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Deontay Wilder and Jermall Charlo look to shine on March.3

Image: Deontay Wilder and Jermall Charlo look to shine on March.3

By Chris Williams: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) and WBC junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) will be looking to impress on March 3 for their fights on Premier Boxing Champions.

It’s still unclear whether the televised portion of the card will be televised on CBS Sports or on Showtime Boxing. The press release sent out on Monday said nothing about Showtime, so it leaves one to guess whether the fights will be televised with them or on CBS. Whatever the case, the 2 televised fights should be interesting.

Wilder, 32, will be defending against #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in what many hope will be an interesting fight. Charlo, the twin brother of the much more vocal WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs), will be fighting #4 WBC Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) in the co-feature bout for the WBC interim middleweight title. The winner of the belt will be in place to face the winner of the Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin vs. Saul Canelo Alvarez fight if that match ever takes place. If it doesn’t, then the World Boxing Council will quickly order Golovkin to defend against the Charlo-Centeno Jr. winner.

Charlo could be the star of the night though, as he tends to bring in each time he fights. He doesn’t play around and jab and run like some fighters do and he’s a lot more willing to throw bombs than the 6’7” Wilder. Jermall will be trying to get Centeno Jr. out of there in the 1st round. He won’t wait until the 5th round before he throws his first power punch. Charlo moved up in weight from the junior middleweight division in late 2017 after vacating his IBF 154 lb. title after his 5th round knockout win over Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams in December 2016. Jermall has had the same problem that we’ve seen from other fighters recently like Errol Spence Jr. and Lamont Peterson with him not being kept busy by his management.

Charlo fought only once in 2017 and that was in him beating Argentinian Jorge Sebastian Heiland by a 4th round knockout in their WBC 160 lb. title eliminator on July 29, 2017. It was a good win for Charlo in locking himself into a position to fight for the title against WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. But with the Canelo-Golovkin fight being scored a 12 round draw last September, it prevents Charlo from fighting for the WBC title until the two of them conclude their rematch. Charlo will either fight one of them or he’ll be elevated to the WBC middleweight champion if the winner of that fight chooses not to face him or Centeno Jr.

Right now, a lot of boxing fans see the Charlo-Centeno Jr. fight as a victory for Charlo. But you never know. It’s possible that the 26-year-old Centeno Jr. might catch Charlo with one of his big shots to knock him out like he did in stopping Immanuwel Aleem (17-1-1, 10 KOs) in the 3rd round last summer on August 25. It’s hard for Centeno Jr. to do that to Charlo, because he’s a better all-around fighter than Alleem. While Canelo, Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders are the ones that are frequently getting a lot of press in the boxing world, Charlo could be the guy that rises to the top when the smoke clears in the next 2 years. Charlo is arguably the bravest of the top middleweights, and the one more willing to unleash huge power shots to try and get his opponents out of there. Canelo and Golovkin will have a hard time dealing with Charlo’s style of fighting, and I don’t think either of them is going to be willing to face him. Jacobs might opt to fight Charlo sooner or later, but he’ll have problems once that fight does take place. Centeno Jr. is in the wrong place at the wrong time in having to face Charlo. There are some of the top 15 contenders that I believe Centeno Jr. can beat, but I don’t see Charlo being one of them. This fight has mismatch written all over it.

Deontay Wilder is supposed to be fighting his best opponent of his 10-year pro career in Cuban Luis Ortiz on March 3. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Ortiz looks good, but he’s also not young at 38-years-old, and it’s been 4 years since he looked good inside the ring. If you said that about a younger fighter in his 20s, it would be cause for concern. But for you to say that a 38-year-old fighter hasn’t looked good in 4 years, it tells you that you may be looking at a guy that is well past his prime and no longer good enough to fight at the upper levels of the heavyweight division. For Ortiz, it’s not good that he’s been looking marginal in his recent fights.

Here are Ortiz’s latest results since 2015:

• Daniel Martz – KO 2

• David Allen – TKO 7

• Malik Scott – UD 12

• Tony Thompson –KO 6

If you saw those fights, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say the 6’4”, 240 lb. Ortiz didn’t look good. He looked bad against all those guys. He won the fights, but he did not impress at all. Whether it’s old age starting to rear its ugly head with Ortiz or simply a case of him not training hard enough is unclear. It might be a situation where he’s not taking his training serious. To me, Ortiz looked old in those fights. He still had his power, but he was painfully slow and had the look of an old man, older than his listed age of 38. There are rumors that Ortiz is in his 50s. I don’t know if the rumors are true or not, but he sure does look old to me. You don’t want to put a 50-year-old man in with guy like Wilder, because it’s bad news. Even if Ortiz is really 38, that’s still ancient for boxing. Ortiz needs to drink from the Fountain of Youth and quick before he gets inside the ring with Wilder, because this could be really bad for the Cuban fighter if he doesn’t find some youth.

Wilder looked VERY good in his last fight in obliterating Berman Stiverne in the 1st round on November 4th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The difference in confidence and talent that Wilder showed in his second fight with Stiverne was something to behold. In Wilder’s fight with Stiverne in January 2015, he was a lot more tentative in boxing and moving for 12 rounds. Wilder acted like he was afraid of getting hit by Stiverne. That made the fight a lot harder for Wilder to win, and he eventually had to be satisfied with winning a decision. Wilder said afterwards that he’d broken his right hand hitting Stiverne on the top of his head early in the fight. That still doesn’t explain why Wilder didn’t let his hands go in the first 2 rounds before he suffered the injury. We saw what Wilder could do to Stiverne in their second fight last November when he unloaded on him with right hands and showed him no respect at all. If Wilder fights Ortiz in the same way, he’s going to have him down right away, because he’s a lot slower and easier to hit than Stiverne. I know it’s hard to believe someone could be slower than Stiverne, but it’s true. Ortiz is a lot slower than the 39-year-old Stiverne.

Ortiz dodged a bullet last November when he tested positive while training for the Wilder fight, and he was subsequently pulled out. If Ortiz had been the one that fought Wilder on the 4th of November, he likely would have been destroyed just as Stiverne was.

“Luis Ortiz is one of the toughest guys around and he’s supposed to be the boogeyman in the heavyweight division,” said Wilder. But I’ve never been afraid of the boogeyman and I’ve knocked out every opponent that I’ve faced. I plan on keeping that streak going. Everyone standing in my way of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion has to go down. It’s Luis Ortiz’s turn.”

Wilder is not afraid at all of what the southpaw Cuban Ortiz can bring to the table in this fight. Wilder wants to fight the guy. Wilder personally picked Ortiz out and gave him a second chance after he blew it by testing positive for banned drugs.

If Ortiz makes it to the 6th round on March 3, I’ll be very surprised. Wilder is fighting at too high of a level for an older timer like Ortiz to last long. Wilder is like a shark, and Ortiz is should be in the wading pool, not in the ocean at this stage in his career.

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