A double-header from Verona, New York on Saturday featured Nicholas Walters making his super featherweight debut against Jason Sosa and a clash of heavyweight contenders between Bryant Jennings and Luis Ortiz.
Walters, looking to impress in his first bout since losing his featherweight title on the scales, made his intentions clear in the very 1st round. Land body shots to weaken Sosa. Sosa, a club fighter from Camden, New Jersey, thought he could punch with Walters and willingly traded with Walters.
Although Sosa (18-1-4, 14KO) remained surprisingly competitive, Walters’ superior technique allowed him to take the sting out of most of Sosa’s punches as well as land his own hooks to the body and head.
For the most part, the fight played out with Walters landing the harder, cleaner blows and Sosa taking the blows well enough to never make it easy for Walters. When the final bell rang, virtually everybody expected Walters to win an easy decision.
The judges never cease to amaze though.
One judge, Tom Schreck, somehow scored it 96-94 for Sosa while Don Ackerman and Wynn Kintz each scored it 95-95. This changed Walters’ record to (26-0-1, 21KO).
Begin rant here:
What the %$#@@#$#!!*&^%#$ is wrong with these judges?? Seriously? Is it corruption? Incompetence? Both? How can any person with eyes and the minimalist of intelligence say with a straight face that Sosa won the fight?
There’s a difference between being competitive and actually WINNING ROUNDS. Obviously Schreck, Ackerman, and Kintz don’t know the difference. And the saddest thing is they most likely won’t be penalized for this decision.
At worst, this decision only adds fuel to the fire of criticism on Walters that he is overrated, should have stayed at featherweight, or whatever other absurd reason some people dislike Walters. Best case scenario is this decision stunts Walters’ career growth.
Thanks judges. You’ve managed to damage the sport once again.
On a happier note, heavyweight contenders Bryant Jennings and Luis Ortiz engaged in one of the most entertaining heavyweight bouts of the year on the main event.
Things almost ended early for Jennings (19-2, 10KO) as the slick Cuban landed a thudding left uppercut which hurt Jennings. It seemed he wouldn’t be able to recover, but Jennings somehow managed to survive the round and even win the 2nd round based on keeping busy and smothering Ortiz’s (24-0, 21KO) attack.
The pattern of the fight became Ortiz winning the odd rounds and Jennings taking the even rounds. Whenever Ortiz managed to get space, he was able to land his precise, powerful punches on Jennings. But whenever Jennings managed to get in close on Ortiz he had success by landing overhand rights and body shots.
Ortiz shifted the tide in the 6th round by winning his first even round with hard uppercuts and overhand lefts while avoiding any return fire Jennings could muster.
A beautiful left uppercut which was set-up with two uppercuts beforehand put Jennings flat on his face in the 7th round. Jennings managed to get up on unsteady legs, but Ortiz landed a series of blows that staggered Jennings against the ropes. Jennings was noticeably frustrated with himself as he knew the referee was moving in to wave the fight off. Jennings still had his mental facilities intact, but his body simply failed him.
With this victory, Ortiz puts himself in line for a title shot against Deontay Wilder. It is unlikely he’ll get a chance to fight newly crowned heavyweight champion Tyson Fury due to former-champ Wladimir Klitschko seemingly willing to exercise his rematch clause. However, Ortiz could earn a belt by facing and beating Wilder to capture his WBC belt.
Although Jennings lost, he did give a good account of himself and managed to recover from a few troublesome moments before the stoppage. He should be able to bounce back from this loss.
The best part of the fight? No judges were involved.