On Saturday, November 23rd, WBC Heavyweight Champ Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (41-0-1, 40KOs) will fight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be the second time these two meet. If Ortiz can pull off the upset, it would send colossal waves through the boxing world.
Deontay Wilder has been destructive, and also lucky since his first meeting with Ortiz. He’s 1-0-1 with 1 KO since their first fight. He got a very generous draw in his fight with Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (29-0-1, 20KOs). It was a fight in which many boxing fans felt Fury dominated Wilder most of the fight, despite being knocked down twice. After that he came back to fight his mandatory Dominic Breazeale (20-2, 18KOs), who was not much of a challenge and got blown away inside of the first round. If Wilder wins this rematch, a rematch with Fury appears to be on the horizon in February. We can all hope and pray that fight would go through and actually happen. It needs to happen.
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz hasn’t been been able to attract any elite or top tier opponents, even though he’s 40 years old. He has stayed active since Wilder, fighting two more times in 2018, and fought Christian Hammer (24-6, 14KOs) earlier this year and won a wide unanimous decision. None of those fights could prepare him for Wilder, but none of his fights before their first meeting could either, and he performed well until he gassed out in the late rounds. One thing he has improved on, is his physique. He’s been on Victor Conte’s SNAC training regiment. It’s tough for many to believe that Ortiz has transformed his physique this noticeably at an old age, but Conte has sworn that Ortiz is clean. There are videos on YouTube showing the intense training Ortiz has been doing. His physical transformation is not impossible given the technology of 2019 and the proper diet and workout plan. Ortiz has promised that he will not gas out in the rematch. I hope he doesn’t. I hope he can bang it out and avoid any huge shots from Wilder and land his own. It would make for a great treat to close out a year that has blessed us with so many amazing fights.
Keys to Victory for Wilder:
- Establish the jab early. Wilder has the 5 inch reach advantage, has to use it. He uses his jab more as a range finder than anything, but with Ortiz he wants to pepper him with the jab and keep him on outside early in the fight. Then he will find his range after a round or two. Then, DROP THE THUNDER. It’s really that simple. Use the straight right to back him up, then bring the bombs.
- Counter to the body. Ortiz might be 40, but if any of you have seen him lately and what he’s been doing in training camp; you have seen the fantastic shape he looks to be in. Given Ortiz’ reach disadvantage, he will have to get inside on Wilder. When he does wilder should beat up his body. Ortiz has promised not to gas. Wilder should test that out. It doesn’t matter who you are. No one is taking thundering shots to the body over and over. When Ortiz comes inside, Wilder should use jabs to the body mixed with upper body movement to avoid counters himself, and work in powerful ripping hooks.
- Don’t get careless; Be patient. Wilder has a tendency to get defensively careless and it really hasn’t mattered up, except in his first fight with Ortiz. Ortiz had Wilder out on his feet in the 7th round. Had the round had a little more time in it, and Ortiz had a little more gas in the tank, who knows what could have happened? Wilder doesn’t need to put himself in that position. Be patient, the opportunities will come and all he has to do is be patient, jab, and when the opening shows, drop the hammer.
Keys to Victory for Ortiz:
- Needs to pace himself. This was his biggest problem in the first fight. As far as I can tell, it appears that he is having an outstanding training camp and looks to be in peak condition. But he will need to pace himself and find a balance of patience & aggression. He likes to move around a lot and he will have to, as he did in first fight. If he can pick his spots and have enough gas to close out the fight strong, he has a chance.
- Make him miss, make him pay. Ortiz has great footwork. He will need to move around intelligently (move around with a purpose). Time Wilder and counter with his power. Ortiz is the older fighter, not nearly as fresh as Wilder. He will need work off the jab, move, and keep using his awkward southpaw angles to make Wilder work more and miss much more. Successful counter-punching is the only way Ortiz is winning this fight. If he can clip Wilder early, and make him respect his power, he can steal a bunch of early rounds. This is the big part of this, stealing rounds early to mid rounds.
- Mix up combinations and angles. We’ve touched on stamina/endurance & counter punching. When Ortiz gets inside, punch selection will be another big thing. While working off the jab, come in with body punches, following straight into uppercuts and straights. If wilder misses big with a counter, then Ortiz should take the risk of going for broke with a 3-4-5 punch combination, beginning with a powerful bomb to possibly stun Wilder.
For Wilder, this is just another day at the office. Ortiz is 40 years old (he’s listed at 40 years old, but there has long been a suspicion that he’s in fact older), but outside of his first fight with Wilder, he hasn’t taken much punishment in his career. Will his rugged training camp that has appeared to give him a drink from the fountain of youth help him to not fatigue in the later rounds? Will he be able to avoid Wilder’s power most of the fight? I don’t know. I wouldn’t put money on it. I expect Wilder to be patient, to an extent. Once he finds his range, he will start his seek and destroy mission with Ortiz. I think one or two of those bombs eventually land clean and Ortiz won’t be able to recover. My prediction: Wilder by KO/TKO mid rounds to late rounds.
The fight will be shown on Fox Sports PPV. Our UK viewers can catch the fight on Sky Sports Action. The main card will begin at 9:00PM ET and it’s loaded. Here are the other featured bouts on the card:
- Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19KOs) vs. Miguel Flores (24-2, 12KOs) for the vacant WBA Super Featherweight Championship
- Brandon Figueroa(c) (20-0, 15KOs) vs. Julio Ceja (32-4, 28KOs) for the WBA Super Bantamweight Championship
- Luis Nery (30-0, 24KOs) vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12KOs), 12 round, bantamweight fight