One of the most difficult things to accomplish in any sport, let alone in boxing, is championship status. For many athletes it essentially represents the mountain top.
Getting to the top of that aforementioned mountain is difficult in itself but staying there, is a more arduous task.
For former Welterweight champion Victor Ortiz he’s been through the entire cycle. From prospect to contender, to champion to contender once again.
It’s almost hard to believe that Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) is only 32 years old. That’s still a relatively young age in boxing terms but its feels as though he’s been around forever.
In an interview with Boxing Insider radio, which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, Ortiz caught up with the panel to discuss several parts of his career including his infamous matchup with Floyd Mayweather, his absolute war with Andre Berto back in 2011, his views on the current state of the Welterweight division and where he sees himself fit in amongst this current group.
Even if you don’t like Victor Ortiz on a personal level, the relentless attitude he’s shown during his career is something to be admired. When Ortiz kicked off his career back in 2004, he looked like your typical star prospect. Seven fights resulted in seven wins, with five of those coming via stoppage. He had a bit of a slip in his 8th professional bout. A disqualification loss. But if you actually seen the contest, you would understand that it wasn’t through the fault of Ortiz. So that so called loss was swept under the rug.
Nine more fights resulted in nine more wins for Ortiz, but then another blimp on the radar appeared. During the first round of a matchup with Marvin Cordova Jr in 2007. During the bout, Ortiz was the recipient of a nasty elbow to the head in the first round. The blow opened up a gash big enough to fit two full sized quarters into it. Needless to say, the contest was stopped.
After eight more wins, with all coming by knockout, Ortiz was clearly on his way to making a name for himself. Yet, after a stoppage loss to Marcos Maidana he quickly coupled it with a majority draw with Lamont Peterson.
The jury was out on Ortiz. He was a solid fighter, but nothing special. So when he was called upon to take on then champion Andre Berto for the WBC Welterweight title, he wasn’t expected to do much of anything.
“I remember when I got down there and I seen all of the stats they had, and how badly I was going to get destroyed. They were pretty much giving me no chance,” continued Ortiz. “I was walking through the arena and I met some guy who was one of the promoters, I forgot his name but he was with a young woman and he told her, hey babe let me introduce you to the tomato can that we hired to get knocked out.”
As you might expect, Ortiz didn’t take those words too well.
“ I told him, hey you done f*cked up a beautiful career. I’ll see you tomorrow, then boom a few hours later, I became a world champion.”
The doubts coming from everyone we’re justifiable. The record of Berto was spotless and his performances were outstanding. Ortiz on the other hand, already had several losses and draws plastered all across his resume. None of it mattered.
With professional athletes, their motivation usually comes from the same source, the doubt of everyone else in their skills. Ortiz had plenty of doubt going into that contest but his motivation didn’t simply come from his doubters, but it also came from everything that was going on in his personal life.
“I had two jobs that year. I was working for Red Bull as a merchandiser and I was working for construction. On top of that I was going to college. I asked my college classes if they could give me the week off because I was going to go fight in Connecticut but they pretty much said do you know what the statistics are of you going out there and actually performing something that big, but I told them that I just need the time. They told me that I couldn’t miss the midterms but I told them hey I can pass them if you let me take them today or even when I come back I’ll take them but they wouldn’t let me so I had to drop out of college.”
“From there, I went to my job at Red Bull and they were saying that they couldn’t give me a week off but go handle your business and when you come back lets see if your still around. When I went to my construction job they said Vic, just come back with that damn belt or don’t come back at all.”
Ortiz did in fact come back with that damn belt but ask yourself this question, would you really go back to your job after you’ve become a world champion? The misconception in boxing is that, once you have become a world champion, the money comes in droves.
“That morning after the fight, I actually went straight to work. I only made $25,000 for the fight so it’s not like I made a ton of money.”
The money may not have been there but with such a huge victory under his belt, you would think that the fame and notoriety would be coming his way. Nope. Ortiz went back to his normal 9-5 and lived a very modest life. Of course, at times boxing fans would notice the newly minted world champion and take pictures with him but there was one story in particular that sticks out to Ortiz more than others.
“So there was this guy that I was stacking up this refrigerator of Red Bull for. And he says I look like this kid that just fought this past weekend so I tell him really? So I asked him what was the guys name and he says mines and I say no way that’s me!” Said Ortiz while laughing. “He was saying that the guy was on tv and had a tattoo on his back so I showed him the tattoo on my back and he was just like what are you doing working for Red Bull? I told him hey you gotta make a living bro.”
Ortiz may not have gotten the payday that he was looking for after his fight with Berto, but he did get the opportunity of a lifetime in his next fight when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to share a stage with someone like Floyd Mayweather. I personally think that we have unfinished but that’s just my opinion.”
That unfinished business that Ortiz is alluding to is when Mayweather left Ortiz staring up at the ceiling lights courtesy of a right hand in the fourth round. It was a bit of a cheap shot from Mayweather but something Ortiz warranted due to his constant headbutts throughout the match.
“I was young, 23 years old and I went into the fight with one of the biggest fighters in the world so I believe that not only did I have stage fright but also the fact that I was trying to perform with the elites.”
