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Jennings Vs. Ortiz - "Somebody's Statement"
By Allan Cerf, Dog House Boxing (Dec 19, 2015)

Bryant Jennings
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Bryant Jennings, 31, of Philadelphia, takes on Cuban defector and convicted drug cheat Luis Ortiz, 36, in what is a marginally more interesting bout than might have been the case had Klitschko the Younger held on to his belts in his fight with Tyson fury. Because of that shake-up at the top and boxing's unending politics, both Jennings and Ortiz have a shot at holding 'some' sort of title before too long.

Jennings, who came to boxing at the absurdly late age of 24 and is listed as having, like Ortiz, an extrodinary 84" wing span, is not the knockout artist his moniker, "Bye Bye" would indicate. In fact, it's around 50%. His fight with a far-past-prime Klitschko was interesting in that despite rattlling Vlad repeatedly, he did not come close to winning. He's a fair defensive fighter but can certainly be hit with jabs. Ortiz has serious power but more than Klitscko? Doubtful. Jennings is intelligent, articulate and a Philadelphian - and Philly's famed gym wars are real. The question is, having turned pro so late, how many gym wars were there for Jennings? How much of those Philly Boxing smarts could he possibly have accumulated in such a short time? One certainty: Jennings is a hell of an athlete to have started boxing at such an advanced age and made any kind of Mark.

Luis Ortiz is a bit of a riddle inside an enigma. Yes, he had 350 amateur fights in arguably the best amateur system (Cuban) of all-time. It's very important to note however, Ortiz did NOT succeed at the top levels of amateur competition. Nor was life terrible in Cuba, as he did not leave until age 30 and makes clear it's his boxing 'dream,' not any kind of political hell, which compelled him to leave. He tested positive for Nandrolone which can come about from horsemeat, a staple in Cuba. However, when queried about his diet, he mentioned every kind of meat- except horse. Interestingly, his attorney pleaded in part that his client has little time left in boxing, a statement with which this writer concurs. As to the brass tacks of his fight game, Ortiz is a very clever, very quick southpaw with serious pop. He also is great at feinting, which is remarkable for a really big man.

Fighters Scorecards:

Bryant Jennings:

Speed: B

Power: C

Defense: B

Reach: A

Stamina: B+

Experience: B

Age: C

Average of all letter grades: B-

Luis Ortiz:

Speed: B+

Power: B

Defense: B

Reach: A

Stamina: B

Experience: C

Age: C-

Average of all letter grades: B-

Reality Check

Folks, let's hope things get really heated and both men go for a knockout which I think could reasonably happen as Ortiz has a very good KO ratio and is very aggressive; Bryant may have no choice but slug. The inside scoop in my opinion, is that despite Ortiz's huge amateur pedigree and Bryant's miraculous success at a business which generally requires one start as a child, both are prospects. Now - I didn't say, 'gate-keepers.' Good prospects. Perhaps even great ones - but prospects. Ortiz was not a great amateur star for all his experience and states that Bryant has the greater pro experience! Bryant on the other hand may have given Klitscko some serious fits, but he didn't come close to winning.

The Fight

I see both giants coming out swinging heavy with their telephone poll arms and both connecting for about 6 rounds, with heavy leather. Jennings is bound to have the greater stamina, witness the chunky Ortiz resorting to Nandrolone to presumably build lean muscle mass. So, Jennings should weather the storm and have good success in the later rounds to win a close but clear, decision. Jenning's, who in typical modern fashion, can't call a spade a spade, views his defeat to Klitscko not as a defeat (that's a quote) but merely s a learning experience. Bryant, school's out big guy and you must win. Someone will make a statement in this fight and I believe in fact it will be Bryant.

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