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Dibella: Joshua wouldn’t get in the same room with Luis Ortiz

Deontay Wilder

By Jeff Aranow: Promoter Lou Dibella says IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) would want nothing to do with Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) the way that WB champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) is this Saturday night.

Dibella sees Joshua as taking easier fights against guys that aren’t a threat to him. Dibella says Joshua could bring in 60,000 boxing fans for fighting a clown in the UK, so he doesn’t need to fight quality opposition for him to bring in big ratings.

Wilder is risking everything this Saturday night in defending his WBC title against Ortiz at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Showtime Boxing will be televising the fight live.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn could have matched him against Ortiz when he was promoting the Cuban briefly, but he opted to match him against the likes of Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale. It’s generally believed that Hearn didn’t want to take a risk by putting his raw money fighter in with Ortiz and risk him getting knocked out by the Cuban. So instead of Ortiz being used by Hearn for a fight against Joshua, we saw him instead matched against Dave Allen and Malik Scott.

“Anthony Joshua wouldn’t get in the same room with him,” Dibella said to Yahoo Sports News. “That wasn’t the Wladimir that we all know,” Dibella said pointing out that Joshua beat Wladimir when he was 41 and not the same fighter he’d been 2 to 3 years before that. “That was Wladimir coming off of a 12 round shellacking from pillar to post by Tyson Fury. That wasn’t a good victory. That was the first time Wladimir had a guy doing a chicken dance in a couple of years. If Wladimir had anyone hurt like that 2 to 3 years back, he would have knocked them out,” Dibella said.

Dibella is right about Wladimir being nowhere near the fighter he once was when he was picked out by Hearn to fight Joshua. Wladimir was 40-year-old when he fought Joshua, and he was coming off of a loss to Tyson Fury and a 2-year layoff. Wladimir hurt Joshua in the 6th round, and knocked him down. Wladimir didn’t try and finish Joshua. He boxed Joshua, and that was the wrong move. Allowing Joshua to survive backfired on Klitschko, as he was eventually knocked out by the British heavyweight in the 11th.

”If Deontay knocks that guy [Ortiz] out, do you think this is any incentive to Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua to make the fight quickly? Dibella said. ”If Deontay looks great and whips through Luis Ortiz, I’d be shocked if they come to the table to make the fight quickly,” Dibella said.

Dibella could be right about an impressive knockout win for Wilder hurting his chances of getting the Joshua fight. Hearn says a Wilder knockout will help make the Joshua fight bigger, but he doesn’t say when he’ll let him take the fight. Hearn has plans on matching Joshua against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in the summer. Joshua first must take care of business against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on March 31 in their unification fight at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. If Joshua wins that fight, Hearn will match him against Miller. Hearn also says he could match Joshua against either Alexander Povetkin or Tyson Fury at the end of the year. Povetkin is fighting David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard on March 31. With that move, Hearn is setting up the Joshua-Povetkin fight.

”He can fight bozo the clown out there and sell 60,000 seats,” Dibella said. ”Why do you think he’s talking about Jarrell Miller? Why is he talking about switching networks too? Why is he doing all these things?” Dibella said.

Hearn says he wants to match Joshua against Miller in the U.S so he can build him into a bigger name with the American boxing fans. That’s a logical move that makes a lot of sense. However, Hearn could hurt the chances of a Joshua vs. Wilder fight from taking place by moving AJ from Showtime to HBO. It’s going to make things really complicated when it comes to making the Joshua-Wilder fight if the two fighters are on separate networks. Hearn has to be aware of how difficult it is to make fights that involve fighters competing on different networks. Joshua moving to HBO could be interpreted as a way for Hearn to get an excuse for not making the Wilder fight.

”He’s got to use his jab. He’s got to use his reach, and he’s got to be more patient than when he fought Bermane Stiverne,” Dibella said. ”Luis Ortiz is not the type of guy you blow out in 60 seconds unless you land a really lucky punch. Deontay is a bigger puncher than Ortiz. Deontay is a bigger puncher than Joshua. Deontay is a bigger puncher than anyone, but he’s got to avoid leaving himself open for a left hand he doesn’t see. I’d say Deontay’s power is bigger, greater,” Dibella said in comparing Wilder’s power to Lennox Lewis’. “I don’t think Deontay’s skillset is what Lennox’s was in his prime.”

The way that Wilder, 32, is talking, he’s going to try and knockout Ortiz as fast as possible on Saturday. It doesn’t sound like Wilder is going to take his time with Ortiz. Wilder thinks he’s sow, and he can knock him out quickly. If Wilder does try to end the fight right away, he could walk into something and wind up getting knocked out himself. Wilder is the bigger puncher of the two, but he might not have the same punch resistance. If the fight comes down to which of the two heavyweights has the better chin, then Ortiz will have a very good shot of winning.

”Deontay has a tendency to try and use that power and sometimes get a little wild with it,” Dibella said. ”Against 95 percent of the heavyweights in the division, he can afford to get a little sloppy, because he’s extremely athletic and powerful. He can’t afford to do that against a Cuban national champion, International champion, with left-handed power, he can’t do that. You can’t assume you’re going to be able to go through him like a knife through butter. I think he has to be more patient. He’s younger. If the fight goes into the later rounds, I think that’s to Deontay’s advantage. If Ortiz is at the end of Deontay’s jab, Ortiz can’t land his big left hand,” Dibella said.

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