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Dillian Whyte should face Luis Ortiz in June

Deontay Wilder

By Scott Gilfoid: Dillian Whyte and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been calling out WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), saying that the WBC champion should agree to come to the UK, but the fighter they need to be targeting is Cuban Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs).

Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs) has the ideal opportunity to setup a fight between himself and Wilder by taking on the hard-hitting southpaw Ortiz and showing that he can do a better job against him than Deontay did earlier this month on March 3. Wilder knocked Ortiz out in the 10th round, but not before he was badly hurt by the Cuban in the 7th round. That was a tough fight for Wilder.

I speak for a lot of boxing fans when I say the WBC should order Whyte to face Ortiz next. If Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is eager to have his next fight take place in the UK, then he should do it by matching him against Ortiz. If Whyte can pass that test, then he should be given the WBC mandatory status, but he does not deserve it after beating Browne. In watching that fight last weekend, all I could think of is that wily Hearn did it again. He found another easy mark for Whyte to fight to make him look good in the eyes of the boxing public.

Hearn was asked if he’d be willing to let Whyte fight Ortiz, and he immediately shut the topic of conversation down by saying that Cuban fighter is not on the radar screen of his fighter. It was the similar type of thing that we heard from Hearn as when he was asked if he’d be willing to let his fighter Daniel Jacobs face Jermall Charlo. Hearn said the same thing. ‘Charlo is not on our radar screen.’ You can argue that’s Hearn’s code for him not wanting to put Jacobs and Whyte in any risky fights before they’re given title shots.

Whyte still must earn his way to a title shot against Wilder, because beating up on Browne wasn’t enough for him to be given a big fight. It was too poor of an opponent if you ask me.

Fighting Luis Ortiz would give Whyte his first real opponent of his career besides Joshua, and we could see whether he deserves a title shot or not against Wilder. Hearn has already said no to the idea of letting Whyte fight Ortiz, but people can change their mind. The World Boxing Council can force Whyte to fight Ortiz by ordering the fight, which they should do in my opinion. After the impressive performance by Ortiz against Wilder on March 3, I think he deserves to fight Whyte in a WBC mandated official eliminator fight.

It would be sad news if last Saturday’s fight between Whyte and ‘Big Daddy’ Browne was a WBC eliminator match. The sanctioning body can do A LOT better than that in selecting the next mandatory challenger for Wilder than letting Whyte beat up an old, slower fighter like Browne to earn the shot. The southpaw Ortiz is the same age as Browne at 38, but he’s so much better. Whyte would have to show some real boxing skills if he wants to beat Ortiz, because there’s a good chance that he would lose to the Cuban talent.

Whyte’s problem is he hasn’t beaten anyone good yet to show that he deserves the fight against Wilder. Whyte lost to Anthony Joshua and Dereck Chisora, although he was given a VERY, VERY controversial win over Delboy in 2016. That was a clear loss though for Whyte. You can’t count that as a win for Whyte, and you can’t count his win last weekend of Lucas Browne as a victory over a quality opponent. The reality is, Whyte hasn’t beaten anyone good ever during his career. His wins have come against weak opposition like David Allen, Browne, Robert Helenius and Chisora, which as I pointed out already, it wasn’t a win.

The fans that believe that Whyte has already earned the fight against Wilder by beating 38-year-old, out of shape-looking Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (25-1, 22 KOs) last Saturday night is misguided. As of Monday, Whyte is still NOT the WBC mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title. The World Boxing Council has no said a peep about them being close to making Whyte the mandatory challenger. No matter what Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn says, the WBC has not made Whyte the mandatory for Wilder. Beating an out of shape and inactive Lucas Browne by a 6th round knockout in London, England didn’t do anything to further Whyte’s creditials. That was just another carefully matched for Whyte, whose real talent was shown in his life and deal battle against past his prime Dereck Chisora in 2016.

Since the moment Whyte knocked out the overweight 264-pound Browne last Saturday, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has been trying to dictate to Deontay Wilder, telling the media that he needs to fight Whyte in June, and that he needs to come over to England and face him there. That’s not the fight that Wilder wants though. He wants to face Hearn’s No.1 money guy IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Hearn trying to stick Whyte in front of Joshua gives the appearance that the promoter is trying to protect his cash cow by having the 29-year-old Whyte run interference to keep the powerful Deontay from getting to hi and possibly knocking him out.

Whyte would likely be the underdog against Ortiz. You can’t say that Whyte would be the favorite, because Ortiz has more talent and punching power than him. Just the fact that the fight would be tilted in Ortiz’s favor makes it unlikely that it’ll happen. Hearn didn’t want to let Ortiz fight Anthony Joshua when he was promoting the Cuban for a brief period. Hearn had the opportunity to make the Joshua-Ortiz fight, but instead he used Ortiz’s lackluster performances against David Allen and Malik Scott as an excuse not to make the fight.

I don’t think it would be fair to the boxing fans if Whyte is given a world title shot against Wilder off the back of his fight against Browne. That was too poor of an opponent. Ortiz should be the gatekeeper fighter who stands in the way of challengers wanting to get a world title shot against Deontay. If Whyte can’t beat Ortiz, then so be it. It wasn’t meant to be.

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