By Jake Donovan
The night was intended as a family affair for the fighting Ortiz brothers. The end result was settling for two out of three, as Antonio Ortiz suffered a split decision loss at the hands of Jovanni Santiago in their six-round main event Friday evening at Emilio Huyke Coliseum in Humacao, Puerto Rico.
Ortiz began strong, perhaps motivated by younger brothers Jantony and Freddie Ortiz, both of whom scored quick knockouts on the undercard. The 21-year old super lightweight was in control early, hurting Santiago in search of his second straight knockout.
Santiago quicky adjusted, controlling the action with his jab to neutralize Ortiz' attack. The strategy worked well enough to carry him to victory, although he was required to overcome a cut over his right eye.
The two fighters provided plenty of thrills for the crowd, most of whom were on their feet by fight's end. Ortiz managed a 58-56 nod on one card, but the score was overruled by matching scores in favor of Santiago to spoil the party.
Santiago improves to 3-0-1 (1KO), while Oritz suffers his first loss in falling to 6-1 (3KOs).
The bout headlined on WAPA Deportes,
presented by Promociones Miguel Cotto and Top Rank.
Rashidi Ellis remained unbeaten after scoring a third round stoppage over Regino Canales in a bout that featured a scary ending.
Ellis - a Massachusetts-based welterweight with ties to Bayamon, Puerto Rico - was anxious to get to work even before the opening bell sounded. The two fighters were talking trash during the referee's pre-fight instructions, but it was Ellis who backed up his words with swift boxing and well-timed counters.
The end came with Ellis scoring and Canales (6-6, 2KOs) reacting strangely while trapped in the corner. Both the referee and Canales' corner recognized something was wrong as the bout was mercifully stopped. The Caguas native was immediately attended to by ringside medical staff, as he was laid down and strapped to a gurney before being carried out of the ring.
Ellis, a 21-year old who celebrates one year in the pro ranks later this month, improves to 9-0 (7KOs). Each of his past five bouts have taken place in either Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic.
Not to be outdone by his baby brother, Jantony Ortiz flattened Edwin Rosado with the first punch he landed flush - a left hook straight across the chin that put Rosado down and out. The time spent observing the fallen fighter before halting the action was the only reason the fight lasted as long as it did - a grand total of 22 seconds.
Still a week shy of his 20th birthday, Ortiz improves to 2-0 (2KOs). The teenaged super flyweight made his pro debut last month, appearing on the undercard of Miguel Cotto's historic middleweight championship knockout win over Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden.
The WAPA Deportes-televised opener saw Freddie Ortiz (1-0, 1KO) enjoy a successful pro debut, stopping Alexis Adorno (0-1-1) in the 1st round of their featherweight bout. A left hook caused a delayed reaction knockdown, with Adorno going down and remaining on a knee for the full ten count.
The official time was 0:31 of round one.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: