Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury II Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes
|Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury continued their war of words and previewed their much anticipated rematch at a Los Angeles press conference on Monday before they square off Saturday, February 22 in a historic, joint FOX Sports PPV & ESPN+ PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.|
Wilder vs. Fury II will come 14 months after their thrilling first fight that saw Wilder retain the title via split draw, after Fury miraculously rose from a 12th round knockdown to finish the fight. It is one of the most memorable moments in recent heavyweight history, and on February 22 the two undefeated titans will take their war of words back into the ring to stake their claim as the best heavyweight in the world.
|Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com. The event is promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions, Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.|
The charismatic stars put their magnetic personalities on display at the press conference, each laying claim to a rightful victory in their first contest, while also declaring their intent on finishing the rematch with an emphatic knockout victory. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday from The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live:
“It’s great to be back for another big event. This is the biggest title fight of this era for sure and I can’t wait. I’m always in my element. I’m always in the zone. Right now I just can’t wait for February 22.
“My body feels like its walking into the sixth week of camp instead of the third week. It’s been amazing to have the quick turnaround after the Ortiz fight in November. I’m coming in shape. I put shape on top of shape and it’s allowed me to prepare even harder for Fury.
“We all know in rematches I’m always sharp because I’ve been in there before and I know what my opponent is capable of doing and what they plan on doing. I’m prepared more than ever for this fight.
“I knocked him out the first time we fought. I told him two years ago I was going to baptize him. Rising up is part of the baptism. But this a different story. This is unfinished business. Because he’s in WWE I’m going to make sure he gets knocked out of the ring, I might even come down with a flying elbow from the top rope.
“Fury not wanting the rematch me immediately definitely made this fight bigger. We had two warmups. I had a lot more dangerous road than he had though. He played it safe, while I went to the mountain top and climbed it. I’m building for my legacy.
“If he beat me, then why all the new trainers? Every day it changes. Firing and hiring. He wants to talk about being out of shape the first time, but he was in great shape. He spent 100,000 pounds on all those camps. I still to this day have the same people with me and I don’t need to change it.
“When you’re facing power there’s no way around it. You can’t prepare for that. You just have to hope that when it lands, it doesn’t do that much damage. He doesn’t even know how he got on the ground or how he got up in the first fight. He’s been dealing with feeling ever since the end of the first fight.
“I’m going to do exactly what I said I would do. I’m going to knock him out. I’m the lion. I’m the king of the jungle. I’m going to rip his head off his body. Everyone sit tight and buckle up. It’s going to be a fun ride on the way to giving everyone the best fight you’ve seen in your lives.
“This is a major fight for the public and everyone should be excited. It doesn’t’ get any better than this. Two giants and two champions, putting it all on the line for everyone’s entertainment. We’re leaving it all in the ring to see who is the king.
“There’s so many things that go through my head as I take my time to adjust and time my opponent’s movements. I’m building the data I need to set him up for that perfect punch. There’s a lot of things that come with skills. Not just the average fundamentals. There are a lot of different things and that’s what makes boxing what it is. My ring IQ is very high and that’s how I set them up. I know everything he wants to do. He gave me 100% of him already.
“He believes in his heart that he’ll knock me out. I always teach people to speak it, believe it and receive it. The magic of it all is in the belief. Though he’s saying those things, I don’t feel in his energy that he believes that. I feel like he’s nervous because of what happened the first time.
“I just learned from the first fight that I need to be calmer. I’m going to be a lot more patient in this fight, just like in the second Luis Ortiz fight. The object of boxing is to win, not just to win rounds. And I win in devastating fashion.”
“The consensus is either he knocks me out, or I win on points. Usually when people have that opinion, it goes the opposite way around. Expect him to box and me to be looking for the knockout.
“He thinks I’m going to come out herky-jerky with my famous style, but I want him to meet me in the center of the ring and have a slugfest, best man wins. I didn’t have the gas to finish him in the last fight, but this time I can turn that screwdriver until he’s gone. Let’s make it a Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns type of fight. I’ll meet you Inthe middle of the ring on February 22. Just watch out for the right hand, because you’re going to sleep in two rounds.
“We finally have the rematch and I can’t remember a bigger heavyweight fight in a long time. Maybe Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson was the last big one like this and that was another U.S. vs. U.K. showdown.
“Deontay Wilder hasn’t been returning my calls or messages since I beat him last time. He’s trying to keep his distance. He didn’t want to be around me so I can get in his head. But I don’t think you can really get in anyone’s head. At the end of the end of the day, it’s just talk. It doesn’t really matter what we say. It matters what happens on February 22.
“What’s going to happen in this fight is that I’m going to get what I rightfully won last time. I’m going to get the green belt and keep my lineal title. And if he wants to rematch me after, I’ll beat him again. I’ve already beat him once, and I know I can beat him three times in a row.
“I’m going to win, that’s what I do. Deontay Wilder can make all the excuses he wants to make. Everyone on his team can tell him he won that fight, but as a fighting man, you know when you win and lose a fight. I’m going to go out there give him a boxing lesson and knock him out.
“You’re never a finished article, you can always improve. I like to keep freshening things up every now and again. I don’t make excuses. I won fair and square and we get to do it again. I’m ready for a fight today.
“I’m the best of my era and I took that title from Wladimir Klitschko. Nobody disputed he was the best and I took that from him, until someone beats me, that’s my title.
“He’s going to try to and the right hand. If I’m stupid enough to get hit with it, I deserve to lose. I hit the floor twice in the first fight, but it’s all about how you respond, I’m a fighting man. If he can’t finish me, I’m going to eat him up.
“I’m looking for a knockout. That’s why I hired Sugarhill. He gets you to sit down on that big right hand. That’s what I’m looking for. There’s the game plan. If I wasn’t looking for a knockout, I would have sharpened up what I did in the last fight. I’m not coming for that. I’m looking for my 21st knockout.
“When I get him in there again, I’m going to make him feel the fury. I’ve never been as sure of anything in my whole life. As sure as I was this morning putting this suit on. 100 percent he can’t win He’s got a puncher’s chance like anyone else. I’m much sharper and more fit now. I’m ready to rumble right now. I hope he train hard and goes to bed sleeping thinking about me.”
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“On February 22, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, it’s going to be bombs away. We have two superstars here. The best two heavyweights in the world. Both fighters are going to show a lot of passion at this press conference and all the way leading up to this fight because there is so much at stake.
“These are the best in boxing. There is nothing like a big heavyweight championship fight. We have the undefeated hardest punching, the most feared heavyweight in the world and I believe one of the all-time great heavyweights in Deontay Wilder.
“There is a reason Fury and his team didn’t want the immediate rematch right after the first fight. He’s taken a couple of tune-up fights instead because he felt that power on December 1. That’s not going to change this time, he can just ask Luis Ortiz.
I was lucky enough to promote the first fight and I believe we have something special in this rematch. I look forward to a fantastic fight on February 22 and we’ll see everyone there.”
TODD DUBOEF, President of Top Rank
“We talk about boxing having a renaissance, but it’s really about the heavyweight division. That’s what is going to create that renaissance more than anything right now.
“Tyson is so true, so gritty and he backs it up with everything he does. When you combine it with Deontay Wilder, you have two great personalities. This is really the beginning of the next super heavyweight run for the sport of boxing.”
SUGARHILL STEWARD, Fury’s Trainer
“This fight here is one of those fights that you don’t want to miss. The first one was one not to miss as well and I’m sure you all watched the replay. You have two great champions here going at each other. Both fighters left the ring still undefeated last time and still wanting to settle the store. On February 22, the score will be settled.
