WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) is seeking another successful title defense on Saturday night, as he faces Cuba’s Luis Ortiz (28-0-2 NCs, 24 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. One thing that’s certainly been noticeable with Wilder is his continued slimming down in recent fights, and that was no different at Friday’s weigh-ins.
Ortiz weighed 241 1⁄4 lbs, right in line with what he’s weighed in previous fights, but Wilder came in at just 214 3⁄4 lbs, down from even his 220 3/4 lbs for his November 2017 win vs. Bermane Stiverne.
This is the lightest that Wilder has weighed since the third professional fight of his career, which was way back in 2009. Wilder won Olympic bronze in 2008, competing in the heavyweight division, which had a maximum weight allowance of roughly 200 pounds, which is the cruiserweight limit in the professional ranks. In other words, Deontay has never been a hulking figure.
In 2015, Wilder weighed 229 pounds for his title defense vs. Eric Molina, which tied for the heaviest weight of his career. Since then, his weights are as follows:
228 3⁄4 lbs vs. Johann Duhaupas (September 2015)
228 3⁄4 lbs vs. Artur Szpilka (January 2016)
226 1⁄4 lbs vs. Chris Arreola (July 2016)
222 lbs vs. Gerald Washington (February 2017)
220 3⁄4 lbs vs. Bermane Stiverne (November 2017)
214 3⁄4 lbs vs. Luis Ortiz (March 2018)
On the opposite end, Anthony Joshua, whom Wilder could face later this year, has been bulking up in his recent outings. Joshua weighed 254 lbs against Carlos Takam, the heaviest of his career. As Joshua prepares to unify the IBF and WBO titles vs. Joseph Parker on march 31st, promoter Eddie Hearn says that he expects the Brit to come in lighter and leaner next time out.
Showtime will televise the Wilder vs. Ortiz card, which starts at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.