The lights may have been a bit too bright for Ortiz but the roughhouse tactics of Mayweather was what drove him over the edge.
“He kept hitting me with elbows. I took about 15 of them before I told the ref, elbows! But he kept hitting me with them. The last one that he hit me with felt like I was going to go blind or something so I launched a headbutt. But I only did that because my corner told me hey hit him with a headbutt an I’m sure he won’t do it again. Next thing you know the ref stops the action and I have my hands down and I get hit with a few punches and down I go.”
After his loss to Mayweather, Ortiz would go on to lose his next two contest to Josesito Lopez and Luis Collazo, both by stoppage. He’d get back on track by winning back to back fights since then but would come up woefully short in a rematch with the same man who helped make a star in the first place, Andre Berto.
If beating Berto in their first encounter back in 2011 represented reaching the mountain top of the Welterweight division, then losing to him five years later represented the bottom of it.
Over the last few years Ortiz has been inactive and its shown in his results in the ring. He’s fought just once time in 2017 and 2018. Scoring a knockout win against Saul Corral and a majority draw against former champion Devon Alexander.
With the time spent outside of the ring, the Welterweight division no longer resembles the one that he grew up competing in. Champions such as Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford are now considered the elite of the weight class.
There aren’t many observers who view Ortiz as a huge threat in the division anymore. Inactivity to go along with inconsistent performances have left his case for a top spot extremely tenuous. But the former champion just doesn’t see it that way.
“I’ll be honest man, I’m one of the most dangerous guys out there. Why? Because I have nothing to lose. I have losses, draws and a lot of knockouts. I have all of the experience in the world and I’m left handed. At this point in time, the real question is, who would really take that fight against me? I believe I’m still in the top 5 in the division or at least in the top 10.”
Juxtaposing Ortiz to any other current Welterweight champion or top tier contender would seem to leave him at a disadvantage. Simply put, he just doesn’t compare to his peers at the moment.
With that being said however, did anyone expect him to beat Andre Berto back in 2011? No, from the moment that contest was announced, there was apprehension from everyone as to what was going to take place. Ortiz beat the odds before and placed himself amongst the elite of the division. At only 32 years of age, he still has time to jump start his career. But with nearly two years away from the sport of boxing, time isn’t exactly on his side.
“For me personally, I would have been back in the ring long ago but I’m dealing with some personal stuff so I’m just trying to work through it. I’m with Freddie Roach now and we’re just working hard and staying ready. The moment my issues are behind me my life will go back to normal.”
For now, Ortiz plays the role of a spectator as he watches some of the world’s greatest fighters from a distance.
“I’m still a fan. I always enjoy watching Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford and some of Canelo every once in awhile.”
The sidelines that Ortiz currently sits on has certainly become arduous to do so. If Ortiz can simply get his personal issues in order, he could be well on his way to another title run.
Unlikely? Maybe. But so was his first championship run to begin with.
By Robert Aaron Contreras
Welterweight sensation Vergil Ortiz Jr. (15-0, 15 KO) added to his perfect KO streak by stopping veteran Brad Solomon (28-2, 9 KO) in the fifth round on Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Ortiz’s stellar run this year—now 4-0 in 2019—left him with high expectations heading into the weekend and the 21-year-old Texan surpassed them against Solomon, who was crafty enough to force Ortiz to pull out all the stops to secure the finish and earn himself a belt, one manufactured by the WBA, but nonetheless a major championship strap.
“[Solomon] was difficult to figure out,” Ortiz said, standing next to his trainer Robert Garcia in the ring after the fight. “He really made me use my brain. I took my time in there… I had to utilize my jab. Most importantly, I had to figure out my range.”
At its onset, Ortiz took a handle of the fight, continually walking Solomon into the corner, behind a lead left hand. Shotgun jabs to the head followed by rattling off left hooks to the body—most of them blocked, but the force thrummed through Solomon’s gloves all the same.
Solomon showed initiative in the second round, keen on going to his young opponent’s belly. Ortiz returned more piston jabs upstairs for his trouble. But halfway into the period it was a snapping follow-up right hand that caught Solomon’s attention. It was to that point the best punch of the bout and made Solomon shuffle away from Ortiz, sidestepping along the ropes. Noticing his man’s high guard, Ortiz attempted to swat down Solomon’s defenses—a rendition of that Ukrainian unblock perfected by Vasyl Lomachenko.
The action unfolded along the ropes again in the third frame. Ortiz mined for more openings and opportunities to deliver punishment. Attacking from fine angles, he took a leap to his right, outside of Solomon’s left foot, commanding lead foot dominance, and banged a left uppercut toward the skull of his opponent. It was the old D’amato shift. Solomon leaned into Ortiz and the younger fighter adapted acutely moving backwards before planting his foot down for uppercuts.
Early in the fourth round, Ortiz ducked under a wild left hand that left Solomon stumbling away from the center of the ring. After digging a little to the body, Ortiz mixed up his jab. Having already established it upstairs, he jabbed to the body and chest, then feinting in that direction only to throw a javelin straight right hand to Solomon’s face. The misdirection paid dividends at the 1:03 mark where a fierce jab sat Solomon down (the first official knockdown of the fight, Ortiz in the post-fight interview suggested he accidentally tripped his opponent).
