Assuming Luis “King Kong” Ortiz tests clean of any performing enhancing drugs from now until then, he’ll be facing “The Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder this Saturday, March 3rd. Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime Championship Boxing will broadcast the 7th defense of Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight championship live from Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Of course, that would mark the second time Ortiz (28-0, 24 KO’s) has pissed dirty since he was last scheduled to face Wilder (39-0, 38 KO’s), November 4th of last year. And it’d be the third such occurrence overall of the Cuban’s professional career; but let’s be optimistic. In a division where any bout can result in fistic detonation, Wilder-Ortiz promises to be among the most explosive to be offered in 2018.
For starters, they mesh well stylistically. Raw, emotional, free swinging athlete meets precise, calm, Pugilistic tactician. Wilder operates from an orthodox stance whereas Ortiz is a southpaw. A banger with a good 1-2, throws hands with a boxer who can also bang. And both prefer staying in fairly close proximity to their opponent, all conspiring to result in a fan friendly affair.
A disciple of the Cuban National Boxing team, Ortiz had an amateur record of 343-19. Easily, he’s the most skilled, learned and technically sound heavyweight in the world today. He possesses an educated left hand and consistently throws the best uppercut the division has seen since a prime Riddick Bowe. Sadly, Ortiz’s stellar pedigree is marred by his history with performance enhancing drugs. There’s also his age; Luis is supposed to be 39 on March 29th, but given the inconsistencies in the birth records of some Latin athletes, he could be in his 40’s already. Is Ortiz an old fighter in desperate need of banned substances, to maintain his status as an elite fighter? Can he compete otherwise?
Few fighters channel their inner rage into positive results like Wilder. He likes hurting people, speaks chillingly about it and has finished every single man he’s faced as a pro. Wilder’s ambitious also; he could’ve easily faced a lesser opponent than Ortiz and few would have blamed him for refusing to grant the Cuban another opportunity. Instead, Wilder looks at Ortiz as a means to his ultimate goal; Anthony Joshua.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, signed Ortiz to Matchroom Sport and immediately removed him from consideration as a viable opponent for “A.J.”. So by fighting and beating Ortiz, Wilder’s convinced he will back Team Joshua into a corner, forcing the inevitable. Paraphrasing Wilder, Ortiz has been deemed the “Boogey Man” by most in the weight class, so Wilder wants to shed light on him, knowing the “Boogey Man” prefers to operate and attack in darkness.
Deontay’s boxing proficiency is as wild as his last name suggests; hostile haymakers coming from all angles, leaving ample room to be countered. But seeing those openings on tape, and exploiting them in the ring aint quite the same thing. Ortiz is supremely confident, looking to stand on the ring ropes in victory, beating his chest like King Kong on top of the Empire State Building. But Wilder has more than ample artillery, particularly in his right cross, to send Ortiz crashing back to Earth. As Wilder put it, “You already know what happened to King Kong in New York”, and the feeling is he’s too young, athletic, rangy, aggressive, unpredictable and punches far too hard for an aging fighter relying on PED’s.
It’ll be a good fight, Wilder may even taste the canvas via uppercut, but by round 4, he’ll have made an even louder statement than he did in the Stiverne rematch.