Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2: Takeaways heading into the Fury rematch (w/ video)
Heading into his superfight rematch with Tyson Fury on Saturday, can we make any assumptions about Deontay Wilder (then 41-0-1, 40 KO) based on his most recent bout with Luis Ortiz (then 31-0, 26 KO) which took place November 23, 2019?
Did you see Wilder vs Ortiz 2?
How far has Wilder come since facing Fury in December 2018? And did Team Fury see some things in Deontay's most recent fight they think they might be able to expose?
Although many had written off the Cuban because he was 40 and Wilder had already beaten him the year prior, most true experts realized the Cuban would be a dangerous foe for the WBC Heavyweight Champion.
After all, Ortiz is arguably the best technical heavyweight in boxing and a knockout artist who'd steamrolled every other fighter he'd faced, and had Wilder badly hurt in their first encounter in March 2018.
"Of course Ortiz will give Wilder problems," elite trainer Ronnie Shields told FightHype prior to their rematch. "Ortiz is a hard guy to fight and, plus, he's a big, strong guy. I think [Wilder is] is going to stop him again but it's going to be a tough fight like the first one."
"I think Wilder is confident in his power. He realizes he can hurt you. He has to be smart, though, because he saw in the first fight he can get hit and rocked. Ortiz has the power to win this fight but I think Wilder has to fight smarter than he did the first time."
"... He has to control the fight EARLY. He can't let Ortiz control the fight like he did the first time."
But Ortiz, a very well-schooled brawler with heavy hands, seemed to control the early rounds and was clearly out boxing Deontay entering the seventh and final round. It was in that stanza, Wilder ended matters with just one punch... the right hand.
Fury vs Wilder 2 (Fight Page)
WBC/RING Magazine Heavyweight Titles
February 22, 2020
MGM Grand Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, USA
ESPN PPV / FOX PPV / BT Sport PPV
Wilder vs Ortiz 2 takeaways
Wilder vs Ortiz 2 didn't have as many fireworks as their first affair, which was won by Deontay via a 10th Round TKO, but it answered some questions and provided a few takeaways about the WBC Heavyweight Champion.
Wilder KO 7 Ortiz (Rematch)
WBC Heavyweight Championship
Nov 23, 2019
MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Referee: Kenny Bayless
Outboxed: The 6'4" Cuban wasn't doing a lot of damage but was using his experience and timing to outbox Wilder through the first 6 rounds. Heading into seventh, two judges had Ortiz ahead 59-55 while the third had the Cuban winning 58-56.
Until the seventh, Wilder couldn't find his range and was virtually kept in the doghouse by a technically superior boxer.
Punchstats: Wilder connected on 34 of 184 shots (18.5%) while Ortiz landed 35 of 179 punches (19.6%). And in power punches, Ortiz outlanded Wilder 28-17 with the connection percentages 28 and 32 percent, respectively.
Those numbers are deceptive because Deontay landed 11 of his 34 connected punches in Round 7 alone. Prior to that round, he landed no more than 5 punches in any previous round.
Outside step: Ortiz, until his seventh, was able to nullify Wilder's right hand bombs but stepping outside of Wilder's lead leg, forcing Deontay to step back instead planting to get the proper leverage to unleash his shots.
Outside slip: And when Wilder did unleash his big atomic right hand, Ortiz slipped it by ducking outside (something he didn't do when he was KO'd).
The keyword is.... Outside. Remember that.
Patience: Deontay showed a lot of poise and patience by not getting frustrated; Prior to Round 7, his offense had been completely shutdown. Nevertheless, he didn't get desperate nor did he appear frustrated or over anxious.
The jab wasn't used to accumulate points: Wilder uses his jab to set up his big right hand. He'll use it as a) a range finder and b) to blind his opponent from the right hand to catch him with a shot he won't see.
Ortiz did a good job of keeping Wilder's left busy. A southpaw, Luis wisely threw defensive right jabs of his own, forcing Wilder to use his left to block hit. Sometimes Luis was just pawing but it was still enough to keep Deontay's left preoccupied.
Ortiz wasn't trying to score with that shot either but knew if he could stifle Wilder's left jab (his set-up punch), he'd have a better chance at keeping Deontay's big right hand in check.
Make him miss, make him pay - Wilder loads up so much on the right hand, he can be very vulnerable if he misses against an opponent with the reflexes good enough to comeback with a quick left hook.
Look for Fury to try to shoot a left hook over the top should Wilder cleanly miss.
'Bend but don't break' defense: ... But accomplishing the above is easier said than done. Ortiz cracked Deontay with some nice shots throughout their bout but the latter was too quick and too crafty to get hit by homerun bombs or multiple punches in succession.
KO Power: Wilder demonstrated what all of us already knew... He was calm and cool, and collected Ortiz with ONE PUNCH. Keep in mind, Ortiz is a fighter who, aside from his 2 fights with Wilder, has never lost or been knocked down.
You've gotta be perfect every second of every minute: When in tactical boxing matches, like what many of us are expecting Saturday night, Wilder seems to bide his time and wait for his opponent to make a mistake so he can capitalize.
Instead of continuing slipping to the outside (as mentioned above), Ortiz resorted to head movement as his primary form of defense in the seventh.
And in the KO sequence, Ortiz wisely parries Wilder's left hand, as he'd been doing all night, but subsequently ducks inside instead of slipping outside, leaving his head directly in line of Wilder's super right hand.
Until that moment, Ortiz had done a masterful job of slipping to the outside when Wilder uncorked the right hand.
The The Sun's esteemed Colin Hart wrote: Just before the bell sounded to end the halfway mark, he [Ortiz] made his one and only mistake — he left a small gap in his defences. The ever-patient Wilder pounced with the speed of a striking cobra and detonated his lethal right against Ortiz’s temple."
"Poor Luis must have felt he had run into a ten-ton truck."
Economical: Don't expect Wilder to waste many shots against Fury as he was very economical against Ortiz. He threw only 152 punches through the first 6 rounds, an average of 25 punches per round.
Left hook: Wilder needs more than one weapon; He needs to establish a left hook. As Fury (in their first fight) and Ortiz (in the rematch) have shown, a brilliant technical fighter can nullify Wilder's right hand for long periods.
You've gotta be perfect every second of every minute: This is worth repeating because what Fury and Ortiz didn't show was the ability to last a full 36 minutes without getting hurt or floored by Wilder's right hand.
Wilder doesn't have the technical tools of a Muhammad Ali or Wladimir Klitschko nor as many weapons as Mike Tyson, HOWEVER, he's durable and well-conditioned, possesses great reflexes and timing, and his right hand might be the biggest weapon in the history of the sport.