“The heavyweight division is still the biggest and most powerful division in boxing. It always will be. Everyone wants to see the fighters throwing the big blows. Wilder is one of the hardest hitters in history and Tyson is one of the best boxers. I’m happy to be training. with Tyson Fury. It’s been about 10 years since we trained together. He trained with me and Emanuel Steward and I’m here to complete what Emmanuel started.”
Wilder And Fury Trade Barbs At Press Conference
By: Sean Crose
“Everyone came together,” said Todd DeBuff during a Monday press conference in Las Angeles to kick off the pre fight hype for February’s heavyweight title rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. The bout came together when PBC, Top Rank, ESPN and Fox Sports decided to work in tandem, making the press conference – and the Febrary 22nd rematch – a possibility. Fury came out, tossed a chair in favor of a chair he apparently found more suitable, then danced to hip hop, all while wearing a colorful suit and a green baseball turned backward.
Wilder, on the other hand, smoothly sauntered onto the stage with the WBC belt casually flung over his shoulder. Both men jawed during the subsequent standoff which, frankly, is now part of their routine. “This fight here, this is one of those fights that you don’t want to miss,” said Fury’s trainer, Javan “Sugar” Hill. “On February 22nd, the score will be settled.” Rather than smack talk, the veteran trainer became somewhat thoughtful. “The division has changed a bit,” he said. “It’s an incredible time for boxing to have all these guys here…making the heavyweight division again what it used to be.”
Hill’s fighter, Fury, was at first a bit more subdued than usual. Still, the man had things he wanted to say. “I can’t remember a bigger heavyweight fight in a long time,” he stated. “Maybe Lennox Lewis versus Mike Tyson.” Fury then brought up the enormity of the matchup. “For the first time in my boxing career,” he said. “I don’t need to sell a fight.” Fury being Fury, he had to take a shot at Wilder. “Deontay Wilder hasn’t been returning my calls,” he said, “or messages or texts after I beat him last time.” Not that Wilder didn’t have his own things to say.
“I can’t wait,” the Alabama native told the gathered media. Like Fury, Wilder feels he won their first showdown. “I knocked him out the first time,” he said of his opponent. “This time around, it’s a different story. This time around, it’s called unfinished business.” Wilder then went on to criticize Fury for frequently changing trainers. “Why so many trainers?” he asked rhetorically. “Still to this day, I’ve got the same people.” Wilder also referenced Fury’s foray into pro wrestling. “No belt on him,” said Wilder, “than the one that holds his pants up now.”
“When you have power there’s no way around it,” he added. “You can’t prepare for that.” Fury, of course, disagreed. “I’m going to be super slippery,” the Englishman declared during the Q&A portion of the card.” Fury then went on to state he wants to make the fight a war. “If I’m stupid enough to get hit by that big stupid right hand, then I deserve to get knocked out,” he said. “I want to meet him head on. Let’s make it a Tommy Hearns-Marvin Hagler type of fight.”
“You’re going to sleep into rounds,” he said to Wilder, who responded that Fury didn’t believe his own words.
There was a second faceoff, then the two fighters shook hands.
Wilder-Fury 2 Pay Per View: An Unusual Network Alliance
By: Sean Crose
After Tyson Fury, the man many consider to still be the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, fought WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to a wild draw in December of 2018, it was assumed that a rematch was in order. Then, in the first part of 2019, Fury signed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. This led people to question if and when a rematch with Wilder would happen, as Top Rank fighters are aligned with ESPN while Wilder, who is with Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions’ organization, fights on Showtime and Fox. According to Haymon Boxing’s Timothy Smith, however, a rematch had already been prepared for before Fury aligned with Top Rank.
“You have to remember,” states Smith, “that the frame work of the agreement between Wilder and Fury had been worked out before Top Rank and ESPN came on board.” In other words, everyone involved with both Fury and Wilder were probably well aware that a rematch was in serious play before Fury made the step over to Top Rank and ESPN. It was simply a matter of competing networks and promotional outlets actually coming together. And now, with the Wilder-Fury rematch set for February 22nd, it’s clear that they have. For the fight will be co-promoted by both Premiere Boxing Champions (PBC) and Top Rank, while the Pay Per View broadcast will be presented by both Fox and ESPN.
The entire arrangement is unusual for a variety of reasons. First, boxing is a sport that’s in a state of perpetual civil war, with promoters and their network allies battling each other for supremacy of the fans and the airwaves. Unlike the UFC, where top MMA fighters battle under the same tent, boxing often sees its own top fighters unable or unwilling to meet in the ring because of personal and professional loyalties. Differing parties haven’t come together for an event as big as Wilder-Fury 2 since the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao superfight was arranged well after its sell by date in 2015. It’s also unusual for networks to broadcast the same sports programming. In fact, it’s virtually unheard of. Big boxing, however, is nothing if not big business. And big rewards have a way of bringing professional entities together.
“The Deontay Wilder – Tyson Fury rematch is going to be one of the biggest and most exciting fights in boxing for a long, long time,” Bill Wanger, FOX Sports executive vice president, head of programming and scheduling, says. “Both fighters wanted to prove they actually won the fight and that made it easy to put together. FOX Sports and the PBC understand the implications and are excited to be working with the other parties involved to deliver the fight the fans want and to help grow boxing.” There’s little doubt that the fascinating nature of both Fury, and Wilder, as well as their memorable first battle, made it easier for everyone to sit down and come to an agreement for the rematch.
For Wilder is a boisterous, thunderously hard hitting American. Tall, lean, and outspoken, the man is, simply put, a thrilling fighter to watch. His performances are the stuff of highlight reel legend. The way Wilder puts opponents on the mat makes the Alabaman as frightening as he is entertaining. Fury, on the other hand, was actually able to remarkably arise from one of Wilder’s howitzer like punches. He’s also at least as boisterous as Wilder is. An enormous Irish Gypsy from England, Fury is slick, and has an impressive story of successfully dealing with mental illness and substance abuse. Throw in the fact that each man has, along with Anthony Joshua, completely reinvigorated the heavyweight division, and the decision of each camp to successfully work with the other for Wilder-Fury 2 becomes clear.
And so, with two major networks and two top boxing entities behind it, the Widler-Fury 2 Pay Per View promotional effort aims to achieve gold. Or perhaps even platinum. Although there’s been some over top predictions made as to how many eyeballs this fight will draw, no one will likely argue that it wasn’t effectively promoted. The prep work will have been done. It will be up to the fighters themselves to satisfy the viewers come fight night. If a collaboration like this pays off, the future might be particularly bright for those who wish to make similar arrangements in the future. If the fight is a dud, the way many felt Mayweather-Pacquiao was, however…
It’s On: Wilder Fury 2 Announced For February 22nd
By: Sean Crose
Just over a year after they engaged in their memorable, highly publicized battle, it’s been officially announced that Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are set to meet in the ring again. “The long-awaited rematch of heavyweight titans is set,” Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions declared Friday, “as undefeated WBC champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder and unbeaten lineal champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury will continue their rivalry in the ring on Saturday, February 22 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a historic, joint FOX Sports PPV & ESPN+ PPV.”
The first time Wilder and Fury met, the two giant sized fighters made sure it was a match the world would remember. Seemingly down on points, Alabama’s Wilder sent England’s Fury to the mat with a thunderous shot in the twelfth and final round. That in and of itself made the evening memorable. The fact Fury was able to rise to his feet before the 10 count before finishing the round in high fashion burned the bout into the boxing world’s collective memory. That was on December 1st of last year. Both combatants declared a rematch was in order – and now that rematch is in writing.
