Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Wilder vs. Ortiz, Dirrell vs. Uzcategui
By: Bryant Romero
This Saturday is a busy night of boxing all over the globe, but in Brooklyn there is a very anticipated heavyweight title fight taking place at the Barclays Center when Deontay Wilder takes on his most dangerous opponent to date in Cuban top contender Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in what should be an explosive heavyweight matchup. Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will be looking to make the seventh consecutive defense of WBC heavyweight strap, while also looking to silent some of the doubters who have criticized the Bronze Bomber for being a protected champion who hand-picks his opponents. Ortiz will be looking to make history as becoming the first Cuban heavyweight world champion in boxing history if he could defeat Wilder and lift his WBC strap.
Wilder has been very outspoken about wanting to prove he’s the best and now will get the chance to make a statement to the heavyweight division with a devastating performance over the dangerous Cuban. Ortiz almost lost this opportunity after testing positive for a banned substance that canceled the original date of this fight 4 months prior. He would eventually be cleared by the WBC because of an existing medical condition he had and with Wilder once again agreeing to fight him, the Cuban vows to make history in the heavyweight division by knocking out Deontay Wilder in Brooklyn.
Promoter Lou Dibella admits that if it were up to him, this fight would not be taking place, but the Bronze Bomber perhaps feeling the pressure from the naysayers and the continuing rise of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Wilder feels it’s a big risk worth taking as a statement win over Ortiz will further put pressure on Joshua to unify with the WBC champion. A lot is on the line for the 32-year-old Wilder as a lost would be devastating at this point, especially with a gigantic payday still out there with Anthony Joshua. Joshua’s team however, is showing no indication that a Wilder unification will be next.
On the undercard, is a necessary rematch between Andre Dirrell(26-2, 16 KOs) vs Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs) for an Interim IBF super middleweight title. The first fight ended in a controversial DQ win for Andre Dirrell after appearing to get knockdown by Uzcategui at the sound of the bell. Referee Bill Clancy however, ruled that Uzcategui intentionally fouled him by hitting him after the bell, therefore disqualifying him. Uzcategui would protest the result after getting assaulted in the ring by Dirrell’s Uncle and trainer.
The original result of the fight would stand, but the IBF would grant an immediate rematch that will hopefully provide some clarity in this super middleweight grudge match.