Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Fight Picks: Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz

Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime



This Saturday, Deontay Wilder defends his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz, at Barclays Center, Brooklyn (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

Wilder (39-0, 38 knockouts) has held his title for three years and has made six successful defenses but many believe Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) represents the American’s toughest test to date.

This eagerly anticipated bout pairs two heavy-handed unbeaten fighters. Wilder has improved greatly since besting Bermane Stiverne in January 2015, showing better-than-expected skills and a ramrod jab. Since then, the 32-year-old has, at times, looked fallible but always found a way to utilize his vaunted power.

His 38-year-old Cuban opponent turned pro in 2010, after a long amateur career, when he went a reported 343-19. Since then, Ortiz’s career has stalled, at times, due to promotional changes and failed drug tests. He has remained unbeaten but has only fought once in the past year.

Will Wilder again show his considerable power and continue move toward a possible unification against IBF/WBA titleholder Anthony Joshua later this year? Or will the Cuban master cause the sensational upset and prove his doubters wrong?

Online gambling group bet365.com lists Wilder as a 2/7 (-350) favorite while Ortiz is priced at 5/2 (+250).


Here’s how the experts see it:




Luis Ortiz represents Deontay Wilder’s toughest test but the champ should pass with flying colors. Ortiz, while the more skilled fighter, is a plodder and that plays right into Wilder’s toolbox. He’s fleet of foot and Wilder’s jab – along with his movement – should give Ortiz fits until he finally walks into a massive Wilder punch that ends matters in the late rounds.


Luis Ortiz looked like, based on his last couple performances, he’d peaked a couple years ago. He ain’t young. Thirty-eight, his license says…But have you seen pics of the dude in training? He’s basically ripped! So time to judge this book anew…or is the physique maybe window dressing and not indicative of how we’ll perform? I think he will perform better being lighter…but Wilder’s athleticism, his mobility edge, should allow him to get advantageous angles on the Cuban. Ortiz has never lost, though; he has a top-level chin. Wilder has the sort of power that is supposed to be able to crack even that level of chin. I suspect the chin will hold up; the Cuban will be able to make the distance but lose a unanimous decision.


What got Wilder to the top will continue to keep him there. Size, speed, power. Ortiz is crafty enough to give Wilder some issues in the early going but, as the fight progresses, he won’t have the firepower to get the champ’s respect. Wilder TKO 10.


Excellent fight, for a while we’ve wanted to see Wilder step up. Through no fault of his own, he’s been prevented from facing Alexander Povetkin and Ortiz. Not sure Ortiz deserves the opportunity because of his past indiscretions but that’s another story. Had this fight taken place in late-2015/early 2016 when Ortiz looked impressive stopping Bryant Jennings and then Tony Thompson, I may have picked him but we’re two years removed from that and he has fought just three times, against lesser fighters and Wilder has improved since then. Ortiz will also be nearly 39 and has been fairly inactive. Timing is on Wilder’s side. I think the fight may start of tentatively but Wilder will dictate with the jab and end matters late in the fight.


Wilder says Luis Ortiz has never fought anybody quite like him. True enough but it’s a double-edged opinion. Yeah, Ortiz is in for a different challenge but so is Wilder. He’s never fought anybody like Ortiz. The well-schooled Cuban knows his way around the ring. The left-hander has a varied skill set and he knows how to use it but he also a problematic past. Documented PED use and questions about his age, 38, raise questions about who will show up. The clever Ortiz? The aging Ortiz? Who knows? Wilder is emotional. That’s what make him so entertaining but he’ll have to control those emotions. If he does, his comparative youth, bigger body, overall athleticism and that hammer-like right will combine for a victory on the scorecards.


As much as I believe Luis Ortiz is the better boxer, I can’t pick him to defeat a faster, younger, stronger and more active Deontay Wilder. It wont be easy and I expect Wilder will have to turn the fight, after the first five rounds, to come on late and score a stoppage victory in the championship rounds. Honestly I think Ortiz may be in his early-40s and he still constitutes the sternest test of Wilder’s career. Both are sad statements but I do believe this will be a fun fight for fans.


