Wilder vs Ortiz 2 Preview
By Oliver McManus
WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defends his title this weekend in Las Vegas. Tonight he’ll face a familiar foe in Luis Ortiz and a win should, we’re told, set up a rematch with Tyson Fury.
This contest itself is a rematch from March 2018 – a fight in which Wilder looked less than exemplary.
On that night in Brooklyn he found himself struggling to cope with his Cuban-born opponent. Ortiz was able to start the contest with a little more spring and he frustrated Wilder.
The champion’s rough and ragged approach to combinations ultimately saw him through a very rocky affair in which the windmill just wouldn’t blow.
Ortiz, officially 40, has had three contests in the time since that encounter and looked emphatic in all. Razvan Cojanu, Travis Kauffman and Christian Hammer have all fallen short in their challenges of the Cuban.
It was the win against Kauffman, a tenth round knockout, that was particularly impressive. Ortiz looked energetic and enigmatic with come-forward aggression from the off. Kauffman was dropped on three occasions and stopped standing as Ortiz rolled back the years and showed his spiteful best.
The Bronze Bomber was hurt badly in that initial contest and had to lean on Ortiz, at parts, to see it through. Whilst his weaknesses have always been known this was the first time in which they looked to be seriously exploited. He took the punches, many that he shouldn’t have, and delivered a knockout.
It was that one-dimensional approach to the contest that saw Tyson Fury send shockwaves through the Staples Center just nine months later.
In 2019 he’s produced what he’s known for – explosive finishing. Dominic Breazeale was on the unfortunate end of a right hand from Perses – the Titan god of destruction – himself.
As the challenger looked to edge his way forward he was pushed back by a firm jab before getting caught with an almighty smack on the chin. Wilder always looks reckless but, somehow, he finds a way to land on the button.
Saturday night could see him forced to rely, once more, on that brute strength. Ortiz, despite his age, remains a credible threat and knows Wilder’s weaknesses better than any.
The key to victory for Ortiz will be to get the job done in quick fashion – he’s attributed his previous loss to sheer fatigue.
The longer any contest draws out the more you favour Wilder to uncork one of those wicked, wild, thunder punches and finish the job.