Moments after Solomon made it to his feet, another volley prompted Solomon to gesture for a low blow. Ortiz didn’t buy it and neither did referee Raul Caiz Sr.
Again Solomon was overzealous returning from the break, dealing out overhand rights to start the fifth round. Mirroring arcing blows came back his way from Ortiz. And Solomon was soon being driven from corner to corner. Stagnation setting into, cement hardening in his shoes. More power jabs rushed into his line of sight, and a right cross zipped by his chin. Soon a right cross-counter slanted over Solomon’s lead hand and shook him up again. Three more grazing punches made the veteran take a knee, floored for the second time of the night and his 30-fight career.
Time still remaining in that fateful Round 5, Solomon was out of ammo. Backed into another corner, mouth agape, knees trembling, two more left hooks was all it took. One slammed against his gloves, and before the second could even land, Solomon hunkered down on a knee. Bowing out. It’s important to recognize the difference between that and a “quit job”—that’s something else. When a fighter goes unconscious, for example, it’s the case of the human body unable to sustain anymore damage—physically. No quitting involved. Here, similarly but incorporeally, Solomon’s spirit was sapped.
Another win for Ortiz, there has been a reoccurring theme. His finishing ability, dispatching respectable foes who had never before been put away inside the distance. First, Mauricio Herrera could only handle this virtuoso for three rounds. Then former world champion Antonio Orozco was stamped out in six—this after going a hard 12 with unified beltholder Jose Ramirez last year.
Now, knocking out Solomon, Ortiz has a WBA title. A growing number of men do given the organization’s maniacal proliferation of championships: his “gold” belt being the WBA’s de-facto interim title to regular champion Alexander Besputin… who is in turn second in line to “super” champion Manny Pacquiao. In short, that’s why these trinkets should be ignored.
Judge boxers for who they beat, not what they win for doing it. Ortiz, younger than college seniors around the country, is doing that principle justice.
Machado rebounds with KO victory
Former champion Alberto Machado (22-2, 18 KO) knocked out Luis Porozo (14-2, 7 KO) with a series of crunching body blows, eventually crushing the Olympian from Ecuador in the second round.
Machado, 29, of Puerto Rico, was actually down immediately following the opening bell. It was a trip. But Porozo was dealing out heavy leather, charging in slapping the taller man with winging left hooks. It was chippy action in both directions, some holding and grappling along the way. Porozo separated and would leap in with wide, curled punches. Machado hung back, trying to time his man with piercing straight lefts.
In the second inning, Porozo forced the action: sitting on looping, wild right hands: nearly falling off-balance. Composed, Machado found a lull in his opponent’s offense, systematically walked him into a corner, and planted a left hand to the solar plexus for the first knockdown of the fight.
Machado stalked Porozo when the bout continued. Soon another left hand strayed to the Ecuadorian’s guts for another knockdown. Up again, Porozo was no longer eager to engage: plodding away, taking a second to peek up at the fight clock. Machado stepped into more body shots and then landed a whizzing left hand to Porozo’s dome and he was quickly counted out.
“It’s a shot we’ve been working on in camp,” Machado said through a translator. “We knew he was the kind of fighter who would open up and that’s where found the opportunity to land that shot to the body.”
Machado, who dropped his 130-pound championship to Andrew Cancio in dramatic fashion this year, is back in the win column for the first time since October 2018. Now, having jumped up in weight, the Puerto Rican puncher likes the way 135 pounds suits him.
“It’s this new division I feel stronger than ever before,” Machado said. “I think I did well, he’s a good fighter, he’s an Olympian, but I did good because of the adjustments that I made.”
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
It is never easy to decipher what Golden Boy Promotions is up to.
This weekend, on Dec. 13, De la Hoya and Co. put their premier prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (14-0, 14 KO) up against a tricky veteran in Brad Solomon (28-1, 9 KO), to be aired by DAZN. It is either a case of inexplicable matchmaking, setting up their young puncher to meet his stylistic foil, or perhaps the case of an aging welterweight in perfect position to finally be stopped inside the distance which would do wonders for a surging tyro like Ortiz.
Ortiz is is one of Golden Boy’s remaining commodities. Still just 21, the Texas-born welterweight could be helping bolster shows headlined by more established company men like Canelo or Jaime Munguia. But considering the tension brewing between Oscar de la Hoya and Canelo Alvarez, and given Ryan Garcia’s mixed reception, talent is being spread thin to fill the schedule, leaving no choice but to again push Ortiz to the top of the bill. This weekend represents his second headliner in a row.
In August, Ortiz destroyed former world champion Antonio Orozco, scoring three knockdowns, and punched in a vicious sixth-round knockout. The KO bought one name to mind, that of Jose Ramirez, who went 12 strenuous rounds with Orozco and was unable to close the show. In fact Orozco had never been stopped until he met Ortiz, who barely old enough to drink conceivably one up’d a unified beltholder. In all it was Ortiz’s third win of the year.