“I’m happy ,” says Wilder, “and I’m excited that the rematch is finally happening. “I want to give the fans what they want to see. I’ve been doing it with my last three outings – Fury, Breazeale and Ortiz. They’ve been spectacular events – from my ring walks where I gather all the energy of the people, to my uniforms that I wear to help spread that energy. Then I give them what they all come for – the knockouts, and my knockouts have been amazing. I proved myself the first time and I’m ready to do it again. It was a very controversial fight. I promise my fans that there won’t be any controversy with this one. I’m going to finish it.
”Fury, who – like Wilder – is a world class showman, is exuding excitement. “There’s no more ducking and diving,” said Fury. “The date has been set, and the ‘Bomb Squad’ is about to be securely detonated and the real champion crowned as the world watches on for the most anticipated fight in years. This is unfinished business for me, but come February 22, this dosser will finally get what’s coming to him, and I can’t wait!”
Not only are Wilder, 42-0-1, and Fury, 29-0-1, both undefeated, they represent the upper echelon of a red hot heavyweight division, one that hasn’t seen this kind of excitement and intrigue since the 1990s. Aside from the February 22nd rematch, there’s the presence of Anthony Joshua lurking nearby. The Londoner recently regained his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz after being stunned by the Mexican-American back in June at Madison Square Garden. Now each major fight at heavyweight may lead down the road to a single heavyweight king, something the world hasn’t seen since the era of the iconic Lennox Lewis.
Anthony Joshua to Deontay Wilder: “Come See Me”
By: Hans Themistode
After a one sided beating which resulted in him losing his Heavyweight titles in his first contest against Andy Ruiz Jr back on June 1st, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Anthony Joshua got his revenge in Saudi Arabia. He easily out boxed Ruiz in their immediate rematch and now has his sights set on the future.
Joshua’s performance has received a mixed bag of both criticism and praise. Amongst those who were critical of his performance is WBC titlist Deontay Wilder.
The aforementioned Wilder gave Joshua credit for managing to pick up the win, but was far from impressed.
“He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day,” said Wilder. “Joshua’s mentality was to survive.”
Joshua’s new technique of jabbing and holding all night clearly rubbed Wilder the wrong way. Since those comments, Joshua has gotten the chance to place his celebrations on hold and respond.
“A lot of people just don’t have a good bone in their body to say something positive anyways,” said Joshua. “I just out boxed the Heavyweight champion of the world for 12 rounds. I don’t think I lost a round. Maybe one. I came in there with a great game plan. I’m successful. Isn’t that enough? You can’t box to keep everyone happy you have to box for the win. And I feel like when I’m at home celebrating, he’s there talking about negativity. Negative energy breeds failure so I’m just going to keep a positive mindset and build on that victory.”
With the WBA, IBO, IBF, and WBO titles back with Joshua, he has a seemingly endless list of opponents for his next contest.
A rematch with Ruiz is certainly on the table. So is a contest against former title challenger Kubrat Pulev and former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as they both hold mandatory positions with the IBF and WBO sanctioning bodies.
Although a contest against Wilder or even his fellow British rival and Lineal champion Tyson Fury is one that fights fans would enjoy to watch, it doesn’t seem likely that it will take place anytime soon.
Both Wilder and Fury are scheduled to face one another in February of 2020 to put their own rivalry to bed. Joshua may not be in line to take them on, but make no mistake about it, he would certainly love to get a crack at both of them.
“With or without Wilder we are still going to break records, but if Wilder really wants to put his name down in the history books then I think he should come see me. I would love the opportunity to either beat Deontay Wilder or beat Tyson Fury.”
Deontay Wilder: “Joshua’s Mentality Was to Survive”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua may have successfully won back his Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia when the two collided in their rematch this past weekend, but it wasn’t the sort of performance that impressed current belt holder WBC titlist Deontay Wilder.
Joshua has always been known as a big puncher throughout his career. Yet in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, he decided to go away from his normal seek and destroy mentality.
“Joshua did what he had to do to get the win,” said Wilder. “He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day. Basically, he had [Wladimir] Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That’s all he did tonight.”
Wilder’s assumption wasn’t too far from the truth.
“He said loads of stuff to me,” said Joshua during the lead up of his rematch with Ruiz. “Wlad was definitely ahead of the game. He was giving me dietary and training advice, and that is maybe what people are talking about now when they see a difference in my body.”
Joshua has always heard the criticism of his physique. This is boxing, not a body builder contest is what many have told him before. Following his loss to Ruiz in their first matchup, Joshua decided that it was time for him to change a few things in his diet. To his credit, he came into the rematch with Ruiz having shed ten pounds. Thanks to the advice he received from Klitschko, he was able to go a full twelve rounds without tiring. But it seems as though it was more than just advice he received from Klitschko. It appears as though Joshua may have adapted Klitschko’s fighting style as well.
The now two time Heavyweight champion boxed well but he had no interest in engaging with Ruiz at all. He simply wanted to get his titles back and leave the ring in one piece.
“He was so hesitant, Joshua’s mentality was to survive,” the WBC heavyweight champion continued. “The Klitschko method. You want to dominate guys, man. I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me, especially with what’s going on in the division right now. It’s a time of proving who is the best.”
With the victory, Joshua has effectively placed himself back into the conversation for the mythical crown of best Heavyweight in the world. Yet according to Wilder, there is absolutely no discussion in terms of who everyone should consider the best.
“How can no one say I’m not the very best in the world now?” Said Wilder who sports undefeated record of 42-0-1 with 41 knockouts. “I’ve given you what you pay for each and every time, especially when we’re talking about a heavyweight bout. Fans come to see knockouts. They come to see something dramatic — a body lying on the canvas, spread like it’s having birth. That’s what people want to see, and that’s my mentality.”
Deontay Wilder’s Legend is in Full Bloom
By: Kirk Jackson
He wants his roses now.
In the tarot, the rose is considered a symbol of balance. It expresses promise, new beginnings, and hope. Its thorns represent defense, physicality, loss, recklessness.
Over a broad scope, these attributes can be used to describe Deontay Wilder’s style of fighting, the trials and tribulations of caring for a child with spina bifida, among other obstacles. These same features may also apply to some of the struggles inside the boxing ring and also to his ability to overcome and stand as the fighter we see today.
The frequency at which Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KO’s) produces knock-outs and spectacular results shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore.
Wilder epitomizes “Bomb Squad,” as his incendiary fists, are equipped with explosive power.
It was predicted previously, by the late great trainer Emanuel Steward and also referenced in another editorial, Wilder’s extraordinary story would unfold in front of our very eyes.
“There’s one kid in America no one speaks of and that’s Deontay Wilder. He was on the Olympic Team (United States) he lost but he’s a big kid,” said Steward.
“I’ve had the fortune of, he has trained with me before, he’s a big kid too, bigger than Wladimir (Klitschko) and he’s got good speed and power and best talent… and best talent is going to be Tyson (Fury) and Deontay Wilder.”
From humble beginnings with championship aspirations, to championship realizations, with ambitions of plateauing at G.O.A.T. level status (Greatest of all time), every move is a calculated step, defining greatness with every action and achievement.
Regarding the recent challenge of Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC), Wilder continues to address every question – regarding his in-the-ring deficiencies, close contests and attempting to right every wrong.
