shot he could get in. Jennings even landed his own shots in the third and fourth rounds and appeared to win at least one of those rounds.

But the seventh round was all Ortiz needed to end it. A left uppercut sent Jennings to the mat, and while Jennings got back up, he couldn't regain his composure. Ortiz picked up the 21st knockout of his career, while Jennings tasted defeat for the second time ever.

ESPN.com's Dan Rafael commented on Ortiz's win:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Ortiz VICIOUS knockdown in 7th and then finishes him. Ortiz VERY impressive destruction. #OrtizJennings #boxing

One man has dominated the heavyweight division for a long time, but now that he's off the pedestal, fighters such as Ortiz have a chance to take the reins.


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