Earlier in 2019, Ortiz backed up both Canelo and Munguia, competing on their undercards. He was successful in orchestrating knockouts each time. The knockouts have been rolling in for Ortiz ever since turning professional. Yet to go to the cards since his amateur days. He sparked Jesus Vargas in February. Valdez, of Mexico, had only been stopped once before in almost 30 fights. Months later, Ortiz’s opponent was better known, one Mauricio Herrera, who had previously never come unstuck in his lauded career. Ortiz changed that with a right cross from hell that ended Herrera’s night in the third round. This one of the division’s most avoided boxers for having outboxed Danny Garcia, Jose Benavidez Jr. and others, slumped in under nine minutes by a kid.
Technically Ortiz was an adult, just 18, when Golden Boy Promotions picked him up—opting for De la Hoya over Top Rank who also had immense interest. His talent would soon match the hype surrounding his remarkable ammy record of 140-20. Ortiz linked up with Robert Garcia by 2018. And his first fight training out of Oxnard was on national TV, where he took apart former titlist Jose Carlos Salgado.
For Ortiz’s prodigious ways, a fight with Solomon may seem like a step backwards from a tested warrior like Orozco. After all the American Solomon is unranked and relatively inactive, fighting just twice since the Spring of 2016. However a close examination of his record reveals the fruits to bear for Ortiz if he can impose real punishment onto his older opponent.
Solomon, 36, is probably best known for his appearance on the star-studded undercard in support of Manny Pacquiao’s third engagement with Tim Bradley, battling the touted Konstantin Ponomarev. The welterweight out of Georgia had climbed his way out of the regional ranks, defeating a handful of names that do not look so bad in hindsight: divisional spoiler Ray Robinson, network drudge Freddy Hernandez, former title contender Demetrius Hopkins, and PBC’s resident brawler Adrian Granados.
Never knocked out, the only loss to Solomon’s name came that night to Ponomarev, by split-decision. He racked up a few rounds early on. And while he was severely outworked down the stretch, he utilized a brand of awkward positioning to stick his man with some hard shots.
Most recently, Solomon took part in the Sulaiman World Invitational welterweight tournament. In the opening round he got off the canvas against Belfast popularizer Paddy Gallagher to win on points. Too bad that was 19 months ago because while Solomon waited for the tourney to continue, the operation ultimately collapsed. Closer to 40 than 30 now, Solomon’s time has passed. His duty to the sport is of a stern test to its hottest up-and-comer.
Championship castaways and championship hopefuls fill undercard
Squash matches are nothing strange for boxers and Alberto Machado (21-2, 17 KO) is taking advantage of the concept. Coming off two disastrous losses, dropping his championship belt in the process, the Puerto Rican sharpshooter is taking on former Olympian Luis Porozo (14-1, 7 KO) in desperate need of a win.
Machado could use a pick-me-up after two beatings from Andrew Cancio. He entered their first fight having twice defended his super featherweight strap and was a huge favorite to spin a third. Listed as high as -2000 to retain his title, Machado found out Cancio had his own plans and punched holes into the defending champion’s midsection en route to a fourth-round knockout. The two did it again and the results only got worse for Machado, this time losing in the third period. He’s wise not to waste anymore time on the sidelines, embarking on his third fight of the year.
The weekend also represents Porozo’s third bout of 2019. First, in May, he picked up a routine win over a palooka with a record of 8-3. Those were the kind of nobodies he ran up his perfect record against. So when Porozo next found himself fighting against a live body on ShoBox in American Giovanni Mioletti, he was seen outworked, visibly gassed, and despite his Olympic background, refused to employ a jab. Mioletti earned a clear decision victory.
Further down the card, undefeated Canadian-transplant Erik Bazinyan (18-0, 7 KO) is back in action. His name was in the news a few months ago when the WBO positioned him to fight in a title eliminator for a shot at super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. But it never materialized as a shoulder injury kept him from the ring. So to shake the ring rust off, Bazinyan as a tuneup with Mexican veteran Saul Roman (45-13, 37 KO).
Younger by over a decade, the 24-year-old Bazinyan entered the pro ranks off a remarkable amateur record, supposedly losing just once in 109 fights in headgear. He is a proud Armenian by birth before migrating to Canada and fighting through Montreal’s regional circuit. In May, Bazinyan got his first opportunity under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, when he faced another Mexican boxer, Alan Campa, and while he took a major welt on his head for his trouble he was ultimately awarded a wide unanimous decision victory.
Roman took this fight on days notice. He picked up two knockouts this year against the lowest reaches of the talent pool—for example his last opponent had a record of 1-12. He is a serviceman of nearly 60 fights, plying his trade since the turn of the millennia—turning pro at welterweight, too boot. All told it is not likely Roman hears the final bell.
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.
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.
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will host a Pay Per View showdown between WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and his challenger Luis Ortiz.
Their first bout was a close fight until Wilder was able to stop Ortiz in the tenth round. Wilder was ahead with a score of 85-84 on all three scorecards at the moment of the stoppage.
Their rematch will be televised on Fox Sports PPV.
The co-main event of the evening will be between Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Flores for the vacant WBA Junior Lightweight title.
