Ortiz vs. Jennings: Staff Predictions

By Jake Donovan

The final HBO boxing telecast of 2015 pits heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Bryant Jennings in a dangerous crossroads bout. The two collide Saturday evening at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

At a combined 77 years of age, it can be argued that it’s now or never for both fighters. The belief is perhaps more applicable to the 36-year old Ortiz (23-0, 20KOs), a southpaw from Miami by way of Cuba who is already on his redemption tour despite having never previously lost.

The unbeaten heavyweight looks to be the part – hulking, in shape and physically blessed with hand speed and two-fisted knockout power. His integrity took a hit, however, after a 1st round knockout of Lateef Kayode last September was scrubbed due to his testing positive for a banned substance.

A hefty fine and a nine-month suspension came of the ordeal, returning to the ring this past June with a 1st round knockout of Bryon Polley. The feat was followed by a 3rd round knockout of Argentina’s Matias Vidondo this past October at Madison Square Garden in New York City, reclaiming the interim heavyweight belt he was forced to concede in the wake of his failed drug test.

The fight with Vidondo – which aired live on HBO Pay-Per-View in support of Gennady Golovkin’s 8th round knockout of David Lemieux - came about only after Jennings (19-1, 10KOs) declined an offer to fight Ortiz at that time.

It was a fight that HBO wanted at the time and remained interested in, as evidenced by Saturday’s headliner. However, Jennings felt the timing wasn’t right to accept the fight, his first since coming up short in his World title challenge versus then-champion Wladimir Klitschko. Leading up to what remains the lone loss of his career, Jennings proved his worth in HBO-televised wins over two more heavyweight southpaws, Artur Szpilka and Mike Perez.

Prior to that, the Philadelphia-based heavyweight rose to prominence on former co-promoter Main Events’ now-defunct NBC Sports Network Fight Night series, a run that began with a 10-round win over Maurice Byarm. Both fighters accepted the makeshift main event on short notice, with Jennings prevailing in kicking off a breakout 2012 ring campaign.

It’s hardly crisis mode for either fighter just yet, but remains a must-win scenario all the same.

Read on to see how the staff at believes Saturday’s heavyweight action plays out.


Ryan Burton (Ortiz TKO): Jennings appears to have a slight edge in boxing skills but I think Ortiz's size and edge in power toward to a late stoppage victory.

Jake Donovan (Ortiz TKO): I like Jennings’ demeanor and on most nights his natural athletic ability is too much for most heavyweights to handle. However, I see Ortiz as a next-level talent. Even as a 36-year old heavyweight, he looks and fights like a 26-year old welterweight – or as head trainer Herman Caicedo refers to him as, “A full-sized Juan Carlos Payano.” This will be a competitive fight, but one where Ortiz reveals to be a complete fighter.

Chris Glover (Ortiz Dec.): A clash of styles to a degree, Jennings with the strength and fitness whereas Ortiz has the pure boxing background. A good 50/50 fight this and one I'll enjoy watching. I think Ortiz is the better boxer and expect him to get the nod in a close contest.

Peter Lim (Jennings Dec.): Jennings' tighter defense and sounder fundamentals tips the scales in what appears to be dead fight even on paper. He proved he can handle southpaws with aplomb in his wins against Mike Perez and Artur Szpilka and he will apply his experience from those fights against Ortiz. The lead right will be Jennings' key weapon as he cerebrally measures, outboxes and shuts down Ortiz's attack en route to a unanimous point victory in the 117-111 to 116-112 range.

Takahiro Onaga (Ortiz TKO4): I've been impressed by Ortiz, and whilst Jennings looked good against Klitschko I think that was more the end of Klitschko than the rise of Jennings.

Cliff Rold (Ortiz Dec.): Ortiz is a big time puncher, the larger man, and eventually he's going to put hands on Jennings and make it hard to give the rounds to anyone else.

Victor Salazar (Ortiz Dec./Late TKO): I like Ortiz to win a decision or possibly even stop Jennings late in the fight.

