Whyte scolds Wilder for fighting Ortiz for less money
By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte doesn’t understand why WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) turned down a fight against him for $5 million to take a smaller money fight against #3 WBC Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) for $1 million for their March 3 fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder turned down the bigger money fight to travel to the UK to fight the 29-year-old Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Wilder didn’t like the way that Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn was encouraging him to take that fight in the UK to increase the interest in his possible unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2018.
Wilder likely would have agreed to the fight with Whyte if Hearn would guarantee him a fight against Joshua afterwards, but he wasn’t willing to do that. Hearn reportedly wouldn’t tie the Wilder-Whyte fight in with a unification match against Joshua. Hearn wanted Wilder to take the fight with Whyte with the faith that he would be given the Joshua match if he won. Wilder wasn’t willing to take the fight with Whyte without there being a guarantee for the much bigger money fight against Joshua.
“It’ a 50-50 fight,” said Whyte to IFL TV in talking about the March 3 fight between Wilder and Ortiz. “Luis Ortiz is a dangerous fight on paper, but he’s been inactive and he’s a million years old, and he hasn’t fought anyone top level in the past 2 or 3 years. Who has he fought? Wilder has been fighting at a high level and he’s more active. I think his power can cause Wilder problems. Anyone that hits Wilder on the whiskers, he can go down,” said Whyte.
Whyte might not want to admit it, but Ortiz is viewed by the boxing fans as a better fighter than him. Wilder is taking more of a risk in fighting Ortiz than he would if he fought a slapper like Whyte, who can’t punch at all. Ortiz has the kind of power in his left hand to KO anyone in the heavyweight division if he lands cleanly. The only reason why so many people in the boxing world are counting out Ortiz is because of how impressive the 6’7” Wilder has been looking in his last couple of fights.
Wilder has improved considerably from the fighter he was when he first won the WBC heavyweight title in 2015. You cannot say that Ortiz has improved from the fighter he was in 2015. Ortiz looks like he’s badly. Ortiz’s last opponent Daniel Martz landed some shots on him in the opening seconds of their fight last December that would have been knockout blows if Wilder was the one throwing the punches.
Wilder is the favorite to defeat Ortiz. It might have been different if the match had been scheduled 3 years ago when Wilder first became the WBC heavyweight champion after beating Bermane Stiverne the first time in January 2015. Wilder looked vulnerable as a champion at that time in his career. At the same time, the 6’4” southpaw Ortiz was younger at 35, and still looking hard to beat. Things have changed for Ortiz in the last 2 years. He’s older now at 38, and he looks like he’s in his mid to late 40s now, and he only had 1 fight in 2017 against journeyman Daniel Martz.
”I think Wilder will be a little more active and a little more sharper,” said Whyte. ”Why is Wilder going to fight Ortiz for $1 million when he can come over and fight me for $5 million? He says I’m an easier fight and Luis Ortiz is a harder fight. Please explain to me why. If I fight this kid for $5 million and I fight this so called ‘King Kong’ for $1 million, what are you going to do?” said Whyte.
Whyte will be fighting former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) on March 24 at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Whyte wants a title if he beats Browne. It might not happen though. Whyte is rated #1 with the World Boxing Council. He has a good chance of being elevated to Wilder’s mandatory challenger if he defeats Browne.