The year comes to a close tonight for the HBO boxing brand, with a pair of heavyweight contenders set to do battle in Verona, New York, as Bryant Jennings (19-1, 10 KO) faces Luis Ortiz (23-0, 20 KO) in the main event at the Turning Stone Casino.
Jennings, 31, last fought on April 25, losing to Wladimir Klitschko at Madison Square Garden, while Cuba's Ortiz, 36, is 2-0 this year, with wins over Byron Polley and Matias Ariel Vidondo, in June and October.
In the HBO co-feature, former featherweight titleholder Nicholas "Axeman" Walters (26-0, 21 KO) moves up to super featherweight to face Jason Sosa (18-1-3, 14 KO) in a 10-round bout.
The fights set to air on HBO Latino beginning at 12:15 am EST will be airing on tape delay, so please do not post spoilers for those fights, so that people who don't go on social media can avoid knowing what happens. We won't post a recap of those fights until after they are done airing on HBO Latino.
The main event of the Latino card will see light heavyweights Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (14-0, 12 KO) and Yunieski Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KO) square off in a 10-round fight. Also to air: Joshua Clottey (39-4, 22 KO) vs Gabe Rosado (21-9, 13 KO) and Yurirokis Gamboa (24-1, 17 KO) vs Hylon Williams Jr (16-1-1, 3 KO), both 10-round fights as well.
* * * * *
Luis Ortiz def. Bryant Jennings by TKO (2:41 of round 7)
Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa fought to a draw (96-94 Sosa, 95-95, 95-95)
* * * * *
ROUND BY ROUND
BRYANT JENNINGS vs LUIS ORTIZ
Round 1: Jennings coming out throwing a lot of punches, but Ortiz hurts him with a hard left about halfway into the round! Ortiz trying to finish in the corner, Jennings holds. Jennings hurt again on a left hand and a right hook, and Bryant stumbles back. Another right hook hurts Jennings. He's still getting rocked around. Ortiz 10-9
Round 2: Ortiz not just going to the head, either. He's attacking the body and doing some work. Jennings does appear to have his legs back about halfway into this round. But he's still wide-eyed. Jennings with a little right hand as he shoots in, then he's out before Ortiz lands anything big back. Ortiz with an uppercut that gets in. Jennings with an uppercut inside, and he's starting to get some work done. This is a pretty nice bounce back round for Bryant Jennings. Ortiz struggling to land clean. Left from Ortiz lands, but not flush. Jennings 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Hard left from Ortiz clips Jennings while he's leaning, and Ortiz is going to work again in the corner, but they tie up and the ref resets them. Jennings leaning over and keeps getting hit in the side of the head. Uppercut inside from Ortiz. This is not going 12, either way. Ortiz hitting too hard and not sure he'll have the gas to go 12, either. Ortiz 10-9, 29-28
Round 4: Phone booth fight largely in round four. That's helping Jennings. Referee has warned Ortiz for shoving. Jennings bounces back nicely again. Jennings 10-9, 38-38
Round 5: Ortiz moving around a lot more on his toes to start this round, trying to stay out of the trenches. Ortiz picking shots from distance now. Uppercut from Ortiz lands clean. This one's going back and forth on my card. Ortiz 10-9, 48-47
Round 6: Slower round, both guys content staying at distance. Ortiz with a long left, Jennings blocks most of that. This round is winnable with 30 seconds left. Jennings puts himself in the corner but gets out before anything happens. Ortiz 10-9, 58-56
Round 7: Jennings with a good right, then he crowds Ortiz and doesn't do more work. Another right hand from Jennings gets in. OH BUT A MASSIVE LEFT UPPERCUT FROM ORTIZ PUTS JENNINGS ON THE CANVAS, FACE DOWN! He's in a bad way, this might be over. He'll continue, but he's not in good shape. 30 seconds left. Right hook from Ortiz knocks Jennings into the rope and he's all over the place, the fight is stopped. Ortiz TKO-7
NICHOLAS WALTERS vs JASON SOSA
Round 1: Sosa active to start, and he's got a good KO percentage, so we'll see. He's stepping way up in class here. Hook to the body from Walters. Left hook upstairs from Sosa, partially blocked. Hard right to the body from Walters. Another one gets in there as Sosa tries to jab up top. Left hooks to the body, one from each man. Walters really targeting to the body here in round one, softening Sosa. Walters 10-9
Round 2: Both come out aggressively here in round two. Walters shooting uppercuts, but he's getting hit some, too. He's winning this in the trenches, though. Good hook from Walters. Sosa digging to the body, and then Walters rips in an uppercut. Sosa back with an uppercut of his own. Can't argue with this. Walters 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: CompuBox had Walters at 29/51 in the second round. That sort of accuracy from a power puncher adds up fast. Sosa working a lot but Walters is picking off a lot of his work. Walters 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Every round thus far has been competitive, Walters doing just a bit more, with a bit more oomph on his shots. Feels like Walters is just steadily breaking him down. But Jason Sosa is there. It's an admirably game effort so far. He's also not winning rounds, though, and time is against him now. Walters 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Counter right from Walters hurts Sosa, but Sosa gets his legs back under him pretty quickly, or is at least pretending they're back. He's throwing, anyway. The rounds all have a similar pace and feel to them at this point. Sosa starting to look at a little frustrated by that pattern, because he just can't seem to make any progress despite his hard work. I think most of us can identify with that in our lives. Also, what's up with wives, how they like TV we don't like? Haha. #comedy Walters 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: Sosa has started staying out of the pocket quite as much, and Walters isn't closing that distance. Maybe he has no real desire to, since he's still winning the fight at a bit more distance. Walters 10-9, 60-54
Round 7: This is getting really one-sided at this point. This round is pretty much all Walters; Sosa is still there and fighting, but he's not looking as fresh, and he's getting beaten up and rocked around a little bit. Body work is still there from Walters. Walters 10-9, 70-63
Round 8: Either Walters' shots don't have the zip they did at 126, or Sosa is tougher than a two dollar steak. Walters 10-9, 80-72
Round 9: Hey, Sosa comes out with a hard right to the body, then one upstairs. He's still here. Walters gets back into the round after a sort of awkward start, and he takes over the rest of the round. Walters 10-9, 90-81
Round 10: Bernard has called Sosa "Salsa" a few times. That's worth noting. To me, anyway. Walters dominates another round, though in a way it feels closer. The rounds were close early, less so as the fight wore on and Sosa's success rate began to drop. Clean shutout for Nicholas Walters. Walters 10-9, 100-90