clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2 undercard preview: Leo Santa Cruz, Luis Nery highlight PPV action

It should be an action-packed pay-per-view undercard leading up to the heavyweight title rematch.

Deontay Wilder is rematching Luis Ortiz at the MGM Grand on Saturday and is pretty highly anticipated given how exciting the first one was, but the PPV undercard features a very solid supporting cast to the big boys.

Opening the PPV is an excellent bantamweight fight between Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs). Luis Nery was once the WBC champion and the top fighter in the weight class but lost it on the scales before his rematch with Shinsuke Yamanaka in 2018 (which he won by KO). After taking a couple of easy fights in Mexico, he’s come over in the US and smashed two solid fighters stateside in McJoe Arroyo and Juan Carlos Payano.

Rodriguez, the former IBF champion, will be his biggest fight since Yamanaka. He looked excellent when he took the vacant title against Paul Butler and then made the semi finals of the World Boxing Super Series where he fell in two to Japanese star Naoya Inoue.

He’s a very clean outside boxer and the stylistic matchup with the aggressiveness and power of Nery should be very interesting. Rodriguez has the tools to give Nery some serious problems if he can keep him at bay but Nery is the biggest puncher in the division along with Inoue and Rodriguez will have to fight a nearly perfect fight to pull off the win.

At super-bantamweight, 22 year old prospect Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) defends the WBA belt against Julio Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs). Figueroa won the interim belt by KO against Yonfrez Parejo earlier this year and defended it against 38 year old Javier Chacon. He is a high volume, very powerful and physical inside fighter. Ceja is a good pressure fighter who put up a decent fight against Guillermo Rigondeaux and will be a stiffer test than Figueroa’s last two opponents. But he’s also been stopped in 3 of his 4 losses and I expect him to make it fun before Figueroa knocks him out.

In the co-main event, top featherweight Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) moves up to super-featherweight and will fight Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) for the WBA belt left vacant by Gervonta Davis. Santa Cruz has had a great run at featherweight with wars against Carl Frampton and Abner Mares, and is one of the sport’s great action fighters. Flores is a fun fighter but not really anything special and like Ceja against Figueroa should make Santa Cruz taking a belt in a fourth weight division entertaining, if not terribly competitive.

Less than meaningful belts aside, a co-main event between two legitimate top fighters, an exciting prospect taking a step up and one of boxing’s most exciting champions dipping his toes in a new weight class should make for a pretty good night of boxing.

Wilder vs Ortiz II Full Card:

Main Card – PPV – 9:00pm ET / 6:00pm PT

Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores

Luis Nery vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez

Brandon Figueroa vs. Julio Ceja

Preliminary Card – Fox Sports 2 – 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT, YouTube - 4:15pm ET / 1:15pm PT

Leduán Barthelemy vs. Eduardo Ramirez

Viktor Slavinskyi vs. Rigoberto Hermosillo

Omar Juarez vs. Kevin Shacks

Jose Manuel Gomez vs. Daniel Placeres

Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Marklin Bailey

Jerry Perez vs. Mark John Yap

Marsellos Wilder vs. Dustin Long