“I’m looking forward to fighting a lot of the top guys in the division,” Wilder said at the post-fight press conference. “I said I only have six years in the sport that I wanna dedicate my energy and my passion to, and I mean that. So, I ask everyone to give me my roses right now. You know, give me my due respect and my credit right now. You know, I am here, and I ain’t going nowhere. My style is here. What I bring to boxing is here, and I ain’t going nowhere.
Wilder is emerging as the definitive heavyweight in an era, experiencing a resurgence of sorts. With the emergence of champions Anthony Joshua (22-1, 22 KO’s), Andy Ruiz (33-1, 22 KO’s), Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO’s), along with former champions and future contenders, the division is in a good position.
If Wilder continues his path towards dominance in this division, not only does he cement his significance and affirmation as the best in the division, he establishes his claim as the premier fighter of a generation.
Because way back when, the heavyweight champion of the world meant something special. With great prestige dating back Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, etc., the heavyweight champion of the world was recognized as such a distinctive title.
The heavyweight champion was recognized as “The baddest man on the planet,” the de facto leader and torch bearer of boxing.
Not to slight long-time great heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, as they were great champions – with Wladimir holding court as one of the longest reigning champions in history.
The Klitschko’s were never fully acknowledged as historically great champions. They never quite received justified measured of praise and acclaim from media and many casual fans alike.
However, even if justifiably unfair, most fans and boxing analysts celebrated the exploits of Lewis, Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Many still to this day, sing the praises of the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All-Time” Muhammad Ali.
There are many variables for this reasoning. Performance matters and the aforementioned fighters had an amazing exploits and aesthetically pleasing finishes inside the ring.
To go along with their great accomplishments and memorable singular moments, they also possessed larger than life personalities. This is the case with Tyson and certainly Ali was a prime example as well.
In this current era of heavyweight, another Tyson, with the last name of Fury, has a magnetic personality with the skills to match. His imprint on boxing is noticeable and worthy of praise.
But the man of the hour hails from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The leader of the “Booooombbbbbbb Squaaaaaaaaad!!!!!” Wilder, accurately labeled, blows opponents out the ring and possesses an explosive personality to match.
Although his personality is not demonstrative, but rather warm and engaging – that is if you’re not an opponent heading to the front lines preparing for war inside the ring.
However praise from a large section of critics continues to elude Wilder. There is a constant back and forth discussion of Wilder’s skills, or lack thereof depending who you ask.
But it’s time to squash the narrative of Wilder lacking skills or intelligence.
To say wilder is not skilled is pure ignorance u can’t be an Olympic bronze medalist and not be skilled he’s an unpredictable,unorthodox awkward fighter with death on the end of his right hand 👊🏽😵 he loses rounds because he’s not tryna win Rds he tryna send u 2 the hospital
— JulianJrockWilliams (@Jrockboxing) November 25, 2019
If Wilder lacks the talent, skill or intelligence to compete at a high-level as critics and some fans suggest, then he is making a mockery of boxing, because he keeps on winning.
For a guy to start boxing at the age of 19, win an Olympic bronze medal, win a world championship title and defend it 10 times, is impressive. In the amateurs, Wilder even defeated the eventual Olympic gold medal winner in his class, Rakhim Chakhiyev.
Again, if Wilder is such a poor technical fighter, or lacks the mental capacity to compete at an elite level, it’s quite the accomplishment to defeating a vastly more experienced technical master such as Ortiz, or to fight to a draw against the other most skillful fighter in the division, Fury.
“People always talk about skills and skills and skills. But as I can see it, I’m still undefeated. I’m knocking out everyone that I face. And these guys that have skills, they gettin’ beat,” said Wilder.
“So, I mean, something got to – I mean, it speaks for itself. So, at this point in time, I need my due respect, please.”
Perhaps doubtful observers may not comprehend what they’re watching, or have semblance of what to look for?
Using his most recent bout as an example, Wilder was behind 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 on the judges’ scorecards, entering the seventh round against Ortiz.
Was it the case that Wilder was completely out-boxed and outclassed leading up to that point? Or was Wilder purposely biding his time, strategically plotting the optimal moment for attack?
A combination of both scenarios, appears to have transpired against King Kong last weekend, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“It wasn’t easy. Luis Ortiz is the boogie man, and a lot of people stay away from him,” said PBC broadcaster Lennox Lewis to PBC on Fox in analyzing Wilder’s win over Ortiz.”
“Imagine if this fight was six years ago when Luis Ortiz was a little bit younger, but he tried his best today, but Deontay showed his power, showed his strength and showed he’s getting a lot wiser in the ring, and knows how to figure people out. He knows he needs to soften them up first, and then take them out, not just go out there and take them out,” said Lewis about Wilder.
“He’s a great person, he’s always confident, and he’s always learning, and he knows he needs to go back to the gym and learn more. You never stop learning in boxing. So you can’t say you know everything.”
Really quick, important to note from Lewis, is his reference to how Ortiz is acknowledged as the “Boogeyman” across the heavyweight landscape and avoided as such.
Raise of hands, who likes fighting slick, technical, power-punching southpaws? Another question, who likes facing a 6-foot-7 inch freakish athlete, with speed and dynamite in both hands?
The rematch is a testament to the willingness of both Wilder and Ortiz daring to be great.
Pertaining to the rematch, as Lewis eluded to, Wilder was patient, because he wanted Ortiz to wear down and tire out. Ortiz exerted a lot of energy slipping, turning out and exiting towards Wilder’s left side, forcing Wilder to reach and overextend with his right hand.
Ortiz hurled precise punches and implored a great strategic tactic of digging hard shots to the body, underneath Wilder’s elbow. Instead of relying on straight punches, Ortiz would loop his left hand around Wilder’s guard, at times catching Wilder with solid contact across the chin. The Bronze Bomber displayed quite the sturdy beard in this fight.
There was a constant battle for foot positioning, because typically whoever maintains their foot on the outside distance of the opponent, that person with their foot positioned on the outside, can maintain greater control of range and confinement of their opponent.
There were times with Ortiz’s movement, forced Wilder to circle out and placed Wilder off-balance, to where he wasn’t in position to counter.
Wilder for his part, applied patient, passive-aggressive pressure, pawing the jab and eventually hitting Ortiz’s shoulders and arms – more than likely in attempt gauge range while applying wear and tear to Ortiz’s body. Hitting arms and shoulders at certain stretches was also a reflection of Ortiz’s great defensive ability. Certain instances can work both ways.
“I really had to be smart with him,” Wilder said. “We knew that coming in. We knew that in training camp. I went back and looked at videos, and seen what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I look at videos and I looked and saw what he did right and what he did wrong. And we put a game plan together. And it was an amazing fight.”
Eventually, Ortiz would wear out, as Wilder was prowling, looking for his moment to pounce. While weary of Ortiz’s counters, Wilder displayed great patience waiting for his moment to strike. When he sensed Ortiz losing steam, he opened up and his punch output increased.
The change of momentum occurred in the sixth round and carried over to the seventh round.
“I saw the opportunity, and I took it. And my statement, and I said these guys have to be perfect with me for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for two seconds, it’s legit. I proved that tonight as well. We’re still undefeated. We still have our belt. And now we move on to the next phase and chapter in my life. I’m looking to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
There is a measure to the madness, there is tact behind his actions and Wilder is not a typical brawler.
Due to Wilder’s unique gift of one-punch knock-out power, he may want to consider changing his ring moniker. Instead of The Bronze Bomber, he can change his nick-name to One-Punch Man, of Viz Media LLC fame.
For those not familiar with manga/anime, One-Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a superhero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch but seeks to find a worthy opponent after growing bored by a lack of challenge in his fight against evil.
