By Jake Donovan, photos by Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos
Luis Ortiz is set for his fourth fight in a span of just nine months as he takes on veteran heavyweight Tony Thompson. Their non-title fight takes place Saturday evening at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C., airing live on HBO.
As pointless as it is for a weigh-in to take place in a division with an unlimited weight limit, Friday's scene was a bit telling for both boxers. Ortiz tipped the scales at a career-heaviest 242.6 lbs., while Thompson - decked out in a T-shirt, sweatpants, ball cap and sneakers - checked in at 263.8 lbs.
Ortiz (24-0, 21KOs) is the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight titltist, but the sanctioning body refused to recognize Thompson as an acceptable challenger, coming in off of a loss and having dropped three of his last five starts.
As such, the fight moves forward as a non-title affair, providing Ortiz the opportunity to remain active.
Getting the unbeaten Cuban southpaw to that point proved challenging, as a number of heavyweights turned down the opportunity for a variety of reasons.
His team - including Golden Boy Promotions and manager Jay Jimenez - and HBO ultimately settled on Thompson, a middle-aged southpaw who was willing to take the fight given it was a rare shot at a home game.
Their careers are at polar opposite points: Ortiz is coming off of a sensational 7th round knockout of perennial Top 10 contender Bryant Jennings in his HBO debut last December, while Thompson was lethargic in a points loss to Malik Scott last October in Orlando, Florida.
The co-feature attraction has been met with far greater embrace, as Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas collide with the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at stake.
In stark contrast to their heavyweight counterparts, the pair of welterweights hit the scales in supremely sculpted condition. Ali (22-0, 13KOs) weighed in right at the 147 lb. divisional limit, while Vargas (26-1, 9KOs) clocked in at 146.2 lbs.
Also on the card, Robinson Castellanos and Oscar Escandon will collide in a WBC featherweight final eliminator for a shot at champion Gary Russell Jr. Castellanos weighed in at 124.6-pounds, while Escandon was 126.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox