Photos: Will Hart
By Kieran Mulvaney
Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz remained undefeated with a crushing third-round knockout victory over overmatched Matias Ariel Vidondo. After a feeling-out first round, Ortiz began finding his range in the second. A series of punches knocked Vidondo (20-2-1, 18 KOs) into the ropes; the Argentine bounced off them and straight into a southpaw right hook that dropped him to his knees. He beat the count and made it to the end of the round, but was on unsteady legs as he walked to his corner.
After that, it seemed unlikely that Ortiz (23-0, 20 KOs) would need long to finish the job, and he didn’t. Within 17 seconds of the start of the third round, it was all over, as a right hook and left hand thudded against the head of Vidondo, who collapsed into the ropes and then fell, face first and arms outstretched, onto the canvas.
Two thirds of the way through the first round of the telecast’s opening bout, one thing seemed certain: there wouldn’t be a second round. Tureano Johnson couldn’t miss Eamonn O’Kane, and every punch the Bahamian landed seemed to rock the man from Belfast. Halfway through that initial frame, Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs), dropped O’Kane, and then shortly afterward he put him down again. Somehow, however, O’Kane survived the round, and incredibly he survived 11 more, even taking the fight to Johnson at times and forcing his opponent into counter-attacking mode.
But Johnson’s punches were by far the more accurate and more effective of the two middleweights; brave as O’Kane (17-2-1, 5 KOs) was, many of his blows carried little force and landed on Johnson’s arms, and while he deserves immense credit for hanging as tough as he did, the final scorecard – a unanimous decision win for Johnson by scores of 117-109, 118-108 and 119-107 – was a formality. Johnson landed 396 power punches in the bout, a Compubox record for a middleweight fight (surpassing Bernard Hopkins’ 375 against William Joppy in this same arena in 2001).