Ortiz faces Scott, Smith seeks Sosa success and McDonnell makes Solis defence in Monaco
Lee Gormley | 12 November 2016
Luis Ortiz v Malik Scott
- Vacant WBA inter-continental heavyweight title fight
- Saturday, November 12th
- Scheduled for: 22:30 GMT
- Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Ortiz v Scott tips ahead of Monaco card
The top billing of this weekend’s card in Monaco sees unbeaten heavyweight star Luis Ortiz take on American challenger Malik Scott, with the vacant WBA inter-continental title on the line.
At the Salle des Etoiles, Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) will look to showcase his devastating knockout power and all-round talents in the ring for the first time since signing with his new UK-based Matchroom promotional team.
The Cuban southpaw has impressively stopped his last 12 successive opponents and is 4/1 with Coral to halt Scott (38-2-1, 13 KOs) inside the opening round in Monte Carlo. With Ortiz pencilled in to fight again on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s next title defence on December 10, the hard hitting heavyweight will be aiming to impress.
Ortiz is also seen as the WBA interim heavyweight champion after his win over Matias Ariel Vidondo last year and is regarded as one of the most dangerous in the division, with potential world title meetings on the horizon in 2017.
‘The Real King Kong’ targets titles
Known as ‘the Real King Kong’, the now 37-year-old is confident he can go on and topple the division’s top guns next year, such as Deontay Wilder and Britain’s Joshua.
“I want to fight the very best and I want to be heavyweight champion of the world,” stated Ortiz, who is 7/4 to stop Scott in rounds 4-6. “I’m willing to fight anyone, any champion, any place, any time. I’m ready for anyone: Joshua, Wilder, Klitschko. I know I can beat all of them.
“I feel I have been at my peak for many years now. I have simply been late arriving on the US heavyweight boxing scene. I have been fighting since I was in elementary school. Boxing is a very, very deep passion of mine.”
Before then he must overcome 36-year-old Philadelphian Scott in his first outing in Europe, with the latter entering as the huge 9/1 outsider. Though Ortiz holds hope of dominating the heavyweight division next year and will see this as a stepping stone towards bigger and better opportunities.
Smith gets second crack at world title
Liverpool’s Stephen Smith (24-2, 14 KOs) gets his second shot at world honours this Saturday night as he contests Jason Sosa (19-1-4, 15 KOs) for the latter American’s WBA ‘regular’ super-featherweight strap.
The 31-year-old Merseysider was on the losing end of a unanimous decision against IBF champion Jose Pedraza in April, as he was outdone by the talented Puerto Rican in Connecticut.
Although, Smith did bounce back in May with a comfortable seventh-round stoppage victory over Argentine Daniel Brizuela at Goodison Park and is next 7/4 to outpoint Sosa to become world champion.
“This is chalk and cheese to the Pedraza fight,” said Smith, the 6/5 outsider. “Jose is a tall, distance fighter who moves a lot and switches, relies on his skills.
“It was always going to be a cagey fight, one where I had to take the fight to him as he’s the champion, and that’s how it played out.
“Sosa is short, strong, known as a big puncher, so I have got to force him into mistakes and use my skills to get him onto my shots. It’s a good fight and one that’s more suited to me, I prefer a style like Sosa than Pedraza.”
The Liverpudlian faces a tough task, though, with Sosa having stopped Javier Fortuna to clinch his current belt and also managed a draw with former WBA featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters last year. He is 10/3 to defend his strap with a points success, while Smith is 6/1 for a KO victory.
McDonnell and Murray also star in Monte Carlo
Reigning WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (28-2-1, 13 KOs) will look to make the fifth successful defence of his ‘regular’ strap against Venezuelan challenger Liborio Solis (23-4-1, 10 KOs), after a solid KO triumph over Mexican Fernando Vargas in April.
The Doncaster-born brawler emphatically overcame Japan’s Tomoki Kameda twice last year to retain his crown and will enter proceedings this weekend at 9/4 for a stoppage success over former WBA super-flyweight titlist Solis.
Coral sponsored fighter McDonnell, trained by esteemed coach Dave Coldwell, has enjoyed a rampant rise to prominence and recently outlined a potential match-up with WBA ‘super’ belt holder Rau’shee Warren or the possibility of moving up weights to face Scott Quigg at super-bantamweight.
“It’s probably the best I’ve felt for making weight for a long time, but I’ve only got one or two more fights at bantamweight left before I move up,” outlined the Yorkshireman.
The 30-year-old is odds-on 8/15 to earn a points success over Solis, though his South American opponent poses a threat and will enter the ring at 13/2 to spring a surprise.
Liverpool fighter Martin Murray (33-4-1, 16 KOs) will also feature on the card on French soil, but he now comes up against Nigerian-born German Nuhu Lawal (23-0, 6 KOs) after both Arthur Abraham and Dmitrii Chudinov withdrew.
The 34-year-old was outpointed by George Groves in June and is targeting a fifth world title shot in his career next year, though he’ll first have to overcome the obstacle of WBA inter-continental middleweight champion Lawal this weekend.
After reading our Ortiz v Scott tips, how do you see this fight and others going this weekend? Have your say below in our comments section!