Gerald Washington questions Ortiz’s quickness for Wilder fight
By Tim Royner: Former heavyweight world title challenger Gerald Washington says he’s really looking forward to the fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) and unbeaten #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in 2018.
Washington says he sees it as a good match-up, but he questions whether the 38-year-old Ortiz still has the quickness to hang with Wilder at this point.
Wilder vs. Ortiz is being talked about for March of next year on Showtime Championship Boxing. The fight still hasn’t been announced yet.
Ortiz is getting up there in age, and he’s looking very slow at this point in his career. The Cuban Ortiz was never a particularly fast heavyweight to begin with when he turned pro 7 years ago in 2010, but he’s clearly started to slow down in terms of hand speed in the 2 years. He’s looking old now. Ortiz defeated Daniel Martz by a 2nd round knockout earlier this month on December 8th. That was the first fight for Ortiz since December of 2016.
The time out of the ring didn’t improve Ortiz’s hand speed or his boxing skills. Martz was able to hit Ortiz with some shots in the opening seconds of the fight. If Wilder had been the one hitting Ortiz with those same punches, it might have ended badly for the Cuban fighter.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said Washington to ES News Reporting, in talking about the March fight between Wilder and Luis Ortiz. “I’m looking forward to that. You all know the power Deontay Wilder has. Against [Ortiz’s] boxing skills, quick, slick moves and counter punching. Let’s see if he [Ortiz] still has the quickness to hang with Wilder. I don’t know if he does anymore,” said Washington.
Some boxing fans believe the 38-year-old Ortiz to be older than his listed age by 7 to 10 years. They think Ortiz is 45 or 48. Some fans even think Ortiz is 50. Whatever the case, Ortiz looks like he’s slowed down in the last couple of years. Ortiz looked devastating when he knocked out cruiserweight Lateef Kayode three years ago in September 2014. That was a different Ortiz from the one that we’ve seen lately. Ortiz was impressive until his fight with Malik Scott last year. From that point on, Ortiz has looked like an older fighter that has lost his hand speed.
The 35-year-old Washington fought Wilder in February of this year, but he was stopped in the 5th round. Washington gave Wilder problems in the first 4 rounds, but mostly because he wasn’t letting his hands go. When Wilder suddenly opened up with his right hands in the 5th round, he quickly put Washington down. The fight was stopped after Washington back to his feet.
Wilder, 32, defeated Bermane Stiverne by a 1st round knockout on November 4. That date was supposed to be for Ortiz, but he tested positive for 2 banned drugs, and he was subsequently ruled out for the fight. After the World Boxing Council cleared Ortiz and reinstated him in their top 15 rankings, Wilder chose to give him a second chance for a fight. However, the fight still needs to be made.