The undefeated WBO Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder will defend his title against Luis Ortiz this Saturday at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York City. Wilder, who is undefeated with an impressive record of 38 KO’s in 39 victories, is on a course towards a monumental clash towards Anthony Joshua, with the two widely considered to be the best fighters in their weight class. Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, is on record saying that there is “absolutely no question” Joshua will face Wilder in a heavyweight unification bout in 2018.
A Joshua-Wilder fight would be the biggest in the sport (Source: boxingscene.com)
Wilder, nicknamed the Bronze Bomber after his bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is blessed with an athletic build that gives him an instant advantage against virtually any opponent. He is 6’7″, with a 83″ reach, allowing him to land punches on opponents from a distance, without them getting close enough to cause him any damage. But beyond his frame, Wilder possesses the most precious commodity in the sport, a skill which cannot be taught: devastating knockout power. Every heavyweight boxer has punching power, but few have the immediate, one-punch concussive power that Wilder can dish out. His punches are not pretty, often wildly thrown in a way that can leave him unbalanced, but if he manages to land a clean shot it is game over for his opponents. Anyone who doubts this should take a look at his destruction of Dominic Stiverne in their bout last November.
Before any talk of a unification bout against Anthony Joshua can really materialise, Wilder has to successfully defend his title against Luis Ortiz. Ortiz is also undefeated, with 24 of his 28 victories coming by knockout. The 38-year-old Cuban’s career has not been without controversy, as he failed a drug test in September 2017, testing positive for the banned diuretics chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide. Wilder-Ortiz was scheduled to take place on 4 November, but was postponed, and Ortiz was fined $25,000 (£18,500). He managed to avoid a ban, however, as the World Boxing Council found that he had taken the drugs to combat high blood pressure. His offence was simply failing to disclose his use of them. Whether or not Ortiz’s use of the drugs was genuine, his boxing skills are unquestionable. He is 6’4″, fighting in a Southpaw stance, with considerable power and an amateur boxing career consisting of 349 wins.
Luis Ortiz, AKA “King Kong” (Source: AFP)
There are questions over Ortiz’s stamina, and just how much danger he poses as a fight progresses to the later rounds. Wilder and Ortiz are both dangerous in the early rounds, and because of Wilder’s reach advantage, Ortiz will be forced to come forward in order to land punches. There is very little chance this fight goes the distance, and Ortiz, being the older man, will likely fade after showing promise in the fight’s opening stages. All signs point towards a Wilder KO in the first 6 rounds, in a fast paced encounter.