Luis Ortiz (born November 5, 1965) is a Puerto Rican former boxer who is a native of Humacao.
Ortiz had an award winning amateur career, which led him to represent Puerto Rico in the 1984 Los Angeles summer Olympics. Ortiz at first wasn't very well known in Puerto Rico. Within days after he started competing in the Olympics, that changed, as he began to win bouts. When he secured a bronze medal at the games, he became a nationally known figure, because Puerto Rico had only had two other medalists in their Olympic history, Juan Evangelista Venegas (1948, bronze, boxing) and Orlando Maldonado (1976, bronze, boxing).
Ortiz made history, however, when he secured the silver medal a few days before the end of the games. According to him, he weighted himself on the morning of the day before the gold medal fight in his Olympic village room, and he outweighted his division's weight limit (135 pounds) by one and a half pounds. As a consequence of that, since that moment and until the gold medal fight, he was placed in a strict, liquids only diet by his training team.
Ortiz made the weight for the fight and was allowed to fight for the gold medal. However, he lost the fight by a knockout in round two to future multiple time professional world champion Pernell Whitaker.
It should be noted that Ortiz and Aristides Gonzalez made history another way during these games: when Gonzalez won a bronze medal in boxing at the Middleweight division, these games became the first Olympic games in which Puerto Rico earned two medals in the same games.
Nevertheless, Ortiz was the object of a hero's welcome by about 300 fans at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan when he returned home. His hometown officially welcomed him by placing many banners on street lights and thank you messages.
Ortiz tried professional boxing between 1985 and 1986. He did not enjoy much success in the professional rankings, winning 2 bouts and losing 1. All his three professional fights were won or lost by decision. Ortiz retired soon after his third bout, and now holds an office job in his native town.
To this day, his silver medal remains the highest medal obtained by any Puerto Rican athlete representing Puerto Rico in Olympic competition.
- 1st round bye
- Defeated Buala Sakul (Thailand) KO 2
- Defeated Alex Dickson (Great Britain) KO 2
- Defeated José Antonio Hernando (Spain) 5-0
- Defeated Martin N'Dongo (Cameroon) 3-2
- Lost to Pernell Whitaker (United States) TKO 2
This article borrows from Ortiz's bio on Wikipedia: