The Heavyweights are Coming – Part 1, Wilder vs. Ortiz

When Deontay Wilder fights Luis Ortiz this Saturday, it will be the first of what will be an intriguing few weeks in the heavyweight division.  With Anthony Joshua fighting Joseph Parker in a few weeks, four undefeated heavyweights will dwindle down to two.

This looks like championship fights semi-finals, to what should eventually be the winners of both of these fights, facing each other for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.  If that doesn’t excite people, the quality and action of these fights should.  I can assure you these fights will be more exciting than the previous champion Vladamir Kiltchko.

Wilder will be coming into this fight, as the WBC heavyweight Champion.  He is 39 wins and no losses, with 38 knockouts.  Ortiz is 28 wins and no losses with 24 knockouts.  It is safe to say this one is likely going to be a knockout.

This is an interesting fight, because there are a lot of factors outside of who has better technique, and who has more heart.  The first factor to consider is age.  Later this month, Ortiz will turn 39 years old.  Wilder is only 32.  Wilder is in his prime, and Ortiz, is past his prime.  Advantage Wilder.

The second factor I would consider is conditioning.  Wilder respects boxing and comes to play every fight.   He conditions himself great.  This fight he has weighed in 214 1/2 pounds, a little light.  Previous fights Wilder has been closer to 220 pounds, which tells me Wilder wants every edge, and he believes the better conditioning faster Wilder will give him an advantage.  Ortiz is 241 pounds.  He has traditionally slowed down in the later rounds, and is not nearly as conditioned as Wilder.  I would have expected him to want to get to 230 pounds to fight a Deontay Wilder.  Advantage Wilder.

The third factor to consider is styles/technique.  This fight matches up as the boxer vs. the brawler.  This will make for an exciting fight.  Ortiz has world class technique, and he is a southpaw.  Wilder will use lateral movement, as he won’t out muscle Ortiz by any stretch of the imagination.   Wilder, exactly like his last name is the wilder fighter.  Often you will see him throw amateur type long and wide punches.  Advantage Ortiz.

Factor four is who has the best punch.  Ortiz can take you out with a number of punches. Wilder’s right hand cross is the best punch out of the two fighters.  Wilder is a one punch knockout artist, so he is always a punch away from staying undefeated.  Advantage Wilder

I don’t give much validity to quality of fighters each fighter has faced prior.  I would have to say Ortiz has gone against a higher number of quality fighters than Wilder has.  That is not Wilder’s fault, he had a scheduled fight against Alexander Povotkin, only to have him get caught with performance enhancing drugs, and the fight was cancelled.  Wilder in fact is not running away from anyone, and is seeking to win this fight and then fight Anthony Joshua, assuming he beats Parker.

This fight can go any way, and it is always one punch (Wilder’s right hand) away from ending.  This is a tough one to call, but here I go.  Wilder wins this fight if he control’s the pace, and is able to keep length with his jab.  If he is controlling the fight with his jab, it is only a matter of time before he catches Ortiz with a punch he can’t handle.  Wilder did his best when winning the title in his toughest fight, against Bermane Stiverne; the first fight.  It was his first fight past 4 rounds and he willed himself to be so energetic in round 12, and win a convincing, and impressive decision.

I have always said when all else is even, technique wins all fights.  Using my analysis above, all is not equal.  The last time I went against technique winning was picking Sergey Kovalev to beat Andre Ward, in their second fight.  We saw what the better technique with Ward did to Kovalev.  Ironically, Kovalev is fighting tomorrow also.  Ortiz can win this fight by staying closer to Wilder, and using his weight and overall power (power from multiple pushes and angles), to push Wilder around.  He would have to control the boxing angles which he throws his punches and defends himself from.  Great technique can do that.  If he forces Wilder inside, Wilder doesn’t shorten his punches, and throws wild punches against Ortiz, that is a bad recipe for Wilder.

I can see Ortiz running out of gas in the later rounds and Wilder catching him, but I am going to take technique over the other stuff and pick Ortiz in an upset, to beat Wilder.  I would love to see the USA born Wilder win this fight, but I think Ortiz is going to be too strong, and to slick for Wilder.  If you can’t show your best in a fight like this, then you don’t belong in the sport.  As long as he doesn’t run out of gas, causing him to be open for a big right handed cross, Ortiz wins this fight.


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