Other bouts on the card include a bantamweight bout between Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez and a junior lightweight bout between Leduan Barthelemy and Eduardo Ramirez. Other boxers on the undercard include Vito Mielnicki Jr., Omar Juarez, Viktor Slavinskyi, Arnold Alejandro, and Shon Mondragon.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1) vs. Miguel Flores (24-2); WBA Junior Lightweight Title
Leo Santa Cruz has been a champion in the featherweight division for a long time and now looks to capture a title in the junior lightweight division.
He’s still in his athletic prime at 31 years old and is four years older than Flores. They both have the same reach and Flores will have a very slight ½ height advantage on Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz does appear to have the edge in power as he has stopped nineteen of his opponents while Flores has only stopped twelve.
Inactivity may be an issue for Santa Cruz, as he has only fought once in 2019 and once in 2018, but he did fight twice in 2017. However, Flores hasn’t been very active either and fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017.
Santa Cruz’s lone loss was to Carl Frampton, which he later avenged. He has also defeated the likes of Abner Mares, Rafael Rivera, Kiko Martinez, Cesar Seda, and Chris Avalos.
Flores has losses to Dat Nguyen and Chris Avalos, and both times he failed to make it to the final bell. He notable wins include Ryan Kielczweski and Ruben Tamayo.
Santa Cruz also had the edge in amateur experience as he was a US National Silver Medalist while Flores has no notable amateur experience.
This fight looks to be an easier challenge for Santa Cruz in the junior lightweight division. It will be interesting to see if his power holds up in the higher weight class.
Deontay Wilder (41-0-1) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1); WBC Heavyweight Title
Deontay Wilder is the undisputed king of the heavyweight division. There used to be an argument about whether Wilder or Joshua is the top dog in the heavyweight division, but an upset loss by Joshua to Andy Ruiz has killed those talks.
Wilder is nearing the end of his athletic prime at 34 years old but is still six years younger than his opponent. Wilder will also have a three inch height advantage and about a five inch reach advantage over Ortiz.
Both boxers are known for their power, but Wilder’s knockout power is legendary. He has stopped forty of his opponents. Only Bermane Stiverne and Tyson Fury went the distance against Wilder, and Stiverne was stopped in the rematch and Fury was knocked down. Wilder has forty stoppage victories and Ortiz has twenty six.
Both boxers have been fairly active. Wilder fought once in 2019 and twice in 2018 and 2017. Ortiz fought once in 2018, three times in 2018, and once in 2017.
Wilder and Ortiz both has successful amateur careers. Wilder was a bronze medalist in the 2008 Summer Olympics and Ortiz is a former Cuban Amateur National Champion.
Wilder does appear to have an edge in his resume of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka, Johann Duhaupas, Eric Molina, Malik Scott, and Siarhei Liakhovich. Ortiz previously lost to Wilder and has defeated the likes of Christian Hammer, Travis Kauffman, Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Lateef Kayode.
Their first bout was close, but Ortiz is getting older and you can age quickly in a sport like boxing. Wilder has to be considered the favorite as he looks forward to more lucrative matchups against either Tyson Fury or the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz fight.
By: Hans Themistode
It may not seem fair, but life doesn’t always afford us with second chances.
For Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz, he is one of the very few who is an exception and not the rule.
Ortiz has long been given the distinction of the most avoided fighter in the Heavyweight division. There is a reason why even at his advanced age, that no one truly wanted to step into the ring with him.
WBC belt holder and self proclaimed king of the division Deontay Wilder didn’t believe in the hype surrounding Ortiz and almost paid a price for it.
When the two men met in March of 2018, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, Ortiz was just a few seconds away from stopping Wilder in the seventh. Things didn’t quite play out the way he was expecting as Wilder survived the round and subsequently stopped Ortiz in the tenth.
Ortiz will now be given another chance. At 40 years old this could very well be his last shot at a title. Beating Wilder won’t be easy, but it can be done. Keep reading to find out the keys that could lead Ortiz to victory.
Forget About Patience
The first contest between them was action packed, but the first four rounds were painfully slow. This is a normal trend in boxing as fighters take a bit of time to find their rhythm and shake off any nerves that they have at that moment.
It might sound a bit suicidal to tell Ortiz to jump right in, but the sooner he can get the attention and respect of Wilder the better. Notice that I didn’t say be reckless. Just simply throw your heavy artillery from the very beginning.
Find That Straight Left Hand Again
Finding success against Wilder is such a seldom discovery. Yet, Ortiz is one of the very few who was able to find some. Outside of Wilders first fight with Tyson Fury, no one else has been able to find a consistent recipe for success against him. Ortiz has many tools in his bag but his left is undoubtedly his best one.
Wilder found himself on the wrong end of those left hands and because of it, almost lost his WBC title in the seventh round. Ortiz needs to find that punch once again. Wilder might find a way to neutralize it the second time around but if Ortiz is going to pull off this upset than he needs to get that punching going once again.
Keep Your Hands Up
It sounds like very basic instructions. Putting up your hands is essentially the first thing a fighter learns in the boxing ring. Too many times during their first contest was Ortiz caught with his hands down. You cannot, I repeat cannot do that against Wilder. For as vagarious as the WBC champion is, one thing that he does not do is go down to the body. He’s a head hunter, and a very good one at that.
