New York's Latino Saturday Night of Boxing • Latino Sports


New York’s Latino Saturday Night of Boxing


New York, NY –  Luis “King Kong” Ortiz and Sullivan Barrera attempted to make boxing history at different venues in New York City Saturday night and failed in their attempt in becoming the first fighters from Cuba to win major championships in two weight classes.

Ortiz almost dethroned WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Barrera lost by TKO in the 12th and final round at Madison Square Garden to champion Dmitry Bivol and failed to take the WBO light heavyweight title

It was that unprecedented evening of boxing in the Big Apple of two shows at different venues. And fans were not disappointed watching on Showtime and HBO as titles were decided.

Said Ortiz through an interpreter, who was ahead in the fight before getting stopped in the 10th round, “ I feel fine. I did receive a right hand but I’m OK. I was listening to the directions that my corner was giving me, In this sport any punch can end a fight. In the ring anything can happen.”

And it almost happened for Ortiz who was ahead on points and had Widler in the seventh round. But Wilder, who defended his title for the seventh time was able to counter later as Ortiz, who threw a lot of punches in the early going seemed to lose his stamina.

Barrera up until the stoppage took one round on the three judges scorecards. He was handled with the right from WBA champion Dmitry Bivol and showed his courage and tenacity to stay with the champion. The 35 year old Barrera, the mandatory challenger and resident of Miami who left Cuba, was never in the fight as Bivol a former Olympian from Russia won his 13th pro fight and exited the ting at 13-0 with 11 KO’s.

Credit: Main Events

Villarreal Wins at Garden Again: The 20-year old Ismael Villarreal and son of former super lightweight fighter Otilio won his second pro fight as a junior middleweight. Back in November, Villarreal won his pro debut and the plan is to fight again in two months after his four round unanimous decision over 1-7 Anthony Woods.

“Threw more punches to the body tonight and did well with the combinations,” he said. Villarreal is promoted by Main Events that staged the Garden card of boxing, He continues to pursue a degree at Bronx Community College in criminal justice and intends to fight four more times this year.

Said his manager, Joe Santiago of Catalina Puerto Rico, “We will keep him (Villarreal) busy with Main Events where there is a promotional deal.” Santiago also manages junior flyweights 4-1 Rene Santiago and 11-2 Brian Aqueno….

And Frank Galarza of Brooklyn who was born in Puerto Rico won his second straight fight at the Garden under the Main Events banner. Galarza, 32, after a 14-month layoff before his first fight back in November had a rough go with Norberto Gonzalez, 24-11, 14 KO’s of Monterrey Mexico.

But Galarza went to the body and pulled out the 8-round unanimous decision and improved to 19-2-2 with 11 KO’s.

“I had a chance to show skill and ability in the ring and show my tools,” he said, “We got the round and I’m happy about that. I give myself a B, what do you think about that? I’m satisfied with the performance and happy lo be back with Main Events and doing a good job.”

Main Events plans a return to the Garden in July. Kovalev could have a unification bout with Bivol or the winner of the Adonis Stevenson- Budu Jack title fight that takes place next month. Villarreal and Galarza both under Main Events contracts will also return to the Garden ring.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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