A glimpse of light shone through the door of opportunity in the seventh round on the 3rd March 2018, a round which had everyone apart from the strong contingent of Deontay Wilder‘s fan base on their feet in readiness to crown a new Heavyweight champion in the shape of the Cuban Luis Ortiz.
The action that went before that time was yawn inspiring for the most part but warmed to the task as the frantic nature of the bout took hold, the challenger deciding to stand his ground took the fight to the champion with flush shot after flush shot all of which had the referee on the verge of stopping the fight, Wilder was in a world of hurt, the most testing time of his career to date, left in a survival state, his championship credentials were put to the test as the seconds ticked away, edging towards the comforts of the respite of the corner from the wave after wave of attack Ortiz was employing.
Wilder in those moments proved his heart for battle, his chin passing with flying colours to remain upright for the rest of the round and the subsequent eighth that also proved very challenging, unfortunately for Ortiz, It was a mere glimpse, a peek through the vail a few rounds later that same door he had tried mightily to push open had slammed shut with the force we have come to expect from the heavyweight ruler knocked him on his ass in the tenth to remain on his throne, albeit with a few battle scars for the efforts that preceded.
It was a golden opportunity with the feeling resonating that Wilder had dodged a bullet but luckily it was an opportunity which knocks twice in this instance, on Saturday night, a true man of his word, Wilder agreed to the rematch in the hope of proving his standing once more whilst Ortiz will on the flipside be hoping to recreate that seventh round with more rewarding conclusion.
In truth this fight above all else before gave me a better understanding of Deontay Wilder’s continuous boasts of greatness, antecedently we had witnessed his power but very little else as he swung with the abandonment of anything that resembled skill, In his mindset, why change a winning formula? Bodies hit the canvas, opponents woke the next morning still in a concussive state and the fans were happy for the explosion witnessed, I suppose in that regard I would be of the same thought process but against Ortiz although all the above was still so evident, he showed us other sides to his character, his chin, for example, passing the test, his skillset was a lot better than we had come to expect, adapting to the challenge in front of him. We now have more justification for his braggadocious manner but all that aside what can Ortiz do differently?
A lot, is your answer to the above question being asked, Wilder has stayed on the mind of the challenger since that sole career loss, working his way towards a better strategy in order to defeat the divisions, king,, Ortiz perhaps a little naively on his part believed or more likely fell into the trap of wanting to test the chin of the champion, like the wolf who visited the three little pigs in the nursery books, he blew and blew but couldn’t topple the champion, his punches proving effective to stun / shake the Alabama native but on the whole not effective enough to relieve him of his title, ultimately it came down to the inability to match the velocity of his shots with the stamina needed to carry out the beating over the ensuing rounds, after that fateful seventh/eighth round, he looked a broken man, more so from fatigue than hurt in his tenth round loss.
To the eye this time he looks to have worked on that failed stamina, looking a lot leaner from the testing training camp than the blocky physique we have come to expect, shedding excess body weight in an obvious effort to use speed as well as stamina to outlast the champion this time around.
Will it work though?
The Cuban having been around the great amateur setup of his youth will know how to box to a strategy, winning rounds behind the jab was his bread and butter in the unpaid ranks and with the adage of fitness will because of concern for Wilder
The hurt business, especially in the sports top division is still very much about switching the lights out on opposition and although sufficient in that area, to that extent there are very few better than Wilder albeit how irritating he is about doing so.
We have seen since how he can be outboxed, shown by Tyson Fury but the power resides for the full distance, showing as much as he nearly decapitated the Englishman.
Ortiz I predict will have some success early in the bout until of course, he won’t, Wilder catching up to Ortiz earlier than last time out, allowing the referee to intervene around the sixth round mark.
Here are the fight details from the first fight for those Interested:
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