Only thing is Wilder isn’t a parody; one-punch knock-out ability is reality. A cold dose of reality.
Many great power punchers occupy this current era of boxing; Naoya Inoue, Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Errol Spence, Artur Beterbiev, are among the stand-outs.
From the perspective of pure punching power, while boasting a knock-out ratio of 98 percent, Wilder stands the tallest amongst his peers.
His willingness to seek solid opposition to solidify his stature, is important for his legacy and overall for the state of boxing, even if the results do not necessarily reflect the pound-for-pound rankings.
“When you’re dealing with pound-for-pound, I don’t think it belongs in the heavyweight division,” Wilder said. “We stay in one division. We can’t go up and down, like all these small guys. So, you know, I don’t really consider us having a pound-for-pound. And, you know, you’re always gonna have people say this and say that.
His recent rejection of the dubious WBC branded “Franchise Champion” tag is a breath of fresh air as well. The landscape of boxing is already saturated with titles and tags confusing to many fans, fighters and media members alike.
Quite frankly, the franchise tag looks like a convenient out for the selected fighter to avoid his number one contender. It sounds like at least for the sake of clarity, Wilder is calling for unification.
“The heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts, it should just be one champion… It’s too confusing for the fans. I think I’m the perfect guy for the job.”
You know what’s crazy? Five years ago, @bronzebomber and @GGGBoxing had similar careers, knocking out overmatched foes. Except one was labeled a fraud, the other hailed as an invincible all-time great.
Of the two, Deontay turned out to be the real one. Imagine that.
— Philip Michael (@Philip_Michael) November 24, 2019
While there is no shame losing to an elite fighter, Golovkin has not captured a career defining win, nor holds a definitive victory over an elite opponent naturally in the same weight class. *Note Kell Brook was a natural welterweight.
Comparing trajectories, Golovkin and Wilder appear to be treading in opposite directions.
While some observers it may be blasphemous to compare Wilder to all-time heavyweight greats, it must be restated, he is more than holding his own comparatively to any other elite, active fighter.
And for argument’s sake regarding the heavyweight legends of yesteryear, with 10 consecutive title defenses, Wilder only trails four people:
• Joe Louis – 26
• Larry Holmes – 19
• Wladimir Klitschko – 18
• Tommy Burns – 11
He knocks guys out at any given moment and typically in dramatic fashion. He actively pursues the knock-out. Shouldn’t we applaud that? His devastating finishes go viral, even across the space that is social media. Wilder is doing his part to represent boxing the best way he knows how.
“You know, at this point in time you’ve gotta give me my credit,” Wilder said during the post-fight press conference. “It’s sad that it took me over 40 fights to get the recognition that I truly deserve. Because when people see me, they’ve never seen my style. And I know it took a while to get used to what I display, my talent that I present to boxing. But it’s different than any other fighter. What I do is not textbook. You know, you can’t really teach it. And I think that’s what makes me unique. That’s what differentiates me from the rest of these fighters.”
“Like I said, you know, none of these guys are willing to fight guys 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 pounds [heavier] and still knock guys out like that. And at this point in time, you know, I think I earned my due respect and my credit to say I am the hardest-hitting puncher in boxing history – period. And I earned that over and over again, continuously. Consistently, I do what I do time and time again, give people great fights and great knockouts, and try to fight the best. And still, when I fight the best, do it.”
With Fury in sight for early 2020, Wilder is living up to his promise to run back all of his close, controversial bouts, in effort to eliminate any doubt or confusion as to who the best is. With aspirations of heavyweight unification on the horizon, Wilder’s mission remains plain and simple.
“I want one champion, one face, one name and he goes by the name Deontay Wilder.”
Give him his roses now.
Wilder-Fury 2 Reportedly Set For February 22nd
By: Sean Crose
It looks like the like the long awaited rematch between heavyweight powerhouses Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is set to go down on February 22nd of next year. Although no location has been announced, ESPN has reported that the fight itself, as well as the date, is indeed a go. This should come as no surprise, as both Wilder and Fury have been quite open about the fact that they fully plan to face each other again. There are also whispers online that the bout might be hyped around the festivities surrounding February 2nd’s Super Bowl game.
Wilder, an undefeated 42-0-1 power puncher, is being hailed by some as the greatest knockout artist in the history of boxing. Though this assertion is far from universal, it’s clear that the sheer impact and immediate aftermath of the Alabama native’s shots have already become legendary. As for Fury, the man is the antithesis of the heavyweight division’s previous era, which was dominated by the staid and gentlemanly Wladimir Klitshcko. Loud, humorous, and eccentric, Fury struts about the media landscape like a true showman. Undefeated, like Wilder, the 29-0-1 Englishman is surprisingly slick and skilled for his enormous, six foot, nine inch frame.
The first fight between the two men went down last December, and ended up being a classic solely for what transpired in the final round. By most accounts, Fury was winning the fight through the employment of his slippery defensive skill set. Heading into round twelve, he appeared on the way to victory despite the fact that Wilder had dropped him earlier. Then the moment came when a somewhat boring fight suddenly turned into an iconic one. Wilder hit Fury so hard that the European giant ended up flat on his back with his eyes open. If that weren’t enough, Fury actually managed to get up and fight well throughout the rest of the round. The battle was ruled a draw, and the world knew almost instantly that a second act would be on its way.
Since that fight nearly a year go, each man has gone to other victories, while informing fans all the while that he would indeed be facing off against his most famous rival again. Fury demolished Tom Schwarz in June, then got a run for his money in his victory over Otto Wallin in September. Fury has also engaged in an entertaining WWE battle with fellow giant Braun Strowman, and has said he plans to engage in mixed martial arts.
For his own part, Wilder has continued along his path of highlight reel victories. After frighteningly disposing of Dominic Breazeale last May, the defending WBC champ had a rematch with Luis Ortiz last weekend. The Cuban gave Wilder a scare in their first fight, and was dominating the second – until, as is now almost expected – Wilder abruptly closed the show with a shot straight out of a Rocky movie. All of this led to a discussion throughout the fight world focused on the fact that Wilder ALWAYS seems a find a way to let his power get him out of trouble. Both Fury and Ortiz have out-skilled the man, only to have things turn in the blink of an eye. It’s now happened to Ortiz twice against Wilder.
The question now is: How will Fury find a way to keep the impact and results of Wilder’s power from being the story of their rematch?
Deontay Wilder: The Perfect Fighter For 2 Seconds
By: Hans Themistode
Perfection doesn’t exist.
It doesn’t matter if we are referring to a basketball court, a football field or in this case, a boxing ring. The search for perfection just doesn’t exist.
We can take things a bit further and look at relationships. No matter how much you are in love with your significant other, you know that they have plenty of flaws.
Boxing is a difficult sport to master. More so than others.
In basketball a player can go an entire game without missing a shot. A football player can go an entire game without missing a single pass. It’s rare, but it can happen. In boxing, however, the search for perfection is simply impossible.
The retired but now newly unretired Floyd Mayweather Jr boasted a professional record consisting of 50 wins without a single defeat. Mayweather never had any weaknesses in his game, but it is his defensive ability where he has always shone brightest.
Some of the all-time greatest fighters to ever put on a pair of gloves have seldom found any success when facing him. Still, for as great as Mayweather is as a defensive fighter, he does have lapses. Take for instance his 2010 contest against Shane Mosley, where he was rocked not once but twice in the second round. For as great as Mayweather is at the art of hitting but not getting hit, he still victim fell on some rare occasions.
