The result of a quick knockout in a heavyweight boxing match between Luis Ortiz and Alexander Flores is being called into question by a regulatory body.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is withholding Flores’ fight purse pending an investigation into the finish of the bout. Ortiz knocked out Flores in just 45 seconds, though he didn’t seem to land any clean, hard blows in what was a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) headliner in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
CSAC executive officer Andy Foster told ESPN that the commission is holding Flores’ $80,000 purse, citing the bylaw that the regulatory body can do so in the event it appears “the contestant is not competing honestly, or is intentionally not competing to the best of his or her ability.”
Foster said no determination has been made as to whether the commission believes Flores threw the fight or was not competing to the best of his ability, but the matter is being reviewed. A special CSAC hearing will be held soon, Foster said, for a vote on the situation.
“I’m very much not saying that any one of those things have happened,” Foster said. “But there was enough where I needed to look at it again. We needed to look at it more. And we needed to look at it for more than just 15 minutes during the broadcast of the event.”
Ortiz closed quickly on Flores and threw punches, most of which were blocked. In the finishing sequence, Ortiz appeared to land a shot to the body, but Flores crumbled to the mat and could not continue after an Ortiz right hand landed to Flores’ left arm. On the broadcast, it was reported that Flores had an injured eye. Replays showed Ortiz’s right forearm landed to Flores’ head on the final blow.
It was the forearm that finished the fight, according to Flores’ promoter, Keith Veltre of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions.
“As no one is happy when fights end early, unfortunately, it does happen, I have all the confidence in Andy Foster and the Nevada Athletic Commission to be fair,” Veltre told ESPN in a statement. “I think the replay video will show them it was a forearm/bicep [clothesline] to the face that caused this.”
A request for comment to TBG Promotions head Tom Brown, who promoted the event, was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Ortiz (32-2, 2 NC), a Cuba native, is a top heavyweight whose two career defeats came against former titleholder Deontay Wilder. Flores (18-3-1) isn’t quite as heralded, but has big-event experience, having lost to Joseph Parker in 2018.
Foster said the commission is trying to put together the special hearing as quickly as possible.
“We’re gonna try to move it along here,” Foster said. “We’re not gonna try to keep the guy held up. We’re not trying to take fighters’ money. … I don’t like doing this. I very rarely do. But it was a main event on Fox. We felt like there was enough reason to review it.”