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Whyte says Wilder can’t take a punch, Ortiz can win

Deontay Wilder

By Jim Dower: Dillian Whyte thinks WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s reign as a champion could come to a crashing halt this Saturday night in his fight with unbeaten Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Wilder vs. Ortiz will be televised on Saturday night by Showtime Championship Boxing. The start time is at 9pm ET/6pm PT.

Whyte, 29, says he’s seen Wilder get knocked down and stopped in sparring in the past. Whyte doesn’t say who hurt Wilder and when the sparring took place. Whyte thinks Wilder is vulnerable against the 38-year-old Ortiz.

Wilder looked like he was stunned by David Haye during a sparring session many years ago. But we also saw Wilder working over Haye in the video. The video is so old that it’s no longer relevant to show what could happen this Saturday between Wilder and Ortiz.

Whyte isn’t entirely sold on Ortiz, however. He sees the Cuban fighter’s age and inactivity as being major problems for him in trying to win this fight. Whyte notes that Ortiz hasn’t been all that active in the last 2 years of his career, and he’s not young at 38. While he has respect for Ortiz’s punching power and boxing skills, he thinks his age and inactivity could hurt his chances of winning on Saturday.

Whyte says Wilder hasn’t faced the best opposition since he won the WBC title, but he’s been active in defending his title 6 times successfully since winning it in January 2015 against Bermane Stiverne. Ortiz has actually been a little busier than Wilder since 2016 in fighting 5 times compared to his 4 times. Wilder has had injuries and fighters testing positive for drugs. Those things have slowed him down from fighting as frequently as he’d like to have. But even though Wilder hasn’t been as busy as Ortiz, he’s continued to train hard. He’s not sat around eating and getting fat the way some fighters do in between fights.

”Ortiz stands a very good chance because Deontay Wilder can’t take a punch,” Ortiz said to the ”I’ve seen Wilder spar, I’ve seen him get knocked out in sparring before, but I don’t tell sparring stories. I saw him get dropped in sparring before, but sparring’s sparring.”

Ortiz has been wearing a glove on his left hand this week in what appears to be an attempt for him to cover up a large knot on his hand. Ortiz appears to have hurt his left hand at some point in his training. If the injury is bad enough that Ortiz can’t use his left hand to throw with maximum power against Wilder, then he’ll have very little chance of winning.

Ortiz is not going to out-box Wilder with just his right hand. Ortiz will need both hands working at full strength for him to have the possibility of winning this fight. The chances are not good though for Ortiz to pull off the upset. Wilder can take a pretty good shot, and he’s not someone that is easy to hit repeatedly due to his height, reach and mobility. Ortiz is slow on his feet, and he’s going to be an easy target for Wilder’s right hands. Ortiz hasn’t been hurt yet as a pro, but he’s not fought any big punchers like Wilder. Ortiz has fought weaker fighters like Tony Thompson, Dave Allen, Malik Scott and Bryant Jennings.

The southpaw Ortiz could win this fight if he can stick around long enough to land one of his left hand bombs, but it’s not likely. Wilder is the favorite to win this fight with the odds-makers. If you compare how Ortiz looked in his last 3 fights against Daniel Martz, David Allen and Malik Scott to how Wilder has looked in his last 3 fights, it’s obvious that Wilder is the better fighter at this point. Ortiz might have been better than Wilder 4 years ago in 2014, but he’s aged dramatically since then and he’s not the ame guy that was blowing through his opposition back then.

Ortiz’s age is listed in the records as being 38, but many boxing fans suspect him to be between 45 and 52-yers-old. If the age is correct at 38, he doesn’t look his age, and that could work against him on Saturday against the 32-year-old Wilder. The Bronze Bomber is in the prime of his career right now, and looking very good lately with recent knockout wins over Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola and Artur Szpilka. Ortiz looks like he’s lost some speed since 2014. He looked very good in beating Lateef Kayode in 2014. In his last fight against Daniel Martz in December, Ortiz was nowhere near the same guy that destroyed Kayode in 1 round in September 2014. Ortiz tested positive for a banned drug after the fight. The fight was later ruled a no contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Ortiz looked like a superstar against Kayode in nailing him with 15 shots in a row before the stoppage. If Wilder were facing that version of Ortiz on Saturday, he’d be in trouble. Anthony Joshua would have a lot of problems against that version of Ortiz as well. What’s clear though is Ortiz is not the same fighter that blasted out Kayode. He looks old and slow now, but still powerful. His power is the same, but the speed is gone and he doesn’t look as lean as he did in 2014.

Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) will be fighting this month on March 24 against former WBA World heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Whyte must win this fight to keep in the pipeline for a rematch with IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who knocked him out in the 7th round in December 2015. Whyte has won his last 6 fights since the loss to Joshua, albeit in beating weak opponents mostly.

Whyte defeated former world title challenger Dereck Chisora by a controversial 12 round split decision 3 fights ago in December 2016. Many in British boxing public thought Chisora had done enough to earn the decision over Whyte in that fight. Whyte is expected to beat the 38-year-old Browne. If Whyte loses the fight, he can forget about getting a title shot against Joshua in the near future. But as long as Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn keeps him as a part of his Matchroom Sport stable, he’ll likely eventually get a rematch with Joshua. Their 2015 fight attracted a lot of attention with the British boxing public. As long as Whyte doesn’t lose too many times, Hearn will put him back in with Joshua. It won’t be a great fight as far as international appeal, but the boxing fans in the UK will still have interest in seeing the rematch.

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