How about another example? This time from the vault of retired soon to be hall of famer Andre Ward. He would go on to hang up his gloves for good in 2017 with a spotless record after 32 fights. Much like Mayweather, Ward was incredibly hard to hit. However in the case of Darnell Boone and Sergey Kovalev, he would get dropped in both contest, proving that his cloak of invincibility was nothing more than an illusion.
Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and a long list of fighters aren’t perfect, but they are about as close as you will possibly get.
As previously mentioned, the sport of boxing has no perfect fighter, but there are numerous ones who can give you that impression.
In the case of WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, he gives you a different impression altogether.
From the moment the Alabama native stepped on the boxing scene, he scored knockout after knockout win, which although impressive, was to be expected. Even as he rose through the ranks and became a bonafide contender to eventually the WBC champion, something just didn’t seem right. The brutal stoppage wins were racking up, but the disbelievers in Wilder were still growing.
The issue with Wilder and his non stop critics are the Aesthetics of his performances.
Take his 2017 stoppage win over Gerald Washington for example. It was a close back and forth affair until Wilder connected with a few of his big shots. How about Artur Szpilka? Again, another close fight for Wilder until he landed his right hand right on the button and put his man down and out for good.
Wilder doesn’t just have an awkward boxing style, but he seems to not have any at all. He seldom does any work to the body. His jab isn’t as accurate or sharp of his contemporaries either.
There is a long list of fighters throughout history who did not have the best or most eye pleasing abilities. Muhammad Ali was often times criticized for his unconventional way of fighting. So was Roy Jones Jr. Do yourself a favor and try to find one single fight of Roy Jones throwing a jab. It rarely happened. Ali and Jones oftentimes fought with their hands down and relied on their unbelievable reflexes to get out of harm’s way.
Wilder, in many ways, shares many of those tactics. His however, comes in the form of his otherworldly power.
How many times have we seen him struggle with an opponent just to end the contest in the blink of an eye? Look no further than his rematch against Luis Ortiz this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Through six rounds, Wilder trailed on the scorecards of all three judges. With one straight right hand however, it ended everything. He has done the same thing to Dominic Breazeale, Johann Duhaupas, Malik Scott and countless others.
For Wilder, he needs only the most minuscule of time to end a fight.
“These fighters have to be perfect for 12 rounds,” said Wilder. “I only have to be perfect for 2 seconds.”
Wilder is correct. Once he finds his opening, he will exploit it.
With each knockout victory, the rumblings have now grown louder and louder that he is in fact, the hardest hitting boxer of all-time. A sentiment that even Ben Davison, Tyson Fury’s trainer believes to be true.
“He’s the biggest puncher in not just heavyweight history,” said Davison. “But boxing history, bar none. And he’s proven it.”
Normally when a fighter is given such a high praise, it is difficult to accept such a high honor. For Wilder other hand, he believes the distinction of being recognized as the hardest hitter in boxing history is one that he has earned.
“At this point in time, I think I’ve earned my due respect and credit to say I am the hardest-hitting puncher in boxing history. Period,” said Wilder. “It reminds me back of what [the late legendary trainer] Emanuel Steward once told me personally. He told me, ‘You’re fighting little opposition right now, but even when you move up to the top, you’re still going to knock them out.’ He told me that personally, and I’m fulfilling what he told me.”
Deontay Wilder is riddled with flaws. However, for 2 seconds he is a perfect one. Over and over again, he has proven that is all the time that he needs.
Power Play – Deontay Wilder’s Legitimate Claim To Fame
By: Sean Crose
Some very smart people still aren’t that impressed.
And that’s okay.
It’s also okay to say they’re wrong.
Boxing, like anything else, is open to intelligent debate. So long as people keep it respectful (if only that were always the case), there’s no reason to get worked up about a disagreement.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
That’s why it’s ridiculous to froth at the mouth because some still don’t feel Deontay Wilder’s power is as impressive as the rest of us say it is. He’s never fought the kind of stellar opposition that warrants that kind of acclaim they say…to which I respond, it doesn’t matter who he’s fought. Anyone who turns out the lights over and over and over again in the abrupt and stunning fashion Wilder does warrants consideration as the most powerful puncher in the history of boxing. I’ve been watching the sport since the late 70s), and I can truly say I’ve never seen anyone hit with the power Wilder has. Not anyone. What’s more, I’ve long been enthralled with boxing history, so I’ve seen most of the acclaimed hitters hit at some point or other – at least that’s true of the ones whose ring endeavors I’ve had access to.
And at this point I’d be willing to say Wilder hits harder than any of them. The brilliant Ernie Shavers, for instance, was more brutally consistent, but even he didn’t strike with the same physical force that Wilder does when he lowers the curtain. The same goes for the explosive David Tua. Gerry Cooney, you say? Sure, the man could take out a wall (the great Larry Holmes himself will attest to it), but could he regularly make you want to start praying for his victims the way Wilder does? Even the iconic George Foreman, I dare say, couldn’t short circuit an individual with the lightning force of Wilder.
Yet I also think it’s worth noting Wilder is more than a basic power puncher. Roll your eyes at Wilder’s foes all you want, but Luis Ortiz could box. So could Tyson Fury. And Wilder sent both those men to the mat on numerous occasions. Consider the argument that most power punchers, heck most anyone, would be frustrated by Fury at his slickest. He’s remarkably hard to hit, especially for a man his size. Rather than losing his cool, though, Wilder kept his focus and hunted. The Fury fight may have ended in a draw (which I think was fair), but the Englishman was just about to wrap up the upset win in that twelfth round when Wilder finally landed his famous shot. What other power puncher would have kept his resolve and gunfighter cool the way Wilder did when time was truly running out?
It’s not just Wilder’s power that ultimately makes him so impressive. It’s his willingness to use it effectively. Wilder doesn’t rely on his knockout punch. He proactively and professionally searches for opportunities to use it. A lesser fighter wouldn’t know enough to do it the way Wilder does. There’s actual skill to the Alabama native’s skill set. Wilder may not go through his career undefeated, but sooner or later, critics will have to keep from writing that skill set off.
Tyson Fury Not Impressed By Wilder: “Wilder has Nothing More Than Punchers Chance Against Me”
By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world stood in disbelief this past Saturday night. The reason why?
Deontay Wilder, that’s why.
The WBC Heavyweight champion took on Luis Ortiz at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a rematch of a contest that took place between the two in March of 2018. It was a back and forth affair. One that saw both men hurt during the bout. Wilder would go on to drop Ortiz in the fifth, but had to compose himself in the seventh, before ultimately stopping Ortiz in the tenth.
The rematch had every single ingredient to produce another instant classic.
When the contest began, Wilder looked extremely timid. It was clear that he had immense respect for Ortiz and his power. Ortiz on the other hand looked focused and unafraid. Through the first six rounds of the contest, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who could give Wilder a single round.
The seventh round came and once again, Wilder was doing absolutely nothing. Just when everyone was questioning whether or not something was wrong the WBC titlist, it happened. One straight right hand and down went Ortiz for good.
The crowd at the MGM Grand and most likely all around the world, stood with their mouths wide open. There was no way to not be impressed with what Wilder had just done. He was trailing on every single scorecard according to the judges. The only significant punch he landed throughout the entire fight was the one that ended it.
One man however, who was not impressed was Wilder’s upcoming opponent. Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“Wilder has nothing more than a punchers chance vs me,” said Fury via his Twitter account. “I’m gonna school even more than the first fight. #BUMCITY”
In many ways, Wilders rematch with Ortiz mirrored his contest with Fury. The Lineal champion outboxed Wilder for the vast majority of the bout. Yet in both the ninth and final round, Wilder managed to drop Fury. The result of those knockdowns aided Wilder in keeping his title by getting a split decision draw.