Ortiz needs to protect himself from that by keeping his hands up at all time. If Wilder can knock Ortiz out with a body shot, then so be it. He has yet to prove that he can do that to anyone in his career so you have to think it’s something that he just isn’t capable of doing.
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.
By: Hans Themistode
The 2019 boxing calendar has been filled with big fights, and even bigger upsets.
Fighters who are expected to lose should never be counted out. With that being said however, that sentence takes a whole new meaning this year.
Remember when multiple division world champion Jorge Linares decided it was time to move up to the Super Lightweight division? He was fresh off a competitive loss to the consensus best fighter in the world in Vasiliy Lomachenko and his stock was never higher.
His introduction to his new weight class was against veteran fighter Pablo Cesar Cano. It was a fight which on paper, was an easy one for Linares. Cano after all, was never known as a great fighter and failed each and every time he stepped up in opposition. None of that mattered as he scored a first round brutal stoppage win over Linares.
How about Julian Williams shocking unanimous decision win over then undefeated unified Jr Middleweight titlist Jarrett Hurd? Williams was a great fighter in his own right, but a previous stoppage defeat in his lone attempt at a world title prior to his contest against Hurd, seemed to spell out another loss would be on the docket for him once again.
Instead, Williams dropped and subsequently won a fairly wide decision over Hurd.
The Heavyweights have received their fair share of upsets as well. Earlier in the year, fringe Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings was on his way to a decision victory over Oscar Rivas until a miraculous twelve round onslaught by Rivas sent Jennings down to the canvas and out.
The biggest upset of not only 2019, but also quite possibly of this decade occurred when former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was dropped four times en route to picking up his first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
With so many upsets happening around him, the question for Ortiz is, can he follow in the footsteps of those who came before him and become the first Cuban born Heavyweight champion in their storied history. Not only does he believe that he will get the job done this time around, but he also has no intentions of allowing this contest to make it to the judges scorecards.
“I have plans to finish all of this before the final bell ends,” said Ortiz. “But if I need to go the distance, I’m also ready to reach the end of the fight.”
A win over Wilder doesn’t seem likely. Ortiz might be a great fighter, but Wilder has been one of the most dominant champions in recent memory. With that being said however, did any of you expect any of those outcomes from the upsets that took place earlier this year? I doubt it.
It won’t come easy, but Ortiz has the opportunity to join the long list of 2019 fighters who upset the apple cart.
By: Hans Themistode
It was a mistake. One that Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz vows will not happen again.
The big punching Cuban bred boxer wasn’t just undefeated in his career coming into his championship matchup with WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. He was also arguably the most feared fighter regardless of weight class.
The Heavyweights of this era aren’t exactly known for having the best boxing abilities. Instead, they all seem to have one punch knockout power. None compares to Wilder of course, but then again, there aren’t many men throughout history who can.
Ortiz isn’t just a big man standing at six feet four inches and weighing routinely over 240 pounds, but he is also a slick boxer as well. He spends most of his contests making his opponent look silly before ultimately closing the show. When Ortiz gets his opponents in trouble, the end is usually near.
The Heavyweight contender had Wilder exactly where he wanted him in the seventh round. After Ortiz picked himself up off the ground in the fifth, he had Wilder in the most trouble of his career in that aforementioned seventh round.
Wilder staggered across the ring looking to hold on after he took shot after shot. To the surprise of many, including Ortiz, Wilder made it out of the round.
“As soon as I made the connection and hurt him and I knew I was going to finish him and that the fight was basically over,” Ortiz said recently. “I haven’t had a situation like that where I hadn’t gotten a knockout in a scenario like that.”
To witness Wilder withstand the barrage of punches that came from Ortiz unscathed was impressive. The Cuban Heavyweight gave it everything he had in that seventh round and as a result of that unsuccessful onslaught, he tired himself out and was subsequently finished off in the tenth.
In part two of their rivalry which will take place on November 23rd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ortiz vows to not only be prepared physically but mentally as well.
“It’s just a matter of putting some punches together and winning this fight,” said Ortiz. “One thing for sure is that both mentally and physically I’m at my best and prepared.”
Even at the age of 40, the skills of Ortiz does not seem to be diminishing. With that being said however, in terms of being a professional fighter, he is getting up there in age. Ortiz has been recently seen in pictures and videos during the lead up of this contest and it seems as though he is in the best possible shape of his career. Will that be enough to rip the belt away from Wilder who is looking to defend his title for the tenth time? We will all find out come this Saturday night.
By: Hans Themistode
WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is set to return to the ring on November 23rd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. His opponent will be a familiar face in Luis Ortiz. These two larger than life big men shared the ring one year ago in March at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York and produced a candidate for fight of the year.
During their first encounter Ortiz got off the deck in the fifth round to seriously hurt Wilder in the seventh. The WBC champ would bounce right back to go ahead and close the show in the tenth round. With Wilder getting hurt for the first time in his career in their first bout there is no question that Ortiz was by far his toughest fight to date. A sentiment that Wilder agrees with.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
“When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division,” said Wilder about Ortiz. “I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t. In the rematch there’s more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do.”
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) has always been keen to the idea of facing Ortiz once again. Now that the rematch is taking place in less than two weeks, the reigning WBC champion is ecstatic to not only share the ring with his rival once more, but also to be defending his title once again and build upon his already growing legacy.
