Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz agreed for March 3 in Brooklyn, NY
By Stanley White: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder and Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz have agreed on a fight for March 3, according to RingTV.com. Wilder-Ortiz will be facing each other at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
This will be a voluntary defense for Wilder. Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) is ranked #3 by the World Boxing Council. Deontay Wilder, 32, cannot afford to lose this fight to Ortiz. If Wilder loses the fight, then he can forget about fighting Anthony Joshua in a unification match in 2018.
The 6’4” southpaw Ortiz has the better overall boxing skills than Wilder. There’s no comparison. Ortiz was taught from a young kid in the Cuban amateur boxing program in how to fight, and he can do a lot of different things. Wilder hasn’t had the same schooling in the sport, so he’s had to get by with his huge size and his incredible power. Wilder hasn’t faced a super well-schooled fighter like Ortiz yet.
The Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) vs. Ortiz fight will wind up on Showtime Boxing like they were supposed to do on November 4. That fight was canceled after Ortiz, 38, tested positive for 2 banned drugs chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide. Ortiz later explained to the WBC that the drugs were using as part of his treatment for high blood pressure.
If Ortiz tests positive again in the run up for the March 3 fight, it’ll be hard to see Wilder wanting to bother with fighting the Cuban again unless he’s made the mandatory challenger.
Wilder and Ortiz will have a competing card taking place on the same night on March 3 on HBO with WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev defending his title with a voluntary defense against Igor Mikhalkin. Luckily for Wilder, 32, Mikhalkin isn’t well known to the U.S boxing fans. There’s not going to be a high degree of interest from the fans in wanting to tune in to HBO Championship Boxing to watch Kovalev take on a soft touch in #5 WBC, #7 IBF Mikhalkin.
Ortiz missed an entire year of action from December 2016 to December 2017. He would have been out of the ring for 11 months had the fight with Wilder taken place in November 2017. Ortiz finally came back on December 8 and blew out journeyman Daniel Martz in a 2 round knockout at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in in Hialeah, Florida. Wilder was there to watch the Ortiz-Martz fight as part of Premier Boxing Champions.
Ortiz and Wilder then spoke inside the ring after the fight, and it was agreed that the two would face each other. Wilder seems to like Ortiz as a person from their meeting when the two of them were scheduled to face other on November 4. Wilder wants to give Ortiz a second chance. He didn’t have to give Ortiz another shot, but he did it anyway. It’s the best possible fight for Wilder. He’ll get more credit for beating the undefeated 6’4” Ortiz than he will if he faces the likes of Dillian Whyte or Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.
Wilder was given a big offer of $3 million to fight Whyte on February 3 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Wilder subsequently turned down the offer from Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn, as he wanted $7 million. Wilder would have had to travel to the UK and fight Whyte in London, which wouldn’t have been a big deal for him. The fight would have still be risky for Wilder, because he were to get beaten by Whyte, he’d lose out on a much bigger money fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. You can bet that if Wilder does wind up facing Joshua and beating him, then then the ‘Bronze Bomber’ might be willing to take the fight with Whyte.
“Stay by the phone, I’ve been waiting for you,” said Wilder to RingTV.com. “I blessed you with the opportunity the first time, you messed it up. I’m going to bless you again.”
The southpaw Ortiz will need to get the ring rust out for him to have a shot at beating Wilder on March 3. Ortiz did not put on his best performance in his recent December 8 performance against Daniel Martz. Ortiz took some shots at the start of the fight. He looked very slow and each to hit. Ortiz won’t hold up to Wilder’s right hands if he bounces some of those big shots on his chin.
Ortiz’s best wins as a pro have come against these fighters:
• Bryant Jennings
• Tony Thompson
• Malik Scott
• David Allen
• Lateef Kayode
Ortiz hasn’t looked like the same fighter lately that destroyed Jennings and Kayode. If Ortiz were able to still fight at that level, then Wilder would have his hands full against him. Lately, Ortiz has looked almost elderly in his last 3 fights. Being out of the ring for a year from December 2016 to December 2017 obviously didn’t help Ortiz.
Ortiz looked good beating Kayode, Jennings and Thompson. Ortiz hasn’t looked that great in his last 3 fights against Scott, Allen and Martz. Perhaps Ortiz was never that good to begin with. It’s hard to know for sure. It could be that Ortiz has aged overnight since 2015. Ortiz is going to need to fight a lot better against Wilder than what we saw in his last 3 contests. Ortiz won’t last long fighting like that against Wilder unless he has a sturdy chin and can take his big shots for a full 12 rounds. Wilder is the type of fighter that will adapt and make a transition over to Plan-B by boxing Ortiz if he can’t take Ortiz out with his big right hand blasts. At 6’7”, 220 pounds, Wilder has the reach, jab, mobility and boxing skills to beat Ortiz by a decision if he can’t knockout him out with one of his right hand power shots.
“I understand the blood pressure pills and everything like that. … Be ready, I don’t want no excuses. I’m gonna whoop your [expletive],” said Wilder.
Ortiz comes from an excellent amateur background in Cuba. He’s well-schooled, and he has a lot of different things he can use against a fighter like Wilder if he can survive long enough. It’s just going to be hard for Ortiz to be able to take the right hands that Wilder is going to be hitting him with, because his defense is not what it should be. The 6’4” Ortiz stands straight up, and he doesn’t move his head at all. There’s little chance that Wilder will miss any of his power shots. We don’t know how good Ortiz’s chin is at this point in his career. Ortiz’s opposition hasn’t been the greatest since he turned pro in 2010.
Ortiz turned up with a positive drug test for the banned anabolic steroid Nandrolone before his fight against Lateef Kayode on September 11, 2014. Ortiz looked incredible in that fight in destroying Kayode in a 1st round knockout. That was arguably the best Ortiz has looked as a pro. Ortiz ended up being suspended for 9 months following the fight against Kayode. The results of the fight were later ruled to be a no contest.
As an amateur, Ortiz was beaten by the likes of Odlanier Solis, Alexander Povernov, Michel Lopez and Robert Alfonso.
Wilder was supposed to fight former heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin in 2016, but he tested positive for a banned substance, and their fight was subsequently cancelled.