VERONA, NEW YORK - The 2015 boxing year culminated with a tremendous show at Turning Stone Resort Casino as WBA Interim Heavyweight Champion Luis "The Real King Kong" Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) closed the show by maintaining his title with a knockout-of-the-year candidate over Bryant "Bye - Bye" Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs) in the seventh round of their scheduled bout live on HBO Boxing After Dark.
"Today, there is a new era in the heavyweight division," Ortiz, who landed a vicious uppercut to end the fight, said. "Jennings is fighter who deserves much respect, but he can tell you that I am a force in the heavyweight division. I am going to go out and obtain my objective.
"I have been training for a big fight of this magnitude for three years. My strategy was to keep him at a distance and I was able to do that effectively with my reach and my jab. I will fight whoever next, whoever Golden Boy Promotions gives me I will take. Wilder, Fury, Klitschko anyone of them, I am ready to prove that I am the heavyweight world champion. A lot of people say a lot of things about me, but the testing showed that I am a clean fighter."
"I wasn't on my game, and he got the best of me," Jennings said. "I didn't adjust well and he was the better man."
In the opening bout of the evening, middleweight Steven "The Hitman" Martinez (16-2, 13 KOs) emerged with a second round TKO victory over Jorge "Destroyer" Melendez (28-6-1, 26 KOs). Martinez got off numerous combinations in round one and followed it up in round two with a sizzling left hook that floored Menendez. While Mendendez beat the count, Martinez quickly moved in, forcing the referee to wave off the fight at 1:33 of the second round.
Jennings vs. Ortiz was a 12-round heavyweight bout fight for the WBA Interim Heavyweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions and is sponsored by Corona, Mexico - Live It to Belive It! and Carmelita Chorizo. Walters vs. Sosa was a 10-round junior lightweight bout presented by Top Rank in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions and Warriors Boxing Promotions. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET and first fight begins at 6:05 p.m. ET, and the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins live at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
Gonzalez vs. Shabranskyy, was a 10-round light heavyweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Star Boxing. The HBO Latino Boxing telecast begins at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT (tape delay).