I am not – and I repeat NOT – sold on Wilder but, stylistically, I think Ortiz is made for him. I’ve seen the Cuban lefty fight live on a couple of occasions and he was ridiculously slow of foot. Wilder is nothing if not athletic and I think he’ll be able to find the space required to box off Ortiz and retain his title on points. The fight will be of a similar motif to Wilder’s points victory over Bermane Stiverne in 2015.


This will be Wilder’s most dangerous assignment yet but I feel the postponements have hurt Ortiz’s momentum. Wilder is in a real groove in his career, setting up his offense better, has confidence to the point of absurdity and might be the hardest puncher in boxing today. Two years ago, I may have thought differently but Wilder is in a good place right now.


I think Wilder uses his height, reach and lateral movement to box and bomb Ortiz from a safe distance. Wilder by decision.




Wilder by TKO (within four rounds) – I just think that, at this point, Wilder has gotten better and Ortiz is not going to be able to stay away from his jab, which we all know what comes after a jab: Lights out!


I don’t know who beats Wilder right now. Boxing is all about timing and Wilder is one of those unpredictable world champions. He has genuine knockout power in either hand and he lives up to his name with his style of boxing. He’s a wild man. He throws punches from Timbuktu but he manages to land them at the right time and destroys people. For me, he will give any heavyweight in the world – and that includes Anthony Joshua – nightmares because he’s so unpredictable. I don’t know if he knows a left hook from a jab. His chin is untested in the pros. (With) the power Wilder has, Ortiz isn’t gonna beat Wilder, Ortiz is gonna walk into one at some point. Ortiz has been so inactive. Unless Ortiz gets really lucky and catches Wilder, Wilder beats him. I can’t see any other outcome. I think it’ll be competitive for a couple of rounds but Ortiz is too predictable. I’d say this one won’t go past the eighth round. Once Wilder catches him, he’ll close the show.


I see on paper it’s probably the toughest fight of Wilder’s career. People have asked for the step-ups to come for Wilder and I think Deontay has tried. This is the second time he’s tried to fight Ortiz. He’s tried to fight Alexander Povetkin. I don’t think you can blame Deontay for not fighting these top heavyweights. When they’re failing the drug tests, it’s hurting him indirectly because all these drug tests have caught the possible options and prevented him from participating in some very big promotions. If he wins the fight easily, you downplay Ortiz and, if (Wilder) gets beat or gets hurt, you start to say, ‘We knew Deontay was overrated.’ I think Ortiz is a bit more of a puncher. He has pedigree, that Cuban boxing background, southpaw stance. I think it’s interesting to see if Deontay is able to dictate with his jab the way he normally does. Obviously the straight right hand is a big weapon against southpaws. Deontay likes to dictate with that jab before he lets go of that straight right hand. It’ll be interesting to see if Ortiz is able to take that away from him or if Deontay is still able to take charge with the lead hand and set up Ortiz for the big right hands. I think it’ll be a bit of a chess match early on. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ortiz was able to hurt Deontay but I think, in the end, Deontay is a little fresher and hungry. It’s his moment right now and, if he is what everyone thinks he is, he comes through this test. I think it probably goes to the middle rounds. It could go early because, when guys this big are fighting and they’re both punchers, it could end at any moment. I just think, by the middle rounds, I just think somebody’s gonna go and my feeling is Deontay finds his range by the middle rounds. I’ll say six.


I think Ortiz will be dangerous, first half of the fight, but I’m picking Wilder to take the win.


I was actually was at the Garden when this was previously scheduled. What I saw was a Wilder which I hadn’t seen before, an angry man! Swinging for the fences, (the rematch against Bermane Stiverne) ended by destruction just prior to the end of round one. “The Bomb Squad” had MSG on its feet. I see Ortiz, if he isn’t suspended AGAIN, will be a tale of youth vs. experience. Ortiz is a good solid fighter but there is only fighter who will always remain undefeated: Father Time. Prediction: Wilder, round three.


In my personal point of view, Wilder is a favorite, in many aspects. Only one thing is against him: Sometimes he’s reckless, giving opening spots for Ortiz and he is deadly at (finding openings). In heavyweight boxing, you are always only one punch away from disaster. I think Wilder will win by early KO.


