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Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz Preview

Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) vs. Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs)
When: Saturday, March 3, 2018
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime
Weight Class: Heavyweight
by Scott of Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Deontay Wilder (-360), Luis Ortiz (+270)

Fight Analysis:

Deontay Wilder defends his WBC Heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz on March 3 in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. Wilder is 39-0 with all but one of his wins by KO. This is the seventh defense of his title, as he takes on who might be his toughest opponent to date in unbeaten Luis Ortiz. Wilder can end a fight suddenly with his right hand missile. Ortiz, however, has been very impressive in a career that has been interrupted by issues with drug tests. Despite his advanced age and inactivity, many consider him to be a live underdog in this spot.

This is Wilderís seventh defense of his title. Heís a tall and rangy fighter who relies on power, especially with his right hand. Itís an equalizing punch. A handful of close fights have been altered suddenly when Wilderís long straight right hand finds its target. Wilder comes into the ring in really good shape. Heís a confident and ambitious. He has good presence in the ring. He was able to medal in the 2008 Olympics with minimal experience, eventually becoming a leading pro heavyweight, considered one of the best two big men on the planet.

With Wilder, there are those who are still a bit suspect of how far he can really go. Heís already 32 years old. While heís a world champion making his 7th defense, he is still a developing power. He hasnít beaten what you would call a top-tier heavyweight yet. There are some holes in his game. Weíve seen him laboring with some unexceptional fighters. We sometimes see uneven work in between those big right hands landing. The jab is often a weapon that is neglected. He isnít that hard to hit. Wilder has been able to camouflage some of those weaknesses with his big power. Might those deficiencies come more to light against a higher-grade opponent like Ortiz? At the same time, Wilder punches like a ton of bricks, knows how to move, is smart, and has a lot of physical strength for such a lanky fighter. Heís the younger and better athlete, with the superior one-punch punching power.

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Ortiz is 38 and he might even be older. He looks older. Just looking at his face, youíd think he was pushing 50. And the PED issues have cast a shadow on him. But those in the know realize he brings a lot to the table. Though not as tall as Wilder, he is 6í4Ē with a massive 84-inch reach. He is a versatile boxer whose skills were honed in the ultra-difficult Cuban amateur system. He can box long-range, while able to do damage inside, which is unusual with a fighter his size. He outweighs Wilder by a good 20 pounds or so and is a robust and talented challenger. But as we call out Wilderís lack of competition, itís only fair to point out that Ortiz is pretty advanced in age for a guy whose best wins are against fighters like Bryant Jennings and Tony ďThe TigerĒ Thompson.

Despite less pro fights and a less-than-demanding pro schedule, Ortiz could be the more overall educated fighter. He has more know-how. Heís a slick southpaw that will offer Wilder some challenges that the titleholder has not yet seen in the ring. Then again, being a lefty does put Ortiz more in-line with Wilderís right-hand blockbuster. Wilder might have more athleticism and be a better KO puncher, but Ortiz has some advantages he hopes to exploit in this fight.

Ortiz will need to find a way to overcome incoming bombs from Wilder. And thatís no picnic. We know Wilder can bring the heat, but we donít know Ortiz can take it, based on the limited power heís seen from his opposition. But Ortiz can fight inside or outside and his presence up-close is superior to Wilderís. Oritz can cut off the ring, move his upper-body well, and get inside where he has the edge. He is a thicker man than Wilder with more overall craft. He has better feet and a more-complete arsenal. But alas, all it can take is a well-placed Wilder right-hand missile to render that moot.

Still, Ortiz presents a dicey proposition in a lot of ways. His PED issues suggest a lack of confidence. They led to some inactivity, with a KO over journeyman Daniel Martz being the only action heís seen in the ring since December 2016. And while Wilderís list of opponents might be lacking for a champion with a handful of defenses under his belt, Ortiz has not tangled with anyone who presents a fraction of the danger-potential that Wilder has.

Ortiz has beaten some talented big men and showed the potential that makes him a viable darkhorse in this division, but letís really wrap our heads around what Wilder does well. That right hand has really splattered some fighters. The way opponents react when hit by a good Wilder right hand is a little different. Itís probably the single-most damaging punch in the entire division. And so far, Wilder has shown he is able to deliver that shot, with all of his defenses ending by KO. Heís still improving.

Betting against Wilder can only be done with so much of a clear head. When that right hand lands, it does damage. And if he were to be able to land that against Ortiz, it wouldnít register as much of a surprise. But Ortiz offers a lot as an underdog. When we see Wilder laboring with some of his opponents, itís not hard to picture Ortiz being able to do a little better. We think Ortiz offers superior betting value here and weíre taking the challenger.

My Prediction to Win the Fight:
Iím betting on Luis Ortiz to win at +270 odds. Ortiz has more-complete skills and surpasses Wilder in a lot of areas, other than punching power. That power could end up deciding the result of this fight, but if Ortiz can avoid that right hand or is able to absorb it, he should be right in this fight. Bet the Wilder/Ortiz pick for FREE by taking advantage of a huge 100% bonus up to $500 at GTBETS!

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