“It’s a great honor to say this is gonna be my 10th title defense,” said Wilder. “Considering many people never thought I would be a Champ at all. I’ve always fought for legacy. I want to be the best to ever do it. When people talk about boxing I want them to say Deontay wilder.”
Wilder’s dream of becoming the best fighter of all-time is a stretch and an outcome that just isn’t going to happen. However, he is one of, if not the hardest hitting Heavyweight that has ever graced the ring. He has placed every opponent he has faced on the canvas and plans to do so once again.
“When you fight Deontay Wilder, I take years off your life. He already got some of that sweet potato pie the first time and he’s coming back again for seconds and I’m ready to fill his mouth again. Nov. 23 is gonna be an amazing time for boxing and boxing fans. The first fight was a thrilling fight and kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Here we are again, the same game plan coming in for us. I can’t wait.”
The excitement of Wilder is evident but he isn’t the only one. The fans and the entire boxing world are eager to see these two great fighters share the ring one more time.
Thankfully for everyone involved, we won’t have to wait much longer.
By: Sean Crose
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will once again be defending his crown against the highly skilled Luis Ortiz. The two men will meet for the second time in the ring this November 23d at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will be aired live on Fox Pay Per View and will fall under Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions (PBC) banner. This will be Wilder’s first fight since demolishing Dominic Breazeale last spring. Although Wilder is expected to have a rematch of his memorable bout with Tyson Fury early next year, no one can accuse the Alabama native of taking a soft touch in Ortiz.
The 31-1 Ortiz performed brilliantly against the 40-0-1 Willder when the two first fought in 2018. Indeed, it looked as if Ortiz might well walk away with the WBC belt. Wilder, however, had earned a power puncher’s reputation for a reason. He ended up stopping the difficult Ortiz in thunderous fashion. “When I fought Ortiz,” said Wilder, “not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogey man of the division.” For a man known to trash talk, Wilder had words of respect for this particular foe. “I agree,” he said, “with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t.”
The popular Leo Santa Cruz will also be on the November 23d pay per view card. His opponent will be Miguel Flores. Although many wanted the 36-1-1 Santa Cruz to face the highly regarded Gary Russell Jr, Santa Cruz will be moving up in weight to fight the 24-2 Flores for a WBA junior lightweight belt. Santa Cruz has won titles in three previous divisions, but does not fight with regularity. Although he’s fought top level boxer Carl Frampton twice, he hasn’t fought other to names like Russell, and – years ago – Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“When I first started boxing,” said Santa Cruz, “my dream was to be a world champion and I’ve been fortunate to win three different championships in three divisions.” Although he’s already being criticized for having Flores as an opponent, Santa Cruz spoke highly of his soon to be foe. “I know Flores is another tough Mexican boxer like me ,” he said. “He always comes forward, so it’s going to be a fun fight for the fans.”
By: Sean Crose
It was called “The Homecoming,” and that’s what it proved to be for undefeated welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz in Texas on Saturday night, as he bested Antonio Orozco in high octane fashion before a hometown crowd at the Theater in Grand Prairie. Ortiz was the headline attraction of a card, streamed live on DAZN, that wasn’t found lacking in the thrill department.
Before the main event, the 15-1-1 Joshua Franco did battle for the third time with fellow bantamweight Oscar Nagrete, whose own record walking into the contest was 10-2-1. The two men had not only met twice previously, Saturday night was the third time IN A ROW the two men faced off against one another – a true oddity in today’s fight game. Theie first battle, which went down in October 2018, ended in a draw. Their second battle, which went down last April, saw Franco win a somewhat controversial split decision victory. The third fight was supposed to clear the air once and for all regarding who was the better man.
Things didn’t go as planned, though the fight wasn’t a disappointment. Far from it. Franco seemed to be in a bit of trouble early on, as the harder hitting, and perhaps stronger, Nagrete moved forward with bad intentions. Franco was able to find his footing, however, and was able to fire off combinations with impressive quickness and timing. Not that Nagrete was willing to be denied. He kept up his attack for the most part, and, sure enough, was able to continue to land throughout the bout. The scheduled 10 round affair ultimately went to the cards, and was declared a draw.
The high energy atmosphere didn’t die down when the opening bell rang for Ortiz, 13-0, and Orozco, 28-1. Having won all of his previous bouts by knockout, Ortiz was clearly looking to impress his home audience. He went straight for the kill, hoping to make it a quick night. Orozco was tough, and experienced, however, and his skillful defense kept Ortiz from getting the early knock out. Orozco was interested in being more than just an opponent, for he engaged in an exciting fight with Ortiz, employing effective counter punching and possibly frustrating the rising welterweight. Ortiz kept his cool, though, worked the body, and kept firing crisp, rapid shots.
The fight was close in the sixth, but Ortiz was able to finally assert himself by sending Orozco to the mat. Rozco gamely got up, but was subsequently sent down again. Back on his feet for the second time, Orozco was able to hold Ortiz off for a bit. There was still plenty of time left in the round, however. By the time Ortiz sent Orozco to the mat for the third time, the referee wisely called off the fight. Up and coming slugger Ortiz had certainly been challenged, yet he had proven himself ready and able to rise to the occasion.
