Paola Ortiz won a fast paced unanimous decision over local
favorite Susan Reno in a featured attraction of Ronson Frank's
Uprising Promotion's seven bout card at the historic Masonic
Temple in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn on Friday night.
The six round bout was contested over three minute rounds,
making it the first such female bout of that length in New York
state. Both fighters handled the fifty percent increase in round
time easily and the pace of the fight did not waver at any point
during the eighteen minutes of action.
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Reno, 107, backed by the raucous, late arriving sell-out crowd,
seemed to be just a step behind the quicker Ortiz, 109.5,
throughout the first half of the bout. Ortiz maintained an
advantage in both hand speed and ring movement and invariably
came out ahead in most of the in close exchanges during the
first three stanzas. To the chants of "Reno, Reno," the New York
fighter became more aggressive in the second half of the bout,
trying to "cut the ring" against her fast moving opponent and
finished strong in both the fourth and fifth rounds to close the
scoring gap in the bout. Neither fighter allowed themselves to
be trapped on the ropes or in the corners and there was a marked
lack of clinches throughout the six rounds. Both fighters
finished strong in the sixth round, showing absolutely no effect
due to the increase in round length, putting a strong,
affirmative exclamation point on the query, "can women fight
three minute rounds?" The scoring was decisive: judges John
Basile and Waleska Roldan had it 59-55 and Carlos Ortiz Jr.
tabbed it 58-56 all for the Texas fighter, providing Ortiz with
the first win of her career and raising her record to 1-5-1.
Reno dropped to 1-4-2.
Under the heading of "fitting" was the fact that the bout was
refereed by Sparkle Lee, the first licensed female arbiter in
New York state (2001) and a longtime proponent of three minute
rounds for females. Lee will be inducted into the International
Women's Boxing Hall of Fame in July. Also worth mention is the
continued support provided by Uprising Promotions for the sport
of Women's boxing. In an era where promotional advocacy of the
sport struggles to attain the level of "cursory," Uprising
Promotions, headed by Ronson Frank, has provided on-going
opportunity for female boxers in the New York area, featuring,
in past programs, title holders, Alicia Ashley, Eileen Olszewski
and Sonya Lamonakis in main event spots on their programs.
Uprising Promotions added another notch to that record with a
historic bout on Friday night in Brooklyn.