The Bloody Elbow staff has made its predictions for Saturday’s WBC heavyweight championship rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz, and believe it or not, it is not a unanimous selection. Ram Gilboa is picking Ortiz to pull off the upset, which is something the Cuban nearly did when he fought Wilder last year. One thing we all agree on is that this one is not going the distance.
Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz
Mookie Alexander: If we want to compare technical skillset, Ortiz may be 133 years old but he’s still much more technical than Wilder. The biggest problem for Wilder is that he is capable of being technical and avoiding those flailing, awful looking haymakers, but his whole style tends to fall apart when he wants to go for the finish. And you know what? It works, because he will hit you and you will be on your ass. Ortiz can only win by turning his round seven success in their first fight into an actual KO. Otherwise, Wilder is still faster, younger, and I’d like to think that because he knows how Ortiz was able to trouble him -- body shots in particular -- he’ll adjust accordingly and make this a quicker finish than the last time. Obviously I didn’t talk about power because he has bazookas for fists, especially in that right hand. He’s here to prove a point and get himself lined up for the big money rematch with Tyson Fury. Deontay Wilder by KO, round 5.
Ram Gilboa: Wilder’s one in a generation punch, or Ortiz world-class technique at heavy? Guess I like world class technique in this one, especially since they’re starting at their eleventh round together here, and Luis Ortiz knows what’s up. Year of the big upsets in heavyweight boxing continues. Luis Ortiz by TKO, round 8
Lucas Bourdon: Wilder’s technical flaws means he’s likely to struggle again against the skill of Ortiz particularly early. But he hits ridiculously hard, he’s straightened his right hand a bit over the years and has shown against Ortiz and Fury that he has the patience to not try to force the KO and the ability to carry his power into the late rounds. He’s also showed to be tough enough to weather a storm. Ortiz, who is about as old as Joe Louis was when he fought Rocky Marciano, tends to slow down late in fights and that’s when I expect Wilder to catch him. Deontay Wilder KO, round 9.
From Bad Left Hook
Scott Christ: I have two competing thoughts in my head for this fight. The first is that Wilder knows exactly who Ortiz is this time, and will be even more ready to exploit his own advantages, maybe look to overwhelm Ortiz in the earlygoing and score an impressive early knockout.
The other is that Wilder knows very well that Ortiz can be pushed to fade at his age, and that also Ortiz can still crack, and that maybe there’s no point in taking unnecessary risks when you can wait for the Cuban to slow down and get him out later. Why try to bomb Ortiz out fast and leave yourself more open to return fire when he’s still fresh, when you can wear him down and pick him off with a lot less danger?
I’m going with the latter thought, and I expect a bit less wild and woolly an affair this time around. Does Ortiz have a shot? Sure, he’s a big man, he can punch, and it’s the heavyweight division. But I think Deontay is a little cagier than he’s often thought to be, too, and he’ll get the job done without nearly as much trouble this time. Deontay Wilder TKO-9
Wil Esco: Let’s face it, Ortiz is not the same fighter he was almost two years ago when he fought Deontay Wilder for the first time. Ortiz is a really well-schooled boxer, that much is true, but he’s also officially listed at 40 with many people believing he’s really much older than that. Father Time is undefeated, and unfortunately for Ortiz he really had only a short window to take on the best fighters in the world while he still had most of his physical prime intact. That time has come and gone though, and while Ortiz is still technically sound enough to beat middling contenders, I don’t think he has it in him to beat any of the current crop of champions.
I like Ortiz, but I have to be realistic here. I have no doubt that he really wants this, but what the mind wants and what the body can physically do aren’t always aligned. I expect Ortiz to be a more stationary target than he was the last time around, and I think that makes it easier for Wilder to eventually detonate on him. I’m going to take Wilder by stoppage. Deontay Wilder TKO-4
Staff picking Wilder: Ed, Stephie, Mookie, Lucas, Scott (BLH), Wil (BLH)
Staff picking Ortiz: Ram
Staff picking draw:
This poll is closed