I will be watching this one closely, as I know both very well. I did the first 33 fight’s of Wilder’s career, from pro debut up until he won the heavyweight world title. I did seven of Luis Ortiz’s wins, which include the WBA interim title. This is a fight I wanted bad, when we promoted Ortiz, and I really liked his chances because he was active. As in many fights of this caliber, they both have their strengths and weakness. It is a matter of who can take advantage over the other. Luis Ortiz’s strength is he is fearless and has a lot of amateur experience. His weakness is his age and lack of activity over the last couple of years. Wilder’s strength is he has been more active. He has tremendous power in his right hand and his reach is, he can keep you outside until he lands the big right. His weakness is he tends to get a little sloppy and wild, at times, and his chin (is untested). With that said, I really think they will both start out very cautious of each other’s power and wait for the other to make a mistake and that can actually make this fight a tad boring until the mistake and, boom, the bomb drops and catches the opponent and calls it a night. Left, left, left, right, it is over in eight rounds via KO and Wilder defends his title. It was a couple of years too late.


I think Wilder will beat Ortiz. I think Ortiz has been too inactive over the last two, three years and he’s old. I think Wilder beats him. Everything in heavyweight boxing is timing and think he’s fighting Ortiz at the perfect time.


I think the fight will be a lot different for Wilder, even when he can move very fast, going side-to-side using his windmill punches. Ortiz knows how to box; he is a southpaw and never has been knocked out, very elusive, with a lot of experience and the reach advantage won’t be a factor. For this reason, I think this will be a great fight that will end in a unanimous decision for Wilder.


Final tally: 18-0 in favor of Deontay Wilder.




Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.




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  • Guy Grundy

    A case of Don KIng’s “slim or none ” and slim’s left town….

    But you never know.Wilder has legs that often resemble Bambi’s,so should Ortiz catch him…

    Lets hope Ortiz comes to really fight and not survive.


      So Ortiz is going to punch Wilder in the legs?

      • ceylon mooney

        yeah, anyone ever see tommy hearns legs?

        • Guy Grundy

          That was exactly my thought.

        • Matt M

          Tommy Hearns, for all his great attributes, didn’t have the greatest chin. It’s well know that if you have strong, thick legs you can take a shot better.

  • Left Hook2

    This tells me to bet the house on Ortiz. It will take only one perfectly timed left hand counter to Windmill’s chin and it will be over. The type of counter that such stalwarts are Stiverne, Spilzka, Arreola, and Washington are incapable of setting up and throwing. As bad as Ortiz looked against Soft Spot Malik Scott, I don’t think he will have to chase Windmill. And we can book a flight to England to enjoy Ortiz-AJ, as Ortiz cashes out on his career.

    • Stephen M

      To be on the safe side if you bet the house, you’d better book a hotel room.

      • Left Hook2

        I’m covered..it’s the outhouse!

      • Matt M


    • Matt M

      I have only followed Wilder’s career sporadically, as I’ve just never rated him all that highly, outside the obvious power. He’s too crude for my liking.
      But has he ever been badly buzzed? He’s not known for not being able to take a good shot is he? Or has his chin not really been tested yet?

      • Left Hook2

        Apparently he has been kayod in sparring before. However, if it was vs Klit, that is totally excusable in my book.

    • Kevin Perry

      Not sure how people say he looked bad against Scott. Scott ran the whole fight and went down 4 times. he made zero effort to win. So if winning every second of a 12 round fight is looking bad, Im not sure what you are looking at.


    Well I love upsets, but Ortiz should be clean

  • WR

    Doug I agree with your pick it should go 12 rounds
    Although i secretly yearn for an upset…

  • WR

    Someone tell this manager guy Tony Tolj
    Wilder didn’t fight Stiverne in Madison Square Garden

  • Wade Wilson

    My question in this one is will the frustration Wilder has had with big fight cancellations boil over and not allow him to try and play it safe. He’s got personality traits that say it’s a very real possibility. Plus, he seems to really want to look good in this one and get attention. Let’s see how disciplined he’ll be. If he goes in looking for a knockout Ortiz definitely has the ability to make him pay for it.

  • PrinceGian

    Wilder KO4. I would like for Ortiz to upset Wilder but don’t see it happening.

  • philoe bedoe

    18 and 0 for Wilder, was this really worth a fight picks article lol………

    • Orca

      What a difference a few years make.

