VERONA, N.Y - Bryant Jennings, the Philadelphia heavyweight who started his career with 19 straight victories, lost his second straight bout Saturday, suffering a technical knockout at the hands of Luis Ortiz at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
After getting up from a knockdown in the seventh round, Ortiz landed a round of punches that sent Jennings spiraling on the ropes. After a swinging left hook hit Jennings square in the face, the referee called the fight, and Jennings stumbled into the middle of the ring with blood filling his mouth.
Then Ortiz jumped into the corner of the ring and violently pounded his gloves against his chest, celebrating the victory. Jennings (19-2, 10 KOs) has now lost two straight fights after falling to Wladimir Klitschko in April. Ortiz remains undefeated (24-0, 21 KOs) despite battling the flu in the week leading up to the fight.
"I think that it was me underestimating his pedigree," Jennings said. ". . . That was pretty much what it was. It wasn't that his punches were crazy. . . . I wasn't on my game, and he got the best of me tonight."
Ortiz, at 239 pounds, grabbed complete control of the fight right away, chasing the 229-pound Jennings from corner to corner and working his head and body in the first round. Ortiz landed a three-punch combination that had Jennings stumbling into the blue corner, then the two danced across the ring, and Ortiz connected on two body punches that made Jennings lean far into the ropes.
In the third, Ortiz hit Jennings with a big left hook, and Jennings stumbled into the corner once again. He kept his footing and fought his way out, and a three-punch combination in Ortiz's corner helped Jennings grab a sliver of momentum before the bell.
Heading into the fight, Ortiz hadn't gone past four rounds since Feb. 10, 2012. On Thursday, Jennings said his goal was to test Ortiz in the later rounds.
Ortiz knocked Jennings down with a lefthanded uppercut in the seventh before closing the fight with a power jab and emphatic celebration.
On the undercard, Jason Sosa (19-1-4, 14 KOs) of Camden and Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) fought to a 10-round majority draw in a junior-lightweight bout. Sosa took one card, 96-94, and the other two called it dead even at 95-95.