One of the great things about power punchers like Deontay Wilder is that losing rounds is absolutely meaningless to them. Deontay was behind 5-1, 5-1, and 4-2 on the scorecards against Luis Ortiz, who didn’t do a whole lot himself but landed the cleaner punches in the first-half of the contest. None of it mattered because it took one straight right hand for Ortiz’s soul to exit stage left. Wilder just has special power, and literally everyone he has fought in his career has been at least knocked down.
This was not a good fight to watch for much of the night, but that was the case for their first meeting before Wilder knocked Ortiz down in round five and all hell broke loose. Come to think of it, a lot of Wilder’s bouts tend to be slow-burners that lack action up until he gets someone hurt and either hurts them or puts them to sleep. On this occasion, when Wilder did get the knockdown, Ortiz couldn’t beat the count. This latest Wilder KO means we will get a Tyson Fury rematch in 2020, which will be a titanic clash between two outsized personalities who gave us a great scrap the last time. Is Fury going to be able to survive Wilder’s power like he miraculously did the last time? That’s really the biggest question, and no one would be shocked if Wilder wiped Fury out even if he ends up thoroughly outboxed.
With Wilder-Fury 2 essentially confirmed, we now await what happens between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz on December 7th. It’s kinda crazy that there’s a scenario where Wilder and Ruiz could be squaring off for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world in 2020. There are so many directions this division can go over the next several months, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
Meanwhile... Deontay’s wardrobe. Caption contest, anyone?
- PBC/FOX actually got a move on with the pacing. That two PPV fights went the distance certainly helped in terms of not creating needless lulls, but this was one of their better broadcasts on that front. The commentary? The less said about them, the better. It’s not an enjoyable ride. It’s a shame Showtime’s boxing schedule has been drained so heavily, as Al Bernstein is 1,000x better to listen to than any boxing analyst across FOX, ESPN, and DAZN.
- Leo Santa Cruz won a drama-free decision over heavy underdog Miguel Flores to become a four-division world champion, but this WBA 130 lbs belt is just empty. It’s almost stat-padding. Santa Cruz needs a big named opponent. He called out Gary Russell Jr and Gervonta Davis, and since they’re both PBC guys, there’s no reason LSC can’t fight either of them in 2020. If he ends up wasting everyone’s time with more squash matches in which he fails to get a finish, then it’s time to tune out on his career for good.
- I hope you get to watch or re-watch Brandon Figueroa and Julio Ceja, because they put on a show. Figueroa got off to a strong start and it looked like he’d overwhelm the overweight Ceja, but Ceja came on strongly through the second-half of the contest. These two combined for 2800+ punches and drilled each other with ridiculously hard body shots and powerful combinations. I scored it for Ceja for the upset, I can see a case for Figueroa getting the nod, so perhaps a draw is the fair outcome because it was high-energy and a grueling pace. Figueroa is a fun contender with some holes in his game that need to be patched up. Ceja did a disservice to his opponent and himself with his weight miss, but he’s an all-action fighter who will not be an easy out for many.
- Opening the PPV, Eduardo Ramirez looked great in rounds three and four in his rematch with Leduan Barthelemy. They fought to a draw the last time, this time Ramirez put matters into his own hands by landing great combinations and putting the Cuban away with a big overhand left in the fourth. Barthelemy was in no good condition to continue and the stoppage by Russell Mora was totally justified.
- Deontay Wilder’s brother Marsellos got brutally KO’d by an MMA veteran named Dustin Long. Bad defense and a bad chin (which Marsellos has shown twice this year) is not a formula for a successful career. The televised undercard featured three knockouts in total, including Vito Mielnicki Jr improving to 3-0 (3 KOs) before he even graduates high school. I bet no one messes with him after algebra class.