Ortiz (born September 9, 1936) is a Puerto Rican former professional
boxer. He won three world titles, two at lightweight and once at light
welterweight. Along with Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Wilfredo Gomez,
Hector Camacho, and Wilfred Benitez, Ortiz is considered among the
best Puerto Rican boxers of all time by sports journalists and analysts.
Ortiz, born in Ponce, started his professional career in 1955
with a first round knockout of Harry Bell in New York. He moved from
Puerto Rico to New York before he began boxing as a professional,
he would campaign there during the first stages of his career. After
9 bouts there, he fought outside New York for the first time, moving
to Massachusetts to knock Al Duarte out in 4 rounds. His next 3 bouts
were also outside New York, but he stayed within the confines of New
England, as they happened, once again in Massachusetts, and in New
He returned to New York again and won 4 more bouts in
a row, then made his California debut beating Mickey Northrup by a
decision in 10 rounds. 2 more fights in California and one in New
York went by, after which he returned to California to meet Lou Filippo,
who was subsequently inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of
Fame as a referee. Filippo was also one of the guys who participated
in five Rocky films. The first time, it was declared a no-contest
after 9 rounds, but in the second, Carlos prevailed, by a knockout
in 9. Five more wins followed, and then he met Johnny Busso, who handed
Carlos his first loss, on a 10 round decision. That fight was held
in New York, and in an immediate rematch between Ortiz and Busso,
Carlos won, also by a 10 round decision, and also in New York.
Carlos flew to England to meet Dave Charnley, who was considered one
of the top challengers of that time. Ortiz won the fight at Harringay
Arena on a 10 round decision, after which promoters though he was
ready for a world title try.
Junior welterweight world champion
met Kenny Lane for the vacant world Jr. Welterweight title, in New
York on the night of June 12, 1959. Lane had handed Carlos his second
loss months before, winning a 10 round decision over Ortiz in Florida.
This time, Carlos became the World's Jr Welterweight champion, with
a TKO of Lane at the end of 2 rounds. Ortiz had become the first Puerto
Rican world boxing champion since Sixto Escobar more than 30 years
before, and only the second Puerto Rican world boxing champion ever.
Unfortunately for him, not much importance was being given to that
division at the time, since that division's title had been vacant
for 13 years. But Carlos defended his title twice, knocking out former
world lightweight champion Battling Torres in Torres' home ground
of Los Angeles, and beating Duilio Loi in 15 rounds by decision at
His next fight was a rematch with Loi, and it
took Ortiz to Milan, Italy to defend his crown. This time, it was
Loi's turn to become a world champion, winning by a 15 round decision.
After another win, Ortiz traveled to Milan once again, and met
Loi in a rubber match. This time, he lost again, by a 15 round decision.
Lightweight world champion
Instead of going up in weight, like
most boxers throughout history have done after losing the title in
their original division, Ortiz went down in weight, and challenged
world champion Joe Brown (also a member of the International Boxing
Hall of Fame). Ortiz won a 15 round decision over Brown on April 21
of 1962 in Las Vegas, to win his second world title, this time in
his second championship division. Ortiz defended with a 5 round knockout
of Teruo Kosaka in Tokyo before making his Puerto Rican debut, with
a 13 round knockout win over Doug Valiant to retain his title on April
7, 1963 in San Juan.