Was Fury’s words a slight to Wilder or was it more so the truth?
Wilder may have scored a highlight reel level knockout over Ortiz, but make no mistake about it, he was losing this fight. At the time of the stoppage, Wilder losing on every single judges scorecards.
Having shared the ring with one another once before, each man knows what to look for. With that being said, the words of Fury are a bit true. Wilder is in no way a better boxer than Fury, but can the Lineal champion stay upright for 12 rounds this time? As Wilder continues to say over and over again.
“These fighters have to be perfect for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for 2 seconds.”
Wilder acknowledges that he does have a punchers chance, but that could be all he needs.
With the rematch between Fury and Wilder set for February 2020, fans can’t wait for the two big men to settle their feud in the ring.
What’s Next For Luis Ortiz?
By: Hans Themistode
Luis Ortiz had the WBC Heavyweight title won.
In his rematch against Deontay Wilder this past Saturday night, he was out boxing the long reigning champion. At no point was it close, as Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) seemed to have no answer at all. Fans of the champion seemed to grow worried as he just could figure out a way to let his hands go.
When the seventh round came rolling along, there was good reason to believe that Wilder hadn’t won a single round. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Wilder landed his signature right hand and down went Ortiz in heap.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The referee counted him out as he staggered to his feet.
Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) might be 40 years of age but he looked impressive against Wilder until that right hand landed right on the button. He might not be able to beat Wilder, but that doesn’t mean he can’t defeat anyone else.
He should have a long line of opponents waiting for his next ring appearance. Let’s breakdown his best options.
The undefeated Adam Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) is looking to really burst on to the Heavyweight scene. He has been impressive in his short career thus far, but he looks primed and ready for a big opportunity.
Luis Ortiz on the other hand, has had his shot at the big time. Unfortunately for him, he has come up short on both occasions. But that doesn’t mean he should slip down to the bottom of the rankings. If Ortiz wants to place himself on the short list for a third fight with Wilder, then a win against Kownacki would be a huge statement.
Why not place the two most recent Deontay Wilder victims against one another? Dominic Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) was last seen on his back courtesy of a right hand from Wilder. Ortiz, of course, was last seen doing the same thing.
The Heavyweight division isn’t particularly deep, so both men could find themselves fighting for a world title once again in the near future. Both Ortiz and Breazeale hit extremely hard and aren’t afraid to bang it out. This might not be worthy of a title eliminator, but it would be a very fan friendly contest.
It wasn’t very long ago where Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) was viewed as over the hill. A draw against the unheralded Fred Kassi to go along with a no contest against Travis Kauffman, coupled with a stoppage loss against Deontay Wilder, spelled the end for Arreola.
Following that loss to Wilder however, he managed to win two fights in a row and gave the undefeated Adam Kownacki the toughest fight of his life. Proving that he has plenty left in the tank. Chris Arreola vs Luis Ortiz has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Wilder Stops Ortiz Cold in the Seventh Round
By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Fox Sports Pay Per View Main Event between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.
The undercard featured a lot of close action-packed fights. The co-main event between Santa Cruz and Flores as well as the bout between Figueroa and Ceja featured a high volume of punches.
Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez were originally scheduled to fight on the undercard, but that bout was cancelled after Nery came in a pound overweight.
The Leo Santa Cruz fight didn’t end until 11:45 PM EST, which meant the main event didn’t start until after midnight. Luis Ortiz entered the ring first and Wilder entered second in an extravagant outfit to an entire arena standing on their feet.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The following is a round by round recap of the main event of the night.
Deontay Wilder (41-0-1) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Wilder has the height and reach advantage over Ortiz. Both boxers appear to be a little cautious at first. Ortiz pressing forward but doesn’t pull the trigger yet. Wilder throws a lazy jab to the body. Ortiz throws a right hook to the body of Wilder, and Wilder answers with one of his own. Ortiz blocks two jabs from Wilder. Ortiz touches Wilder with a good straight left hand. Wilder misses with a straight right and Ortiz lands a jab in response. Wilder flicks out a short jab. Ortiz has a slight cut by his right eye. Ortiz straight left is blocked by Wilder. Not a lot of action in the first round, but Ortiz had the best punch of the round.
Ortiz throws out two jabs but misses. Wilder is pawing his jab in the face of Ortiz. Both boxers are keeping their distance looking for a counter. Ortiz misses with a wild left to the body of Wilder. Wilder throws out a straight right hand that is partially blocked. Wilder throws out a check left hook and Ortiz stabs a jab to the body. Wilder and Ortiz both miss straight crosses. Wilder flicks out three jabs and a cross to the body. Ortiz is showing good head movement. Ortiz bangs to the body of Wilder. Ortiz lands a left to the head and body of Wilder. Wilder lands a jab to the nose of Ortiz. Another slower round.
10-9 Wilder; 19-19
Wilder goes back to pawing a jab in the face of Ortiz. Ortiz lands a left to the body of Wilder. Wilder misses with a left hook to the body. Ortiz lands a straight left on Wilder’s face. Lots of feints early on in the round. Ortiz blocks a straight right by Wilder. Ortiz almost has Wilder trapped in a corner and lands a body shot. Wilder responds with a jab in the face of Ortiz. Wilder throws out a double jab. Ortiz bangs a good left off the head of Wilder and follows it with a body shot. Wilder lands a good straight right that catches Ortiz’s attention. Ortiz is backing Wilder up this round.
10-9 Ortiz; 29-28 Ortiz
Ortiz pressing forward slowly and throws out three consecutive jabs. Wilder lands a check left hook. Wilder looks a little looser this round. Ortiz momentarily traps Wilder by the corner and throws out two hard left hooks that barely miss. Ortiz ducks under a Wilder right and lands a combo in response. Wilder tells Ortiz to bring it and Ortiz smiles at him. Ortiz is still stalking Wilder, but neither boxer is throwing anything of note. Both appear to respect each other’s power. Wilder throws a power right hand that is blocked. Ortiz throws a left to the body of Wilder.
10-9 Ortiz; 39-37 Ortiz
The slower pace of this fight so far favors Ortiz. Ortiz barely misses an overhand left. Wilder pawing his jab in the face of Ortiz. Crowd is chanting for Ortiz. Ortiz lands another left to the body of Wilder. Wilder is hesitant to open up and take a risk. Ortiz ducks under a two punch combo by Wilder. Ortiz lands another shot to the body of Wilder. Ortiz misses a looping left hook to the body. Ortiz continues to throw to the body of Wilder. Wilder bangs two punches off the shoulder of Ortiz. Ortiz has Wilder backing into a corner again. Wilder lands a good left hand that seems to stun Ortiz a little bit. Ortiz lands a left cross and Wilder tags Ortiz with a jab. Wilder wins the round based on that jab maybe hurting Ortiz, but close round.
10-9 Wilder; 48-47 Ortiz
Ortiz is once again backing Wilder up slowly. Ortiz throws a misses barely with a left to the body. Wilder has been mainly landing jabs. Wilder misses with a jab. Ortiz is looking for a counter on Wilder. Ortiz lands good short jab. Wilder tags Ortiz with a jab. Both boxers land lead hooks. Wilder lands another lead left hook. Ortiz throws out a three punch combo but it is mainly blocked. Wilder lands a jab. Another close round.
