There’s no doubt that Luis Ortiz represents one of the two most dangerous opponents of Deontay Wilder’s career.
Even though Wilder scored a 10th-round knockout in their first fight last year, Ortiz’s power stunned Wilder in the seventh and nearly sent him to the canvas. For about a minute in that round, Wilder was in real danger of losing a fight.
Despite Ortiz’s punching power and technical skills, hardly anybody is predicting that Ortiz will successfully get his revenge. Tyson Fury wonders why.
“Everyone is overlooking Ortiz like he’s a bum,” Fury told IFL TV, via Metro. “Although the guy is 50 years old [Ortiz is actually listed as a 40-year-old], he’s still dangerous for four rounds. Don’t go to sleep on Luis Ortiz, because he’s a monster. He’s definitely a bad old man, that’s for sure. And he’s dangerous in four rounds. In four or five rounds he’s as good if not more dangerous than anyone in the world. So don’t go to sleep on him.”
Wilder—who will make a reported $3 million purse but will likely earn millions and millions more—probably won’t overlook him, which is probably why just about everybody who’s commented on the fight is not predicting an upset.
The odds also bear that out, as Wilder is a -600 favorite (wager $600 to win $100) and Ortiz is a +450 underdog (cash $450 on a $100 bet).
That said, here are some predictions from those fighters and experts who know these boxers better than most anybody else.
Regis Prograis: The former junior welterweight titlist who fell to Josh Taylor in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series is picking Wilder. And there’s a simple reason why. “He’s the best heavyweight in the world,” Prograis told me. “This dude is a monster. Ortiz will probably be better, but in 12 rounds, he’s going to get hit. That’s all it takes. It’s that one punch.”
Andy Ruiz: The heavyweight champion who lifted Anthony Joshua’s three titles by knocking him out earlier this year, has his own rematch to worry about next month. He hopes the second fight vs. Joshua will play out much the same way the first one did. He thinks it will for Wilder. “I think it’s going to be the same outcome,” Ruiz said, via the Mirror. “Wilder’s the younger man, the stronger man.”
Mikaela Mayer: The undefeated junior lightweight who holds a regional women’s title is going with Wilder. Despite his technical flaws, Mayer can’t help but be impressed by Wilder’s best punch: his right hand. “I would bet money on Wilder,” Mayer told The Mayweather Channel on YouTube. “He’s definitely a wild puncher. We all know that. No one’s wilder than Wilder. But that right hand is something else. I don’t see someone avoiding that for 12 rounds.”
Chris Arreola: Anybody who watched the first fight with Ortiz knows that Wilder went through some of the toughest moments of his career. Arreola, who was stopped by Wilder in 2016, thinks the second bout won’t be nearly as tough. He points to Wilder’s rematch with Bermane Stiverne, who was stopped by Wilder the second time they battled after surviving 12 rounds with him in their first fight. “I think the second fight is going to be a lot easier for him,” Arreola told Premier Boxing Champions. “You see what he did to Stiverne the second time. He made him look horrible. I believe he’s going to do about the same to Ortiz. I think he’ll beat Ortiz within seven rounds.”
Ronnie Shields: The well-regarded trainer said Wilder has to fight smarter against Ortiz than he did 20 months ago. Basically, Wilder has to find a way not to get rocked with Ortiz punches. “Of course Ortiz will give Wilder problems,” Shields said, via Fight Saga. “Ortiz is a hard guy to fight and, plus, he’s a big, strong guy. I think [Wilder is] is going to stop him again but it’s going to be a tough fight like the first one.”
Aha! But not everybody is predicting another Wilder victory. At least one person is brave enough to go against the grain.
Said Luis Ortiz: “Wilder is the best heavyweight of this decade and until someone beats him, he will remain the top dog. We have a different strategy in place that I believe will be the difference in this rematch. I have plans to end this fight before the final bell.”
Source: Josh Katzowitz