When I look at the international fight schedule on Boxrec each week, I am generally on the alert for important fights in places like Eastern Europe or Asia, that have gone overlooked here in North America. Occasionally I find a surprise–like some former star still campaigning on, a decade or more after he was relevant.
But sometimes I find some truly unusual information. That happened this week when I found the listing for an irrelevant club card down in Costa Rico, headlined by Jorge Ortiz vs. Ramon Sandoval.
Ortiz vs. Sandoval is a fight that nobody is ever going to care about. But it certainly qualifies as a curiosity. Even in the extreme world of professional boxing, Ortiz is an oddity. At 47 years of age, he sports a professional record of 7-60-4.
Boxrec generously refers to Ortiz as a “trial horse.” Professional punching bag might be more accurate. Professional opponent would be a more tactful way to phrase it.
Even by professional opponent standards, Ortiz is a special case. A guy who makes his living losing boxing matches is often a guy who had potential, but let things go off the rails. Take Dante Craig, for example–he was an outstanding amateur, a national champion at welterweight and member of the 2000 Olympic team. He made his professional debut in Madison Square Garden.
These days, he’s a paunchy, undersized heavyweight with a record of 20-22-1. He has lost 18 of his last 21 decisions.
A few years ago, when doing some research on Juan Manuel Marquez, I discovered a fighter named Jose Luis Montes, who Marquez beat in his last Mexican fight before making his U.S. debut. Montes won his first 11 fights. By the time he faced the rising star Marquez, he was 17-10. He retired in 2003 with a record of 20-28. In 21 of those fights he got knocked out.
Then you have your guys like the aptly named Eric Crumble. Between 1990 and 2003 he compiled a professional record of 0-31. None of those bouts went the distance.
Ortiz turned professional in 1993. In his first 38 bouts, he put together a record of 0-35-3. He won a bout in 2005 and then went on a 0-23-1 streak.
Then, in August 2016, at age 46 he began to turn his streak around! He won five straight fights and has gotten his hand raised in 6 of his last 7. So maybe he is simply a late bloomer.