Deontay Wilder: I’d love to fight “Boogeyman” Luis Ortiz
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” has little interest in fighting British promoter Eddie Hearn’s fighter Dillian Whyte. Instead of that fight, Wilder wants to face unbeaten #1 WBA contender Luis Ortiz, mainly because he’s so highly feared in the boxing world and is viewed as the “Boogeyman” by many.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) wants to test himself against the so-called best in the heavyweight division. He also wants to fight Hearn’s flagship fighter Anthony Joshua as soon as he’s freed up from his obligations in defending against mandatory challengers Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz, which could come in back to back fights.
The 38-year-old Ortiz likely won’t accept the offer from the 6’7” Deontay, because he’s got a chance to fight Joshua once he gets past Pulev in November or December. Ortiz would be taking a big risk in facing Wilder, and the chances are he would be knocked out by him. That would spoil his title shot against Joshua, which figures to give him an excellent payday due to the PPV money from Sky Box Office.
“My coming back, I would love to have the Ortiz fight,”“I would love to have that and get that going. Ortiz is considered the ‘Boogeyman’ of the sport, whatever that means? I’m the one that’s calling him out. I’m the one that wants to see him in that ring, and I do mean soon. If you’re the ‘Boogeyman’ of the sport, if people are scared to fight you, let me tell you who ain’t.”
The 38-year-old Ortiz hasn’t fought in 2017. He’s been out of action since his 7th round knockout win over British domestic level heavyweight David Allen on December 10 last year. It’s unclear if Ortiz is going to sit around and wait until he gets his shot against Joshua in 2018.
I can’t say it would be the smartest thing in the world for Ortiz to do in sitting around and not fighting. I mean, if he’s just going to sit around for the entire year in 2017 without fighting, then he’s probably not going to be in great shape to challenge Joshua for his IBF/WBA heavyweight straps next year if he gets past the 6’4 ½” Pulev. I’m just saying.
“I’m a dangerous fighter to anybody that steps in the ring, because I have two things you can’t teach, and that’s explosive power and awkwardness,” said Wilder.
Deontay looked vulnerable at times in his last title defense against Gerald Washington last February. There were moments in which it looked like Deontay was going to get out-boxed by the 6’7” Washington. That all changed when Wilder suddenly unleashed a big right hand to the head of Washington in the 5th round that put him on the canvas. Wilder then put Washington out of his misery after he got back up and the fight was stopped. It could be the same way for Ortiz or Joshua if/when they wind up facing Wilder. They’ll have their moments early and look good until they get caught with something, and then it could be she wrote for both.
For Ortiz, it’s important for him to fight for a world title soon before he ages out. He’s listed as 38, but there are some who believe that Ortiz is in his mid-40s already. There have been some good heavyweights that have fought well in their mid-40s, very few of them are able to excel at that age. Big George Foreman won a heavyweight world title at age 45 in stopping IBFWBA heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in the 10th round to become the oldest heavyweight world champion ever. Foreman was almost 46-years-old at the time. He was 45 and 299 days. Moorer was a former light heavyweight world champion, and he just never had the size to beat the good heavyweights in the division. It’s no wonder that Foreman was able to knockout Moorer, because he was just a pumped up light heavyweight. Moorer would later lose to Evander Holyfield, David Tua and Eliso Castillo at heavyweight before retiring after finishing his boxing career in 2008.
The window is closing for Ortiz due to his age. He’s going to need to take advantage of what little youth he has left by trying his best to beat Joshua or Wilder. Well, if Ortiz loses to Joshua in early 2018, then there’s no point in discussing an Ortiz vs. Wilder fight. Wilder isn’t going to throw Ortiz a bone to give him a world title shot if he gets beaten by Joshua. That’s not Wilder’s style. He’s not into fighting Joshua’s leftovers. You can argue that if Wilder was the type that wanted to fight Joshua’s left-over opponents, he would have already signed to fight Dillian Whyte by now.
“Hearn is running all the fighters over there and he feels that he wants to put me against some of his other guys before Joshua,” Deontay said. “I think he’s trying to get a valuation of me to really figure me out a little bit more, because I am a dangerous fighter.”
No, I think Deontay is reading Hearn completely wrong for why he’s pushing so hard to get him to fight Dillian Whyte. I think the main reason why Hearn wants Wilder to fight Whyte is because he believes that Whyte can possibly beaten him. I doubt that Hearn’s belief in Whyte is strong, but I think he believes he has a small chance of pulling off an upset against Wilder. Why that would work out well for Hearn is it would get rid of a potential thorn in Joshua’s side in erasing a real threat to his reign as the No.1 heavyweight in boxing. If Whyte can take care of Deontay, then Hearn no longer should worry about the American heavyweight. Hearn could just ignore Deontay forever and continue to have Joshua milk his titles in easy money title defenses.
Due to his size, power and hand speed, Wilder is a dangerous fight for Joshua. With his one-punch power, Wilder could knock Joshua clean out if he lands cleanly with 1 big right hand. Even if Joshua is having his way with Wilder for most of their fight, if Wilder lands one big punch, we could see Joshua face down on the canvas taking a snooze. Hearn already knows that Joshua can beat Dillian Whyte, so he’s a safe fight. I see Hearn putting Whyte on Wilder as a way of trying to get rid of a threat to Joshua the uncomplicated way without risking his flagship fighter. I don’t think it’s going to work though. Wilder would likely knock Whyte out quickly if that fight were to happen. The fight isn’t going to happen though unless Hearn gives Wilder his asking price. He’s asking $7 million. Hearn has reportedly offered just $3 million. As such, Wilder remains a thorn in Joshua’s side and a real threat to knock him out when that fight gets made. If Hearn wants to try and get rid of Wilder, he’s going to need to come up with more than the $3 million he’s offered to him to fight Whyte. Hearn will need to sweeten that deal considerably. Whether Wilder wills stand firm on the $7 million that he originally asked for is unclear. If Hearn wants the Wilder vs. Whyte fight, he’s going to need to come up with some more cash.
Wilder says his previously twice broken right hand is now 99% healed and he’s punching with pretty much full power now. For Wilder’s last fight against Washington, he estimates he was punching with 90% power, and he still knocked him out in 5 rounds. If Wilder’s right hand stays healthy, then look out heavyweight division. Wilder could rule for a long, long time.
”My hand is 99 percent,” said Wilder.
That’s not good news for Hearn, is it? Wilder’s right hand would likely take care of Whyte quickly if that fight were to be made. The 29-year-old Whyte used to have a good left hook, but ever since his shoulder surgery after his loss to Joshua in 2015, he’s shown the power that he once had in his left arm. After 2 years, you would think that the power would have returned by now in Whyte’ surgically repaired left shoulder. With him still mainly using his right hand for his power punching, it looks like Whyte is going to be a one-armed fighter for the remainder of his career. The thing is, Whyte’s right hand isn’t powerful. He’s never had a powerful right. It’s always been his left hook that was his money punch in my opinion. I don’t see the power there anymore unfortunately. Whyte is now a finesse fighter, which is hard to believe. I never thought Whyte would become a finesse fighter. It’s too bad because there are a lot of young lions coming up like Daniel Dubois, Tony Yoka and Joe Joyce that figure to take Whyte’s place before long unless he can regain his power in his left shoulder. Maybe Whyte needs to life some weights or work on his flexibility or something, because the strength is just not there in Whyte’s left shoulder.