  • jebib

    Ortiz is the reincarnation of Lights Out Toney. He will draw Wilder to him. However, will he be able to capitalize? Whether it happens or not, I do believe if he hurts Wilder he can finish him. I’m just suspicious when Ortiz is given no chance to win.

  • ceylon mooney

    im sayin wilder by early KO/TKO

  • BobbyPFalcon

    Ortiz beating Wilder would certainly not be a sensational upset. I think Wilder should be favored. But Ortiz, and Parker are both undefeated live dogs coming to win.



  • Floridastorm

    Just like he did with Stiverne in the first fight, Wilder will start punishing Ortiz as soon as the bell rings for round 1 and he will not stop until Ortiz goes down. In the Stiverne fight he kept on punching for 12 rounds and never tired. Ortiz, if he survives the first 2 or 3 rounds, will realize that he can’t keep pace with Wilder as he takes further punishment. Ortiz doesn’t have a clue what he has gotten himself into.

  • TeddyTruth

    how can all these experts be wrong about outcome of this fight. well its because they all have agreed to rape the casinos. don’t let them make you loose your money. here’s the simple to true. this farce reminds of all the fools who put big money on Tyson because he was going to eat Lennox’s children. here’s simple and well done break do of this fight. that ive beem trying to get across to Wilder fans. courtesy of Casual Boxing Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS-Q-ky8N1k

    • Stash One

      somebody put this on here the other day, its well worth a read……


    • Boris Karloff

      I agree totally. wilder is going to be a victim of his own flaws.I’m going for TKO in ortiz favour.probably round. 6.elite my arse.even haye would do wilder and that’s saying something.

  • Stash One

    Not a single person has picked Ortiz yet this is your “fight pick” ?? whats the point in even watching it ?

    • Orca

      Because every single picker featured here has been wrong multiple times when it comes to picking winners. Just like the rest of us schmucks. This is why they fight the fights.

      • Matt M

        Just remember, whoever Doug Fischer picks, go with the other guy. 🙂

  • Canek

    Pittsburgh Windmill by KO in six.

  • John Grady

    I am excited about this bout, as DW requires an authentic challenge if he is to optimally develop. A motivated, if also a bit aged, LO should be able to provide some challenges. Yet, DW is in a tough position – a dominating win, and many will say that he exposed an overrated LO and did what was expected. A difficult fight, and many will question his capabilities. Like mostly everyone, I anticipate a DW knockout win, but also one that is a little more challenging than is expected. We’ll see… enjoy the fight.

  • Emeka Nnaji Jr.

    Wilder can make this a relatively easy night if he stays on the back foot, doesn’t look for the knock out, and keeps that jab popping all night with the occasional right hand to keep Ortiz honest. I think he may do otherwise. The guy is hyped and angry, which means more mistakes. Ortiz is a great counter puncher, and has power, one mistake could end everything for Wilder. Hopefully he keeps cool and performs similar to how he did against Stiverne I.

  • Kevin Perry

    Wilder was almost Knocked out by a journeyman years ago. He can’t take a punch and won’t be able to set up the right hand with his jab against a Southpaw. He looked terrible against Gerald Washington until he got the KO. I think people are mesmerized by Wilders power, but the reality is if you take that right hand away(which Ortiz needs to do) Wilder will be lost. Not sure who wins this, but I think the longer the fight goes favors Ortiz. Wilder loses focus in bouts that go rounds. If Wilder wins I see him winning early rather than late.

  • Robert Archambault

    I keep reading these comments talking about Wilder’s ‘jab’ and wondering what the hell people are talking about? The guy has no jab, he has little boxing skill at all. He has one punch, his right hand, and his crazy windmill that he will actually land on a ref one day if he’s not careful. I don’t see his ‘jab’ bothering Ortiz at all and I am one of the few who think that Ortiz has a decent shot of putting Wilder on his ass in the middle of the ring for the 10 count.
    Do I think that’s how the fight will end tomorrow? I honestly have no idea. But I have seen Wilder stunned by fighters in the past who had far less to bring to the ring than Ortiz will bring so anything is possible. I say the first fighter to land a big shot, cleanly, right on the button will take the fight. However it goes, I think it will be an entertaining fight!