LIKE MANY great fighters, Carlos Ortiz first developed his fighting instincts on the street. When his family moved to New York City when he was a child, Carlos found himself in numerous street fights. He began training at the Madison Square Boys Club and turned pro at the age of 18 in 1955. He won his first 20 pro fights.
Ortiz became a world champion in 1959 when he avenged an earlier defeat against Kenny Lane to win the junior welterweight title. That title, however, had not been fought for in 13 years and meant little to the boxing world. So, after losing the crown to Duilio Loi on a controversial decision in the Loi’s hometown, Ortiz focused on the lucrative lightweight division.
In 1962, Ortiz defeated Joe Brown to win the world lightweight title. He defended that belt successfully four time before losing to Ismael Laguna in 1965.
Seven months later, Ortiz decisioned Laguna in a rematch and regained the title. He made five successful defenses, beating the likes of Laguna, Johnny Bizzarro, Flash Elorde and Sugar Ramos, twice. He finally lost the crown to Carlos Teo Cruz in Cruz’ native Dominican Republic in 1968.
Ortiz retired in 1969 and made a comeback bid in 1971. He won nine straight fights before Kenny Buchanan stopped him in six rounds and ended his career.