Sunday, June 28, 2009

Marcos Maidana defeats Victor Ortiz

Victor Ortiz’s left eye was nearly swollen shut, and his right eye was ringed by a deep cut. Bruises and abrasions covered much of the rest of his face. Argentina’s Marcos Maidana stopped Ortiz early in the sixth round of an action-packed fight Saturday night, leaving one of the sport’s top prospects pulverized and chastened.

The 140-pound bout featured five knockdowns and several wild momentum swings that both thrilled and stunned a Staples Center crowd of 8,600 expecting to witness another step in the evolution of the 22-year-old Ortiz, a charismatic slugger ticketed for stardom by promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

Maidana was knocked down three times in the opening two rounds, yet rallied with a devastating right hand that turned Ortiz’s face into a mess. After Ortiz stumbled to the canvas early in the sixth, the ringside doctor stopped the fight.

“I knew I was fighting against the local guy, and I had to knock him out,” said Maidana, whose only previous loss was a contentious split decision to Andreas Kotelnik earlier this year. “I went down, but I got up because I have a big heart. I saw that Victor felt my punches, and I said, ‘I know I can win this.”’


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