Nick Ortiz tried everything he knew last night to "psych" Benny Briscoe, even taunting him in Spanish.
The Philadelphian responded by pounding the Puerto Rican's face until it looked like a bloody brisket of beef.
Briscoe knocked the mouthpiece out of Ortiz's bleeding mouth and knocked him down in the eighth round on the way to a unanimous 10-round decision before about 6,000 at the D.C. Armory/Starplex.
Ortiz came out winging to avenge the insult of having his handshake ignored by Briscoe at the contract signing, and took the first three rounds with savage shots to the head.
It became primitive in the fifth after Ortiz was warned for using his elbow and for slapping with open gloves, the laces scrapping Briscoe's eyebrows.
Old gaffer Briscoe, 36 and a veteran of 83 previous bouts, cut Ortiz under the right eye. Before the sixth round Dr. Andrew Fischer of the D.C. Boxing Commission made his first of three visits to the Puerto Rican's corner to examine his eye.
Briscoe did his own bit of pysching by standing before every round. He refused to shake hands before the fight and sneered as he punched Ortiz after the bell ending the eighth round.
It was revenge for Oritz punching after the bell in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.
Ortiz made a snow of defiance and threatened to retaliate in the action after the eighth round but it was a half-hearted gesture.
He was spent from the two overhand rights to the head that threw him into the ropes and a left hook that sent him sprawling.
They did not engage in the customary embrace at the finish of the last round, but Briscoe, his job done, finally condescended to pat Ortiz on the back when the Puerto Rican ended his hostility by going over to the Philadelphian's corner.
Referee Joe Bunsa scored it 98-97; Judge Norvel Lee 94-90, and judge Larry Sneed, 97-90.
For those that like the exotic, there was a mercifully brief defense of her "Women's Lightweight Championship" by Marian (Lady Tyger) Trimiar of Los Angeles against Toni Harris of Chicago.
After a brief flurry in the first round in which Trimiar had the advantage, Harris complained of stomach distress. Dr. Fischer visited her corner and advised her not to come out for the second round.
Derrik Holmes, 124 1/2, Washington, extended his unbeaten streak through eight bouts by stopping Felix Rodriquez, 132, Puerto Rico, in the second round. The Puerto Rican was knocked down and when he arose was unable to continue because of an injured left elbow.
John Cooper, 48, Philadelphia, floored Tim (Blue) Walker, 144 1/2, Washington, five times and referee Sylvester Stevenson halted the bout in the third round; Charlie Brown, 148, Blackwood, N.J., knocked out C.J. Faison, 147 1/2 Washington, in the fourth round; Broderick Mason, 192, Philadelphia, won a unanimous decision over George Williams, 206, Washington, in a four-rounder. CAPTION:
Picture, Nick Ortiz, left, and Bennie Briscoe show each to her a bit of defense in 10-rounder. Briscoe won a unanimous decision in the feature fig ht at Starplex before about 6,000 fans. By Joe Heiberger-The Washington Post