Wilder: Luis Ortiz will be my guinea pig to show I’m the best
By Tim Royner: Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder says he wants to use the 38-year-old Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz as his “guinea pig” on March 3 to show the world that he’s the best fighter in the heavyweight division.
Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) isn’t able to prove to the world that he’s the best by fighting IBF, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), because he’s currently tied up with a scheduled unification fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales. Wilder feels that the unbeaten Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) is the best available heavyweight in the division for him to use as a guinea pig to showcase his talent in front of the boxing world on the 3rd of March at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
”I will prove it to the world, with Luis Ortiz. He will be my guinea pig. I will be the one champion,” said Wilder to Sky Sports News. ”There will be one face, one name, and his name is Deontay Wilder. I promise you that.”
Ortiz has a lot of power in his left hand. If he connects with his telegraphed left hands to the chin of Wilder, he could knock him out the way he recently did against journeyman Daniel Martz on December 8. The problem Ortiz has is he telegraphs his shots badly, and he’s very easy to hit. Ortiz’s defense is poor. For Ortiz to last long enough to land one of his hard left hands on Wilder, he’s going to need to take some major shots. It’s unclear whether the aging Cuban can take those shots from Wilder. The only guy that could withstand Wilder’s power for an entire fight is Bermane Stiverne in their first fight in 2015, and that was because the Bronze Bomber broke his right hand in the early rounds.
It’s going to require more than just beating Ortiz for Wilder to show that he’s the best heavyweight in the division. Ortiz isn’t viewed as a good enough fighter for Wilder to get a lot of credit from the boxing fans if he beats the 6’4”, 240 pound former Cuban amateur sensation.
Ortiz being reduced to that of a guinea pig by Wilder is bad. It wasn’t long ago that many boxing fans saw Ortiz as the best heavyweight in the division. That perception has changed, however, as Ortiz has not been active with his career, and he’s looked slower and older in last 3 fights. Whatever edge Ortiz had a few years ago, he’s lost it since 2016. He’s not the same fighter. Only Ortiz knows why. It could be age or perhaps he’s not training the way he used to. The loss of hand speed is hard to ignore with Ortiz. He’s gotten slower, and more ponderous than he was in the past.
Wilder probably would have been better off taking the big money that was offered to him by Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn to defend against #1 WBC Dillian Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) on March 24 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Wilder could have made between $3-5 million to face Whyte in the UK in March. Wilder is said to be getting a payday of $1 million for the Ortiz fight. If that turns out to be correct, he left a lot of money on the table by not taking the Whyte fight, which might have been a far more easier fight than the Ortiz match-up. It makes Wilder look like he ducked the Whyte fight if he turned down a much bigger payday against him than he’ll be getting to face Ortiz.
There will be a lot of attention from the American boxing fans in Wilder’s fight with Ortiz, because he’s had a number of his fights televised in the U.S in the last 3 years, but he’s not been seen a lot since 2016. Ortiz had fights where he didn’t look good against David Allen and Malik Scott. Those performances didn’t help Ortiz’s popularity. To top it off, Ortiz recently tested positive for 2 banned drugs, which wiped out his chance of fighting for a world title against Wilder last year on November 4 on Showtime Boxing. Wilder decided to give Ortiz a second shot at fighting him by offering him the March 3 fight, which he readily accepted. Still, it’s not the fight that it could have been had it taken place 3 years ago at the height of Ortiz’s career in 2015.
“I want to face the best…I want to prove to the world that I am the best,” Wilder said. “I pulled Ortiz’s card again to challenge him. I want him to be an example to the world that I am the best, no matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter how hard you train, nothing will be able to stop me,” said Wilder.
There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the 6’7” Wilder to look sensational against Ortiz on March 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder can’t just beat Ortiz in a regular fashion. He’s got to do a demolition job on him for him to get the attention from the boxing fans to view him as the best heavyweight division. If Wilder struggles against Ortiz and looks bad in beating him, he’s going to lose a lot of respect from the fans. Ortiz is looking depleted at this point in his career. With a lot of boxing fans thinking that Ortiz’s true age is between 45 to 52-years-old, Wilder can’t let the fight be a competitive one for him to get full credit from the boxing fans. Just like in Wilder’s last fight against the 39-year-old Bermane Stiverne, Wilder is in a situation where he’s not going to get any credit unless he absolutely smashes Ortiz to bits on March 3.
Wilder seems to be getting better with each fight. His wins over Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola and Artur Szplilk were sensational victories for him. It’s hard to reconcile Wilder with the fighter that looked sloppy and unimpressive in his fights with Erick Molina, Nicolai Firtha and Jason Gavern. Wilder has gotten a lot better since those fights, and it’s hard to imagine that any of those guys would make it out of the 1st round with the way he’s fighting now.