The Big Question: Wilder vs Ortiz - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
01/03/2018 9:40pm

On Saturday night, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder takes on undefeated Cuban Luis Ortiz in arguably the toughest challenge of his career so far. The BM online team are here with their predictions...

My gut feeling is that Wilder boxes smart behind his (very long) jab, slows down his older opponent, and stops Ortiz late with a right hand. The American is making a quantum leap in professional opposition, but many fans seem to be forgetting that the Cuban is as well. Team Wilder has waited out their biggest test to date, the timing is perfect for Ortiz to be had. - Michael Montero

Wilder wins by KO, likely in emphatic fashion, and Twitter trolls still refuse to give him credit as a legitimate heavyweight. - Mark Ortega

It’s unfortunate for Wilder that his ‘step up’ opponents have all fallen through. I’ve almost conditioned myself to not expect the fights to happen so I’d completely forgotten this was taking place. I do, however, expect Wilder to win on points. Ortiz has flattered to deceive for a while now - at 38 and being the smaller man I think he will eat Wilder jabs for the most of the night. Wilder can be conservative if he has to be so I expect him to keep the Cuban at the end of that jab and maybe throw the odd backhand. No wild, winging shots. - James Oddy

I'm picking Wilder to win by knockout. I would have been more confident in a Luis Ortiz win a few years ago, around the time he beat Bryant Jennings, but he's looked like he has regressed to some extent since that fight, or at least hasn't been able to go through the gears to make statements when he should have done. Wilder is much faster with his hands and, like James said, Ortiz will be eating Wilder's jabs for a large part of the fight. Wilder's right hand will put any heavyweight to sleep, and he is bound to land one on Ortiz. - Cameron Gillon

Wilder, via stoppage, in the first half of the fight, but after a few rounds have passed: so I'll plump for the fifth. Ortiz has spent the past couple of years in limbo, and almost seems to have regressed, sadly, with low-level opponents and periods of inactivity. I think he deserves his shot, and I am happy that Wilder finally has a big fight which isn't falling through (I say, hoping nothing happens between now and the first bell!) Wilder doesn't get the credit he deserves, seems to bear the brunt of misfortune out of his control, and is a man who is ready to make a statement. I think Wilder's huge bombs will see the Cuban against the ropes and under fire once the contest ignites, and secure a win in round nine or ten. I think Wilder will let Ortiz pay for a lot of frustration he's had. - Colin Harris

At first glance Ortiz has all the tools to get the job done. He’s a decent size heavyweight with good power, above average speed and boxes from the southpaw stance. But his lack of activity, poor opposition in his last few fights and questions about his true age – I have heard as old as late-40s being bandied about – mean I have to lean towards the 6'7" reigning champion Wilder. The southpaw stance may cause the Alabama Bomber some problems in the early going, but I think he finds that chin of Ortiz’s early enough and often enough to have him out of there before the halfway point of the fight. Let’s say Wilder KO5 Ortiz. - Anthony Cocks

I’ve been fooled more than once by the championship prospects of Cuban professional heavyweights - most notably Jorge Luis Gonzalez and Odlanier Solis - and I’m not about to jump on the hype train of Ortiz, who’s consistently disappointed with underwhelming performances and his status as a repeat offender testing positive for banned substances. Conversely, Wilder takes the sport very seriously and although the quality of opposition he’s beaten has so far been below the very top level, absurdly so for a long term champ, I expect the WBC boss to stop ‘King Kong’ in the first half of the contest. - Chris Williamson

I was ringside when Ortiz fought Malik Scott. Yes Ortiz, beat a washed up domestic level fighter (over 12 rounds), but he struggled with Scott's height and at times his jab. Ortiz is a plodder with power. Custom built for Wilder's style. I see Wilder using his boxing skills comfortably (like he did against Stiverne in their first contest) and then detonating the right hand for a stoppage around midway. If Ortiz's chin is able to soak up Wilder's power, it could be a long, boring night... -Paul Zanon

I’m one of the few who sympathises with Wilder and his struggle in getting career defining fights. It speaks of the (poor) quality of the heavyweight division that a close to 40-year-old Cuban in Ortiz will be Wilder’s biggest challenge thus far by some distance. Ortiz has the skill set and style to cause a lot of problems but the pick is for Wilder to jab and moving in the early rounds before opening up and scoring another highlight reel knockout by halfway.  - Callum Rudge

Final count: Wilder 9 Ortiz 0