As the end of 2019 draws closer, the boxing sphere focuses its attention on the heavyweight ranks with two big upcoming fights within the next month. The first of the two takes place November 23rd in Las Vegas, as heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder meets Luis Ortiz once again with Wilder’s WBC gold on the line.
With the two week countdown for the sequel bout underway, betting odds are beginning to pop up on the radar as updated prices for both competitors have been booked via the online betting site Bovada.
Known for his raw power, massive size, and long reach, Wilder (41-0-1) has been the focus of much media coverage and fan attention in recent years. As one of, if not the only, American heavyweight to find himself in the promotional spotlight on a consistent basis, there has been a great deal of hype and expectation surrounding the 34-year old Tuscaloosa, Alabama native.
WBC Heavyweight Title Betting Odds
With a prowess for knockout finishes and a still developing skill set, the former Olympic bronze medalist has both impressed and underwhelmed throughout his career.
But “The Bronze Bomber” has sharpened the finer points in recent appearances and now looks to be coming into his own as a technician, something that could spell a lot of trouble for many fighters down the road.
Boasting a knockout-to-win ratio of 98%, Wilder is not one to go the distance often, with only two of his 42 total fights going to the score cards. He has scored a knockdown or knockout in every one of his professional bouts.
But his opponent is a man he has seen before, as “King Kong” Luis Ortiz (31-1-2 NC) has not only fought Wilder once but was able to hurt him while doing so. While Wilder enters the match deemed the superior fighter by most of the combat sports world, there are elements of his opponents’ game that must be accounted for.
A product of Camaguey, Cuba, Ortiz brings sharp counterpunching skills to the table as well as his fair share of power, winning 26 of his 34 fights by knockout. The 40-year old Southpaw has won three straight since the original bout with Wilder, including two by technical knockout.
The titleholder has only added to his resume in the past year and a half as well, going the distance with and nearly knocking out Tyson Fury in an instant classic draw that has fans and media hungry for another meeting between the two.
He followed it up by making easy work of Dominic Breazeale earlier this year in what is likely to be heralded as the knockout of the year.
The original contest went down in Brooklyn and saw Wilder sit at a -305 mark with Ortiz at +255 on the other side. Throughout the bout, Ortiz made use of his technical boxing skills and understanding of movement to give Wilder some trouble.
Wilder worked the jab early, but it was the 6-foot 3 Ortiz who threw more combinations in the early rounds.
Wilder caught Ortiz in the fifth round with a right hand that left him stunned before throwing a follow-up right that floored him. Ortiz was able to beat the count before being saved by the bell.
As the fight went on, Wilder began to connect more frequently, but after a huge seventh round counter right hook
from Ortiz, the bout took another sudden turn.
Opening up the attack, Ortiz went to work on the visibly shaken Wilder and for a moment looked like the bout would be his after bombarding the champ with flurries of offense that had the American reeling.
“I almost had him, and I think I would’ve if there were a few more seconds in the round,” Ortiz said.
Wilder did not hit the canvas however and displayed his grit and toughness down the stretch. Surviving Ortiz’s onslaught, Wilder then got back on the offensive three rounds later. This proved to be the definitive round and the end for Ortiz.
“Wilder was definitely saved by the bell. I thought I had him out on his feet,” he said. “But you have to give him credit, he weathered the storm.”
After an exchange in the tenth round which saw both men get clipped in sequence, Wilder opened up the attack on Ortiz and let the leather fly more wildly, unloading on the challenger with a barrage of right hands.
Piercing through the guard, Wilder left Ortiz wobbled, and an additional shot brought down the Cuban for the second time in the fight.
Despite Ortiz making it to his feet again, Wilder remained relentless, tagging him with yet another right hand and a flurry of ensuing punches that decked his adversary for the third time.
That was enough for referee David Fields to waive the bout off at the 2:05 mark of the tenth round, and just like that Wilder was standing victorious at the Barclay’s Center after a hard-fought, entertaining battle.
“Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy,” the champion said. “He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down. I showed everyone I can take a punch.”
Wilder landed 98 of his 346 thrown punches, connecting at 28% to Ortiz’s 24% (87 landed of 363 thrown). At the time of the stoppage, Wilder was leading on all three judges’ scorecards 85-84.
“He was hitting me with those furious punches, throwing combos that knocked me off balance,” Wilder admitted. “I just had to get my range back and my fundamentals back and I was able to do that. I showed I was a true champion tonight.”
With their first fight proving to be an action-packed one that saw both men dish out and take punishment, it also serves as a template in which to analyze their rematch. With their first meeting taking place in the Spring of 2018, it is clear that both combatants are not the same fighters we initially saw.
Yet, styles still make fights after all, and that’s what one must dissect in order to get a full grip on this heavyweight rematch.
- Uncanny knockout power, dangerous right hand
- Punches that break opponents guard
- Size and length (6-foot-7, 220 pounds)
- Control and understanding of distance
- Resilient, willing to go toe-to-toe and take punishment
- High ceiling- improves with each fight, becoming more technical
- Very athletic for size
- Great conditioning
- Still has some technical flaws despite improvements
- Doesn’t always set up his power punches with combinations
- Has tendency to ignore jab in favor of big right hand
- Late starter (debuted at age 20), still playing catch up to other fighters
- Very good counterpuncher
- Utilizes movement well
- Decorated amateur experience
- Good chin and fight IQ
- Takes away opponent’s range effectively
- Knockout power; ducked by many in heavyweight division
- Smaller man in matchup, will have to work through and around Wilder’s reach
- Can’t afford to fall behind on scorecards, needs to get off to hot start
- Became worn down as first bout went on
- Power disadvantage (Hurt Wilder but could not get him down)
The Betting Pick
Ortiz presents some challenges that were seen the first time around between these two, but Wilder (regardless of any technical shortcomings) is simply the better fighter at this point in time and is only getting better.
He is also the younger fighter, and age, which is always a factor, tends to mean that much more in the heavyweight ranks.
While -650 may not seem like much value on paper, keep the context in mind as many world-class boxing favorites are far steeper.
Even with Ortiz being a formidable opponent and given the type of prices seen in similar bouts, this is as good of a number on Wilder as you will get before the line movement takes effect over the next week as November 23rd approaches.
Like we saw in the first contest, Ortiz’s counterpunching ability should allow for some back-and-forth early in the bout as he attempts to outbox the bigger Wilder in the exchanges. He plays a dangerous game in doing so, however, as it truly only takes one shot with Wilder.
Wilder will use his jab enough and utilize combinations like the 1-2 when needed, but he will once more go to his bread and butter for this one: punching power. After a few rounds of chess, Wilder catches Ortiz with a flurry of giant hooks and uppercuts and ends it with a knockout finish in the eighth round.