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Luis Ortiz wants rematch with Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder

By Eric Thomas: Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) tried his best last Saturday night in challenging WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) for his title, but he came up short in getting stopped in the 10th round in a highly dramatic finish at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Ortiz says he did enough in almost beating Wilder to deserve a rematch against him, and he’s hoping he gives him his wish. Ortiz feels that if the boxing public wants to see a rematch between him and the hard-hitting 32-year-old Wilder, then the fight should happen.

Wilder didn’t mention after the fight whether he’d be interested in fighting Ortiz a second time. You’d have to imagine that after the scare that Ortiz put in him last Saturday night in almost knocking him out in round 7, the 6’7” Wilder will instead go in a different direction towards a safer fight.

“Yeah, I knew he hit hard going into the fight, and Wilder proved it today. It’s boxing,” Ortiz said at the post-fight press conference. “It’s destiny. It was his destiny today. He’s one of the best I’ve ever fought. He proved it tonight. Anything can happen with two big punchers. I came ready to do 12, 13 rounds, but 1-punch power that clips you when you’re a heavyweight, you can’t do nothing about it,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz, 38, said he could have done more to try and KO Wilder after he had him hurt in the 7th, but he didn’t want to get careless while trying to finish him. Ortiz was still wary of Wilder’s punching power even when unloading on him after he had him badly shaken in the round. Wilder’s legs looked like they were completely gone after Ortiz staggered him with a left to the head. The punches Wilder did throw, they looked weak and they were thrown with him standing straight up without his normal wide stance. They were arm punches with very little on them.

”Yeah, I want it [rematch] and I think I deserve it, but it’s up to Wilder,” Ortiz said. ”It was a great fight. I could have done more, but against a person like Wilder, you can’t go crazy,” Ortiz said in explaining why he didn’t push harder to try for the knockout after he hurt Wilder in the 7th. “I think that’s what happened. I got too comfortable, and I got caught with a punch. Yeah, I’d like a rematch if the public wants it,” Ortiz said.

If there is a rematch, Wilder will likely be a lot more confident and willing to let his hands go than he was last Saturday. Wilder-Ortiz 2 could end as early as the 1st round like we saw with Wilder vs. Bermane Stiverne 2 last November. Wilder was a different person for the second fight with Stiverne. What changed in the second fight was the mental aspect. Wilder felt like he had nothing to fear from Stiverne, so he went after him right away in tagging him with his best right hands. Stiverne went down three times before the fight was stopped in round 1. Wilder could do the same thing to Ortiz. Wilder could make a statement with a fast knockout of Ortiz in a rematch.

Wilder doesn’t have a lot of top contenders that the boxing pubic are interested in seeing him fight in his next title defense. Wilder is waiting for a unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion. You can argue the boxing public would prefer to see Wilder face Luis Ortiz in a rematch than seeing him go after the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Kubrat Pulev, Charles Martin, Dereck Chisora, Adam Kownacki, Christian Hammer, Agit Kabayel or Oscar Rivas.

It’s unclear whether Wilder’s management will pick one of those fighters for his next title defense. Those are all heavyweights ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Council at this time. Since Wilder usually defends his title against fighters ranked in the WBC’s top 15, it’s possible that he could defend against one of those guys next. Ortiz would be a better option than any of those guys. The unbeaten Kownacki would be a potentially dangerous foe for Wilder, because he can punch. Breazeale, 6’7”, is the same height as Wilder, and that might be a tough fight as well for him.

“He looks like a basketball player, and there’s a lot of things he don’t do right, but when he do crack, if he ever gets you hurt, you better believe he’s going to smoke you out,” former heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield said to Fighthype about Wilder. “That’s what he do and he does it well. The guy [Luis Ortiz] had over 200 amateur fights and he was one of the best, and he’s been in the game for a long time.”

Wilder did a good job of beating a fighter with more experience and better boxing skills than himself in Ortiz? It was obvious looking at the two of them that Ortiz had the better boxing skills, but he didn’t have the mobility and youth to do the things that he’d been able to do 4 years earlier. Looking at video of Ortiz vs. Lateef Kayode in 2014, he was a much different fighter back then. Wilder was lucky he didn’t have to deal with that version of Ortiz last night.

”I thought if you keep pressuring him [Deontay Wilder] and keep hitting him to the body, you’d get him,” Holyfield said. ”But he got hit to the body and he got hurt and he won. You’ve got to give him credit for what he did,” Holyfield said of Wilder.

Holyfield had the right idea about how to beat Wilder by pressuring him and throwing to the body. Ortiz couldn’t carry out the game plan because he kept getting hit with right hands. Ortiz walked into a right hand from Wilder in the 9th round that hurt him badly. Ortiz recovered in between rounds, but Wilder was a lot more confident at the start of the 10th and willing to throw more right hands. That was the difference. Wilder was ready to bounce more right hands off Ortiz’s chin at the start of the 10th, and he couldn’t handle his power. Ortiz tried to stand up to Wilder’s shots, but he simply couldn’t.

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