By: Sean Crose
“I want to thank Golden Boy and Eric Gomez;” says welterweight contender and rising Golden Boy Promotions star Vergil Ortiz. “He was the first guy to discover me when I was an amateur and gave me this opportunity, and I’m just really grateful for it.” The hard hitting 13-0 Ortiz has won all his bouts by knockout, proving himself a valuable asset to his promoter. This Saturday night he’ll be facing the 28-1 Antonio Orozco in a scheduled 12 round affair which will be aired live on DAZN from the Theater at Grand Prairie, Texas. Orozco is no one’s easy out, which means the fight can certainly prove to be interesting.
“We know the tremendous fighter that Vergil Ortiz is,” Orozco says, “and everyone knows my style of fighting. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. It’s a great opportunity, putting us both towards that world title shot again, and I’m looking for to that victory on Saturday.” For Ortiz, this means a chance to make his mark as future star in the starstruck welterweight division. For Orozco, it means a chance to do what others have been doing in boxing lately – surprising people. Count an Orozco win to be up there with Ruiz-Joshua and Pascal-Browne as one of the bigger upsets of the year.
Ortiz, however, makes it clear that he’s grounded in his rise up the division and that he takes his opponent this weekend very seriously. “I think everything has been said already,” he claims. “I’m not here to mess around. Golden Boy has given me some tough fights and I have passed them with flying colors, even though I’m color blind. Orozco is a very tough opponent, I’m not taking him lightly at all.”
Ortiz also speaks highly of Orozco, opting out of the shallow trash talk that sometimes comes with the fight game.
“He deserves all the respect in the world,” says Ortiz, “especially on that ring. It’s sink or swim…good thing I’m a good swimmer. I’m just looking forward to seeing those familiar faces in the audience. Best of luck to Orozco. This isn’t personal, we are here to support our families.”
DAZN will also feature a bantamweight battle on Saturday evening which is well worth noting, for the 15-1-1 Joshua Franco will engage in his third, that’s third, battle with the 10-2-1 Oscar Nagrete. Franco won their last battle by split decision. The first fight between these two ended in a draw. In short, there’s much to like about this matter of unfinished business. “ I think I won the first one,” says Franco. “I won the second one, and this time is even going to be worse for him.” Nagrete, of course, sees things differently. “I fought two exciting fights in the past,” he says. “Those two fights were very good fights, emotional fights, where I felt like I won, and most people have told me that I won. I’m here to prove that I won and show that I am the true champion.”
“I hope Joshua Franco is prepared,” he adds, “and I hope that this time, he comes to fight and not to run.”
By: Michael Kane
Deontay Wilder used social media to announce his next opponent over night.
He will face Luis Ortiz later in the year in a rematch, they both faced each other in March 2018, in a bout in which Ortiz had Wilder rattled only to be knocked out in the 10th round.
This announcement puts any potential rematch with Tyson Fury or a unification fight with Anthony Joshua back until next year at the earliest.
Wilder v Ortiz II 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
To all my fans,
I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly.
All my controversial fights
Must get dealt with ASAP‼️#BombZquad pic.twitter.com/RZs7vLEhaj
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) May 28, 2019
Joshua, who is preparing in New York for his U.S debut on Saturday said recently that he wanted face to face talks with Wilder to try and thrash a deal out, Joshua was expected to call out Wilder if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) May 28, 2019
There is pressure from fans, especially in the UK for Joshua and Fury to face the best, if no deal can be made for either to face Wilder, could we see the two meet each other? Unlikely at this stage. Both are with different TV companies in the UK and U.S.
The fighter who could win from this situation is Dillian Whyte should he beat Oscar Rivas next month. It seems a fight between Whyte and Fury could be next on the cards with Eddie Hearn saying a deal had been done. Although it would seem Eddie Hearn was talking with his tongue firmly in his cheek in an effort to get Fury to face Whyte.
“It’s very likely that the Oscar Rivas fight will be for the interim WBC title, and then we have confirmed we are happy to fight Tyson Fury next,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“Because he came out and said he will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt, so, we wrote to the WBC and said, ‘Great news, Tyson Fury will fight Dillian Whyte for the Diamond belt’. So, we’re in for that now.
“After (Whyte) beats Rivas, he will become the mandatory (for Wilder). That’s what we requested, but Deontay will be allowed another fight in October or whenever he’s going to fight, and we’ll fight Fury next, and then after Dillian beats Fury, he’ll fight Wilder.”
Tyson Fury’s coach, Ben Davison has said that Fury won’t fight a final eliminator but that a fight with Whyte would make sense if they can’t tie down Wilder or Joshua.
Davison told metro.co.uk, “Dillian Whyte stylistically is not the toughest fight for Tyson, but with that being said, Tyson’s not going to fight a final eliminator, that’s ridiculous.
“He’s the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and everyone knows he beat Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion of the world. Why would he have to fight a final eliminator? That’s the bad bit of it.
“But, Tyson is chasing fights with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua and if those fights can’t be made, don’t get it twisted, we’d gladly make that match-up with Dillian Whyte.”