10-9 Wider; 57-57
Wilder opens up with a left hook to the body of Ortiz. Ortiz lands a good left to the body. Wilder gets tagged with a counter left hand. Ortiz lands another good left hand. Ortiz has to be careful with freely exchanging with a power puncher like Wilder. Wilder touoches Ortiz with a jab. Wilder lands a good lead straight right. Wilder barely misses with another straight right hand. Wilder misses with a right hook. Wilder throwing more right hands this round. Ortiz flicks out three jabs that are short. Wilder lands a left hook to the body. Ortiz lands a two punch combination. Ortiz may have Wilder a little stunned. Wilder is backing into a corner and Ortiz lands an over the top left. Wilder lands a vicious straight right hand and Ortiz drops to the mat. Ortiz is unable to get up before the count of ten.
Deontay Wilder once again proves when you have power, all it takes is one punch.
Deontay Wilder wins by knockout 2:51 of the seventh round.
Santa Cruz Cruises On Wilder-Ortiz Card
By: Sean Crose
Saturday night’s pay per view card courtesy of Fox and PBC started with a scheduled 12 round super featherweight affair at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The 22-2-3 Eduardo Ramirez met the 15-0-1 Leduan Barthelemy for the second time after battling to a draw in 2017. The opening round saw each man tossing off punches, but nothing of significance occurred. By round three, however, Ramirez began to land hard to Barthelemy’s head. Barthelemy was unable to make it through the fourth. Although he gamely got up from a knockdown the referee wisely prevented Barthelemy from taking more damage by stopping the bout.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Next up, the WBA world super bantamweight title was at stake, as the 20-0 Brandon Figueroa battled the 32-4 Julio Ceja. Of note was the fact that Ceja weighed in on Friday a full four and a half pounds over the super bantamweight limit. Still, team Figueroa agreed to take the fight. The first round saw good body work from Figueroa. The second saw Figueroa continue to land to the body, while Ceja went to the head. The opening half of the fight went on to be a neck and neck affair, with both men landing frightening shots.
By the seventh, the two men were still slugging away. Ceja was the more active fighter in the eighth. From the ninth through the eleventh, Ceja employed devastating body work. Figueroa fought gamely, but Ceja seemed to be carrying the momentum. With that in mind, a thoroughly determined Figueroa took the twelfth and final round. The judges ultimately ruled the fight a draw.
A few minutes later, Leo Santa Cruz entered the ring after a considerable absence to face Miguel Flores for the WBA super featherweight The first round was essentially a feeling out affair. The second round saw Santa Cruz patiently stalk his man. Flores was certainly in the fight, however. In the third it was obvious that Santa Cruz was the quicker of the two when it came to throwing a punch. Santa Cruz had also taken to stalking his man about the ring. Flores was able to have his moments in round four. He was able to continue having moments in the fifth. This was not a one sided fight as some may have expected. Things remained high energy in the sixth.
The seventh was competitive, as was the eighth…though a point was taken from Flores for repeated holding. The ninth showcased the fact that, although the fight was competitive, Santa Cruz was the more effective puncher. Still, Santa Cruz suffered a sharp cut in the tenth. That cut didn’t effect Santa Cruz in the eleventh, though. Nor did it effect Santa Cruz in the 12th. The popular fighter was awarded a unanimous decision win for his efforts.
Santa Cruz improved his record to 37-1-1, while Flores fell to 24-3.
Examining the Betting Odds Ahead of Wilder’s Rematch with Ortiz
By:Robert Aaron Contreras
Oddsmaking is a funny business, something like predicting the future. But when it comes to a rematch like this weekend’s Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz rewind, Wilder’s success in their initial meeting seems to have eliminated the fortuitous spirit of the wagering process.
Meeting again, on Saturday from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Wilder looks like a safe bet. The WBC champion is listed as high as a one-to-seven favorite (-700, Bet365). Ortiz opened at +300 and currently sits as steep as five-to-one (+501, SportBet). Nearly two years since their first go, Wilder remains unbeaten. He has now totaled 40 knockouts in his career. The highlight being of course that tenth-round KO over Ortiz.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
In 2018, Ortiz was also relegated to the underdog role, but much closer at nearly even odds. The Cuban southpaw opened at +170 to Wilder’s -189. Come fight night, the psaphonic American closed at -400. It served as a precedent because Wilder was priced at -400 upon inking the second deal with Ortiz.
The punters and bookies have been happy to again bank on Wilder’s haymakers, shifting the odds even more decidedly in his favor. Considering the boxers in discussion have already fought—one decisively beating the other—is it not that simple? Should not Wilder’s previous victory close the curtains on boxing’s theater of the unexpected?
Never. Not in the sport’s maximum category at least. Divisional icon Evander Holyfield does not think so either.
“Why give a guy another chance who is that good?” Holyfield reacted, via FightHype.com. “I don’t know why Wilder did it.”
At jeopardy for Wilder is a mega-unification with Tyson Fury following their split-decision draw at the end of last year. Holyfield recognizes Ortiz presents no small risk, no matter how wide Wilder’s odds grow.
As of late, Holyfield has been interactive with the media. Aged 57, he shared his interest in returning to the ring against Riddick Bowe before delivering his prediction of boxing’s other blockbuster rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz’s triumphant upset over Joshua provided major leverage in the eyes the bookmakers. Once a +800 dog, the suoid champion faces Joshua again at +250. It is a huge shift but still not good enough to give Ruiz favorable odds. But favorable odds did not help Joshua in the slightest. They do not help anyone.
If they did then any grudge match of a 50-50 fight (as Wilder vs. Ortiz predictably was) should statistically lean toward the loser—just as 50 percent probability stipulates.
Recall that before the referee waved things off, the clash was dead even: Wilder counted for two knockdowns but was nearly finished by Ortiz in the seventh period. To be sure, it will not be the same Ortiz in the ring on Saturday. He is older after all, passing that frightening threshold into the golden 40s.
The challenger’s age, though, will not be the only thing different. Ortiz was vocal about chalking up his loss to Wilder to poor cardio, citing fatigue in the closing stages of their battle. For assistance he has linked up with nutrition and supplement guru Victor Conte. While Conte remains infamous for his role in the BALCO scandal of 2005, boxing’s elite continually praise his work. Devin Haney and Mikey Garcia were just a couple of the latest.
Work with Conte is paying dividends for Ortiz. Social media has chronicled the Cuban’s supreme physique. And BoxingScene reported his being in “better shape” than 2018’s version.
It is always easy to bet against the previous loser in the series. Memories are easily mistaken for intuition, images percolating into the imagination: a faceless referee standing over a sunken heap of Ortiz—warped like Picasso’s “Old Guitarist”—all to the backdrop of Wilder turning away smiling, toward the flashing cameras, victorious.
It happens. In May, Emanuel Navarrete doubled down on his doubters. He pelted away at Isaac Dogboe for the second time. The first was a massive seven-to-one upset for the super bantamweight crown.
But contrasting examples might be Canelo Alvarez’s rivalry with Gennady Golovkin. After much support for Golovkin the first time around, the Mexican luminary then made sure to make his closing unanimous decision stick. As the results did when he trumped Sergey Kovalev, the Russian who first extended Andre Ward—fighting equally, if not robbed—before being felled and stopped inside the distance. Kovalev was similarly crumbled at the hands of Eleider Alvarez before the next time wreaking vengeance.
One more. How many times was Juan Manuel Marquez turned away before putting Manny Pacquiao to sleep?
It is clear the only guarantee in rematches is a sorry ending for determinist thinking. Holyfield understands this. Bookies not so much.