Luis Ortiz ready for whatever style Deontay Wilder brings
By Stanley White: Luis Ortiz says he’s ready to adapt to whatever game plan WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder brings to the table on Saturday. Ortiz says he’s trained to deal with Wilder slugging or running.
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
Ortiz’s training team has covered both possibilities for the March 3rd fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder has taken a big gamble in coming in at 214 lbs. for Friday’s weigh-in. That’s very low for a top heavyweight.
If this was back in the days of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and a young George Foreman, then 214 lbs. wouldn’t be so bad. But in modern times, heavyweights now weigh in the 240s. The guys that are below 220 aren’t factors in the division because they lack the size to compete against the bigger fighters.
Wilder has gotten with being lighter than the normal heavyweight because he’s not been fighting the better fighters in the division. In his 10-year pro career, Wilder has compiled his wins over fighters like Eric Molina, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Chris Arreola and Malik Scott. Ortiz will be the first good heavyweight that Wilder will have faced. Wilder’s low weight for this fight could be a product of him being worried. If he worked harder for this camp than in his previous ones, it would explain why he’s so light.
Many boxing fans are eager to see what Ortiz can do against the 6’7” Wilder. The fans have heard a lot about Ortiz, but a lot of them still haven’t seen him fight. This will be the ultimate test for Ortiz o be taking on Wilder. The fighters that Ortiz has faced thus far have mostly been shorter than him and not particularly talented or power.
Wilder will be taller than Ortiz by 3 inches, and a lot faster and with more punching power. Ortiz will outweigh Wilder by close to 27 pounds on Saturday night, but he still won’t have the same kind of power as him due to his tall 6’7” frame. Wilder can get a lot of leverage on his shots and this enabled him to generate huge power that fighters like the 38-year-old Ortiz can only dream about.
The 6’4” Ortiz isn’t fast on his feet. Even when Ortiz was younger and still fighting in the Cuban National system, he wasn’t a fast mover. If Wilder elects to use movement on Saturday night, it could be a problem for Ortiz. He’s not going to beat Wilder in a jabbing contest. That’s a losing proposition for Ortiz if he gets stuck in that kind of a fight.
“Our training camp was prepared for whatever Deontay Wilder was going to bring into the ring, whether it was a runner, or a puncher – whatever he wants to do we have trained for it so there’s no problem,” Ortiz said.
If Wilder starts slugging, he’s not going to miss with Ortiz being a slow target. Ortiz will need to take Wilder’s right-hand power, and hope that he’s weaker due to his weight. Neither of these fighters has been in with the best. Ortiz’s best win is against Bryant Jennings in 2016, who gave him all kinds of problems before being knocked out in the 7th. That was not an easy fight for Ortiz. Jennings looked very good at times. He made a mistake of trying to fight Ortiz on the inside, and he found out the hard that he has an excellent uppercut that he likes to throw.
“You have to adapt and make changes come fight night, and I’m prepared to do that and I’m experienced to do that,” Ortiz said.
Wilder is going to stay on the outside and jab Ortiz. We probably won’t see Wilder throw his right hand until he gets hit with something from Ortiz. When Wilder is afraid, he doesn’t let his hands go. We saw that in his fights against Szpilka and Gerald Washington. It wasn’t until Wilder was hit with a shot from those guys that he unloaded and quickly knocked them out. Ortiz is going to need to make sure he hurts Wilder when he nails him with one of his big shots, because if he’s still able to function, he’s going to fire back a right hand that will have knockout intentions on it. Wilder might start wind-milling with his shots. If he connects with those punches, Ortiz is going to be out of it. Ortiz is a big heavyweight, but it’s difficult to take Wilder’s looping shots because they come from such wide angles. Ortiz might not see the shots until it’s too late.
” I’ve been waiting my whole career to do this as a pro and as an amateur this is something I never dreamed I would do, and I’m not losing tomorrow,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz has only been a pro for 8 years. It’s not as if he’s been around for a long time. Ortiz got a late start to his career in beginning his career at 30-years-old instead of in his early 20s like most fighters. If Ortiz was with the right promotional company at the start of his career, he has been fast tracked to the top in the same way Top Rank did with Vasyl Lomachenko. They had him fighting major fights in his 2nd pro fight. That’s what should have happened with Ortiz. He’s been moved too slowly by his management, so now he’s getting his first title shot at nearly 40. Who knows? Ortiz might be as old as some boxing fans say he is. They think he’s his mid-40s. It’s too late for Ortiz to fix the mistakes that was made in his career. He’s got to make the best of it by beating Wilder whichever way he can. Taking the fight to Wilder would probably be the best thing for Ortiz. He’s not going to beat him by boxing from the outside.
“I am the best and I’m ready to show on Saturday night that I’m the best in the world,” Wilder said.