(Photo Credit: Bryan Quiles/Fresh Productions Boxing)
It's safe to say that the Coliseo Tomas Dones will forever hold a special place in the heart of Abimael Ortiz.
Two years after enjoying his pro debut in the venue, it has now also played host to the biggest win of his young career. Ortiz scored a minor upset in stopping Jantony Ortiz in the 5th round of their super bantamweight clash Saturday evening in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
A pair of knockdowns late in the round—the latter coming right at the bell—produced the shock ending for Abimael in a battle of unbeaten Boricua super bantamweights.
It was far from the ending envisioned by Jantony Ortiz, who represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 London Olympics but whose four-year pro career had yet to offer anything even remotely indicative of his lofty amateur credentials. From the opening bell, it was alarmingly apparently that he wasn't going to change that perception on this particular evening although still offering everything he physically had.
Mentally, he never seemed prepared from the relentless onslaught Abimael brought into the ring. The attack led to a thrilling five-round affair largely fought at a phone booth's distance, which provided Jantony a great deal of in-ring discomfort.
Still, the action was fever pitched for more than four rounds before disaster struck for the betting favorite. Fighting less than 30 minutes from his Humacao hometown, Jantony did his best to brave the attack of his relentless opponent before succumbing to a wicked body shot late in round five. He beat the count and even survived a wrestling-style takedown, but even with just 10 more seconds to survive the frame was still very much caught in the crosshairs.
Abimael—who fights out of Cidra, PR—was determined to close the show, racing across the ring to land a flying left hook and a window-dressing right hand to send Jantony sprawling to the canvas. At best, it can be argued that the knockdown just as the bell sounded should have provided the referee not only the opportunity to administer an eight-count, but even the chance to see if the one-minute rest period between rounds would allow the fallen boxer the chance to continue.
Instead, the bout was instantaneously halted, an equally fair call as the referee was responding more to Jantony's body language upon collapsing to the canvas rather than how much time was left in the round.
The official time was 2:59 of round five.
Abimael Ortiz improves to 5-0-1 (3KOs), the win coming barely two years past his pro debut in this very venue.
"Jantony is a great opponent, but we knew we had to beat him," Abimael Ortiz noted after the contest. "[T]hat was not going to be a(n) easy task because of his great boxing abilities. Thanks to Fresh Productions Boxing for trusting me and giving me this scenario to show what can I do and grateful to Jantony for the opportunity to fight him."
Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for Jantony Ortiz who falls to 8-1 (4KOs) in suffering his first loss since his exit during the second round of the 2012 London Olympics.
As impressive as was Abimael, it's perhaps his stablemate and Fajardo's very own Subriel Matias who remains a red-hot prospect to watch. The unbeaten local knockout artist continues to enjoy one hell of a 2018 in-ring campaign, adding to a breakthrough year and preserving his perfect knockout-to-win ratio following a 4th round knockout of faded former contender Breidis Prescott.
The traffic was largely one-way in the preliminary affair, with Matias slowly breaking down the Miami-based Colombian before forcing the stoppage late in round four. The win adds to a year that includes stoppages over noted Mexican slugger Adrian Estrella and Breidis' brother Daulis Prescott in advancing to 11-0 (11KOs).
Both bouts came on a nine-fight card which was streamed on Fresh Production Boxing's Facebook page.