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Old 07-08-2007, 05:37 AM   #1
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Default Manuel Ortiz, a forgotten fighter

Twice Bantamweight Champion, he defended his World Championship more times than any other fight except Joe Louis.

He met a top 10 contender on his pro debut losing to Benny Goldberg in February 1938, but fought in a era where fighters actually learnt from defeats, and although his record in his first two years as a pro was 20-10 he learnt from defeats David Young, Small Montana, Jackie Jurich and Lou Salica.

In 1940 he gained a draw from Little Dado and defeated Jackie Jurich in nine to gain a #4 rating in The Ring's flyweight list.

In 1941 he enlisted the help of Tommy Farmer, who improved Ortiz diet and training techniques and bulked Ortiz up to Bantamweight. Now ranked #2 at Bantamweight by The Ring in August 1942 Ortiz won Bantamweight Championship of the World by 12 round decision over Lou Salica.

1943 and 44 saw Ortiz peak he defeated 13 top 10 contenders at the time, and defended his World Championship 12 times in the time period putting together a 22-1 resume, his only defeat to one Featherweight by the name of Willie Pep.

Due to Military service Ortiz fought less in 1945 and 46, but still defended his World Championship a further three times, and put together a 11-1-1 record, his draw and defeat were attempts to win a Featherweight Championship against Carlos Chavez.

In 1947 he lost and regained his Bantamweight Championship against Harold Dade. He defended his newly regained Bantamweight World Championship a lot less in his second reign (four times in three years) before finally losing his championship when he went down to South Africa and dropped a 15 round decision to Vic Toweel.

Ortiz fought on and off for a further five years, never regaining his championship form and finally hanged his gloves up in 1955 aged 42. In retirement he owned a farm, a ranch and a nightclub but sadly all these investments failed and he had to do odd jobs to make ends meet until his death due to a liver ailment on May 31st 1970.

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Old 07-08-2007, 11:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Manuel Ortiz, a forgotten fighter

The late best friend of my father's was a top amateur boxer in the US Navy when Manuel Ortiz was champion, and they were sparring mates. My father's friend had only good things to say about Oritz, as a boxer and a human being. In 130 bouts, he was only stopped once, on cuts, by two time conquerer Tony Olivera, defeats he avenged by sweeping the final three bouts of their rivalry, the second one by kayo, and the third one with Manolo's title on the line.

Until Jeff Chandler won the WBA Bantamweight Title in 1980, Manny was the last bantamweight world champion to hail from the States. Ortiz remains the last undisputed bantamweight champion from the US. Like Chandler, Ortiz is a worthy member of the IBHOF. (Which exists in part to guarantee that ATGs like Ortiz will not be forgotten.)
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Manuel Ortiz, a forgotten fighter

I don't know too much about Ortiz, but his title run was phenomenal.
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