Reynaldo Sanchez (Ortiz Dec.): Nice fight!! But to me, all signs point to Ortiz having all the advantages - power, boxing techniques and the stamina - to be the winner

Alexey Sukachev (Jennings UD): Ortiz is undeniably powerful but Jennings is smoother and better equipped in terms of technique and stamina. He will start slowly but will be competitive in mid rounds and will edge Ortiz just barelay later on.

Ortiz – 7
Jennings – 2

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by VatoMulatto on 12-19-2015

I'm actually surpised so many people think Ortiz will not only win but also win by KO. I do hope Ortiz wins but this is really a big step up in class for him. Jennings is not a push over…

Comment by Chrismart on 12-19-2015

Looking forward to this one.

Comment by MrClutch85 on 12-19-2015

Jennings will take away Ortiz left hand use his athleticism and hand speed to out point Ortiz

Comment by gee73 on 12-19-2015

[QUOTE=BIGPOPPAPUMP;16336575]At a combined 77 years of age, it can be argued that it’s now or never for both fighters.[/QUOTE] Jennings is 31, Ortiz is 36...................

Comment by Money Shot on 12-19-2015

Is this being broadcast anywhere? For me the fight of the weekend.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Broner: Pacquiao is a Black Fighter - F***ed Up Money & Taxes! Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in LA Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have No Deal Yet Rob Brant Inks Co-Promotional Deal With Top Rank Espinoza: If You Think Broner Is Easy For Pacquiao, Think Again Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding To Hit Movie Theaters LIVE STREAM: Pacquiao-Broner - Los Angeles Press Conference Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: More Tickets Released at Staples Photos: Pacquiao Hits The Basketball Court, Becomes 'Air Manny' Bryant Jennings vs. Oscar Rivas Finalized For January 18, ESPN+ Giovanni Mioletti Keeps Record Intact With Another Stoppage Win Peter Kadiru Goes Pro, To Be Advised By Klitschko's Manager Wilder, Fury, Hurd, Ortiz Share What They Are Thankful For Martin Murray vs. Hassan N'Dam is Set For Warrington-Frampton Wilder vs. Fury PPV Will Be Available Via The Showtime App Breazeale: The Ultimate Goal is Anthony Joshua Rematch Pacquiao: Right Now, I Have No Intention Of Running For President Sanchez: They Are All Using Golovkin's Name To Stay Relevant! Joseph Parker on Dealing With Adversity Versus Dillian Whyte Frank Warren: I've Never Seen Tyson Fury This Determined Tommy Coyle: I Fight Because I Love it, But It's a Dangerous Game Sergio Martinez Still Aims To Return, Continues To Train Hard UK News: Brian Rose, Troy Williamson, Tyrone McKenna, More Pacquiao is Focused: We Can't Underestimate Adrien Broner Jarrell Miller Wants Anthony Joshua in April at Wembley Giving Thanks For a Boxing Dream Come True Pacquiao: I Think Fans Are Excited For Rematch With Mayweather Adonis Stevenson Hopes Pascal Wins, Not Impressed By Bivol David Lemieux: I Want Canelo Because I Know I Can Beat Him! Ellerbe: Broner Will Look To Defy The Odds, Shut Everyone Up Vijender Singh Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank News: Christopher Diaz, Bryant Perrella, Tori Nelson, Luis Lebron Hearn: Hooker is The Standout at 140, I Want Defense in Dallas Broner: F*** The Money, I'm Not Just Coming To Get a Check Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in NYC Broner: Pacquiao Ain't Fighting Floyd, I'm Gonna Beat His Ass! Photos: Canelo Grinding Hard For Rocky Fielding Title Clash Pacquiao Confirms He'll Work With Roach Again For Broner Bout Pacquiao Warns Broner: I've Learned To 'Problem Solve' in Politics Canelo on GGG Win: Nicest Feeling To Shut Mouths With Facts!

Latest Active Forum Threads