By: Lance Pugmire, LA Times
The mention of an elite Cuban athlete defecting to the U.S. typically is linked to a desire to attain wealth afforded to such physical talent.
When boxer Luis Ortiz departed his homeland in 2009, braving ocean waters he deeply feared on a small watercraft before walking for two days across the desert with only one shoe, his focus was less on fame than the effort to heal his ailing daughter, Lismercedes.
“I came to this country because of my daughter, because I wanted to find a cure. This is the most important thing to me,” Ortiz (29-1, 25 knockouts) said this week as he readies for a bout against Travis Kauffman (32-2, 23 KOs) on Saturday at Staples Center. The heavyweight matchup is part of the undercard for the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury title fight.