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Deontay Wilder turned down $4.5M for Whyte for $2.1M to fight Ortiz

Deontay Wilder

By Allan Fox: Deontay Wilder made for less money last Saturday night in defending his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz than what he would have made had he defended it against #1 WBC Dillian Whyte.

Wilder’s purse for his defense against the 38- year-old Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) was $2.1 million. Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) could have made double that at $4.5 million had he accepted the offer from Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn to face Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) for a fight on March 24 in London, England.

By choosing to fight Ortiz, Wilder wound up losing $2.5 million in the process. You hate to see fighters making poor business decisions, especially when they look as shaky as the 32-year-old Wilder did against Ortiz last Saturday night in their fight on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder almost saw his 3-year title reign as the WBC champion end in the 7th round after getting hurt by Ortiz.

Showing a lot of heart, Wilder was able to survive the 7th round and come back to stop Ortiz in the 10th. Wilder took the fight with Ortiz because he wanted to face the best contender in the division, and try and raise his stock for a unification fight with IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Wilder won the fight, but he didn’t increase his stock. If anything, Wilder’s stock dropped dramatically with his performance. Wilder was exposed by Ortiz as having a weak chin and poor boxing skills. Wilder would have been better off taking the bigger money to face Whyte. Wilder might have lost that fight, but he at least would have made twice the money.

After his shaky performance against Ortiz, Wilder gave himself credit for getting the win, and being able to handle the punching power of the Cuban heavyweight.

“A true champion always finds a way to come back and that’s what I did tonight,” said Wilder. “Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy. He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down. I showed everyone I can take a punch.”

Wilder was hurt by a left hand counter by Ortiz in the 7th round. Ortiz took advantage of Wilder throwing one of his telegraphed right hands by countering him with a nice left that he never saw coming. Wilder was forced to hold on after getting hit with that shot. Ortiz got a little overanxious by throwing too many shots in a hurry without aiming the punches properly. Ortiz would have had a better chance of stopping Wilder in the round if he’d been more patient and conserved his energy when he was going for the kill. Ortiz didn’t have the gas tank for him to unload on Wilder with a flurry of shots the way he did in the 7th. The flurry from Ortiz probably cost him the fight, because he was gassed out for the remainder of the contest. Wilder was able to come back from the round stop Ortiz in the 10th.

It’ll be interesting to see if Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is still willing to offer Wilder $4.5 million to fight him. Wilder is probably not going to get the fight with Anthony Joshua next. Hearn says he wants to match Joshua against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in the summer. Wilder will have to fight someone else. If Hearn is willing to offer Wilder $4.5 million, then maybe he’ll accept that money now. If not, then we could see Wilder take on someone like #2 WBC Dominic Breazeale.

Deontay Wilder doesn’t have a lot of great options for his next fight. The bottom dwellers in the World Boxing Council’s top 15 rankings are potentially dangerous fighters like Dereck Chisora, Lucas Browne, Adam Kownacki and Oscar Rivas. Charles Martin is ranked #8 with the WBC, but he’s a southpaw and that would be a tricky fight for Wilder. Whyte is the perfect fight for Wilder now, because it sets up the Joshua fight at the end of 2018 or early 2019. One thing is for sure, Wilder needs to fight a good opponent to raise his stock, because the Ortiz fight had too much drama and he looked badly flawed in winning the contest.

“He was hitting me with those furious punches but they didn’t have sting on them,” Wilder said. ”He was throwing combos that knocked me off balance. I just had to get my range back and my fundamentals back. And I was able to do that. I showed I was a true champion tonight,” Wilder said.

Wilder, 32, isn’t giving Ortiz full credit for having hurt him in the 7th round last Saturday night. The shot that hurt Wilder wasn’t a punch that merely knocked him off balance as he maintains it did. The punch hurt the Bronze Bomber enough to where he was holding on, and looking wobbly on weak legs. Wilder was against the ropes looking like he was inches from being knocked out by the 38-year-old Ortiz. All it would have taken is one big left hand from Ortiz to finish the job and he would have won the fight. Ortiz got overly excited at seeing Wilder hurt and he failed to take his time.

The boxing public seems to be pleased with Wilder’s performance against Ortiz, as they’re complimenting him today. Some fans are even saying that Wilder have proven himself as the No.1 heavyweight in the division with his performance against Ortiz. Wilder looked pretty bad, and he got away with two hard rabbit punches in the final sequence of the fight in the 10th. Wilder tossed Ortiz to the canvas shortly before stopping him. Wilder had gotten dirty at that point in the fight. He was desperate to win and bending the rules to make it happen. Ortiz proved to be the best opponent Wilder has fought. The 38-year-old exposed Wilder’s inability to box and his weak chin. The way Wilder looked in the fight, he’s going to have problems facing a younger fighter like 29-year-old Whyte or Breazeale. Those guys won’t gas out like Ortiz did from throwing a flurry of shots.




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