By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Unbeaten lightweight Steven “The Hitman” Ortiz (11-0, 3 KOs) had to get off the canvas twice to battle his way to an eight round majority decision victory over Alejandro “Popo” Salinas (10-3, 9 KOs) at the Parx Casino in Bensalem PA on Friday night.
Ortiz, the PA State lightweight champion, used his longer reach to win the opening round with sharp shots. It changed in the second round as Salinas stunned Ortiz with a right hand and then put him down with a a counter right hand. The crowd was shocked, but Ortiz was regaining control in the third round when another right hand sent him back to the canvas for the second time. Ortiz went back to heavy shots from distance to take rounds four through six. Salinas wasn’t finished as he rocked Ortiz again in the seventh round, but the hitman was able to clinch and recover without going to the canvas. The fight appeared to be even going into the eighth and final round. Ortiz was careful as he banged shots from distance up until the final bell. One judge saw it 75-75 but the other two officials had it in favor of Steven Ortiz by scores of 76-74 for the razor thin majority decision victory.
Undefeated junior lightweight sensation Joshafat Ortiz (7-0, 4 KOs) won a spirited six round unanimous decision over Andrew “Sweet Pea” Bentley (5-4, 1KO) in the co-feature of Fight Night 5 promoted by Joe Hand Promotions and BAM Promotions.
Ortiz appeared to take control in round two as he found his range with several hard-right hands up top that backed Bentley around the ring. Ortiz continued to press forward throughout, but it wasn’t easy as he suffered a bloody nose in the fourth round and cut over his left eyelid in the fifth from an accidental clash of heads. He kept his cool and boxed carefully until the final bell ended the sixth and final round. All three judges saw the fight in favor of Joshafat Ortiz by scores 0f 60-54 and 59-55 x 2 for the unanimous decision victory
Daiyann Butt 5-0, 3 KOs impressed the locals with a first round stoppage of fifteen fight veteran Latorie “War Machine” Woodberry (2-10-2).
Butt battered Woodberry with hard hooks to the body before putting him to the canvas early in the opening round with a right hook underneath. Woodberry made it to his feet, but it would not matter as Butt put him down again moments later with another series of body shots. Referee Shawn Clark waived the fight off at 2:45 of round one for the TKO victory.
Genc “The sexy Albanian” Pllana (6-1, 3 KOs) put on quite a show as he battered game Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (18-16-1, 7 KOs) throughout until Referee Gary Rosato had mercifully seen enough and called the fight off at 2:28 of the fourth round.
In the opening bout of the evening, light heavyweight Afunwa King made his successful debut, with a second-round stoppage of previously undefeated Jan Czerklewicz (2-1).
King hurt Czerklewicz early in round one with a combination and battered him around the ring. Czerklewicz tried to survive the onslaught but was dropped seconds before the round ended. King would not let him off the hook and sent him back to the canvas with a right hand in the second round. Referee Shawn Clark ruled that he couldn’t continue and waived the bout off at 1:23 mark.