Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz Pick

Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, March 3, 2018
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Titles: WBC Heavyweight Championship
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Deontay Wilder, 38-0 (37 KOs), Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Luis Ortiz, 27-0 (23 KOs), Cuba/Miami, Florida

Betting Odds: Deontay Wilder (-230), Luis Ortiz (+170)

Deontay Wilder defends his WBC Heavyweight Title against Luis Ortiz on March 3 in Brooklyn. This is Wilder’s 6th defense of his world title and by far his most difficult challenge. Ortiz is a skilled 38-year old who is unbeaten with a wealth of skills and ability. Can Wilder see his power once against win the day or will Ortiz present too much of a problem with his diverse skills? Combined, these two heavyweights are 65-0 with 60 knockouts! This bout was supposed to happen last year, but Ortiz was popped for diuretics, having previously failed a PED test.

Wilder has unquestionably made a lot of progress in the sport. He got into boxing late and still managed to win a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics with barely any amateur experience. He turned pro and was brought along very slowly, with his handlers cognizant that along with his massive potential was a general lack of boxing know-how. He picked up some seasoning and was able to thrive at a higher level, eventually beating serviceable heavyweights like Malik Scott, Bermane Stiverne, Chris Arreola, and so forth. To make the long walk as he did to become a champion takes ability and ambition.

While Wilder is unbeaten with a sterling 38-0 (37 KOs) record, we have seen some hiccups on the way to getting to this point. In title defenses against guys like Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, Artur Szpilka, and Gerald Washington, he didn’t look all that great before landing fight-deciding right hands. That’s his great equalizer and so far, he’s been dependable with it. But in the time between landing those big right hands, his work is generally uneven. He’s not very good on a minute-by-minute basis. He has a good jab that isn’t applied nearly enough. He can move well and is smart, with a lot of presence of mind shown in the ring. He just doesn’t work that well. It’s basically a bunch of right hands and so far, it’s been good enough.

The underdog appeal of Ortiz lies in a lot of different areas. One is that he’s by far the more-educated of the two in the ring, bolstered by a long amateur career in Cuba. He has shown good versatility, as he is able to box from the outside, while also being a much better inside-fighter than you’d expect with a fighter with his elongated build. He matches up well physically with the 6’7″ Wilder, standing 6’4″ with an expansive 83-inch reach. He’s more-robust than Wilder by about 20 pounds.


Wilder might be more-athletic overall than Ortiz, while the Miami-based Cuban product is just a far more-educated boxer. Ortiz is also a southpaw, which could trouble a fighter in Wilder who is still somewhat green despite being a 31-year old champion with five defenses under his belt. Ortiz being a lefty does leave him more-available for Wilder’s best punch—a howitzer right hand that often has concussive results.

Ortiz can do a lot of different things in the ring to counteract the power of the titleholder. Wilder can’t fight on the inside well and Ortiz can. He knows how to cut off the ring, bob and weave, and get inside, which would be bad for Wilder if he were able to do that without catching incoming Wilder fire. Ortiz is an old-school sort when big men had a lot of skill and didn’t just rely on their size, power, and brawn. He is thicker than Wilder and can throw uppercuts inside, with a set of quicker feet. He is simply a more-advanced heavyweight than Wilder on a lot of levels. But again, Wilder has an equalizer that he has been able to bring to fruition in each of his fights.

Let’s acknowledge the downside of Ortiz, as we also extol his virtues. He’s getting up there at 38 and his face looks fifty. His best wins are against Bryant Jennings and Tony Thompson, which is hardly a resume above reproach. While he was active with three fights apiece in 2015 and 2016, this is just his second fight since 2016. Just as Wilder has not fought anyone with his overall skill, Ortiz has not fought anyone remotely as dangerous as Wilder.

Let’s also not underplay the Wilder right hand. It’s not merely a good punch in a fighter’s arsenal. It’s a real honey of a punch. It’s reminiscent of Tommy Hearns at welterweight. Guys aren’t just hurt when connected upon cleanly from the Wilder right—they turn into jelly. The reaction is a little different than what you generally see from fighters getting hit with an opponent’s Sunday punch. It is a shot that wreaks total havoc and so far, Wilder has shown the ability to bring that shot across even in fights where he may not have been doing very well.

In other words, when betting against Wilder, only so much surprise can register when he wins the fight with that right hand. And it wouldn’t be shocking if that happened again in this fight. But with the underdog Ortiz, you are getting a lot for your betting dollar—a fighter that surpasses his opponent in every area other than one-punch power. Having seen Wilder labor with opponents like Molina, Duhaupas, Washington, and so forth, I see that struggle becoming more-severe for him in this fight. Credit to Wilder for taking this fight and being the favorite, we won’t be too shocked if he wins. But we see Ortiz offering exemplary betting value at +170 and that’s going to be our move.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Luis Ortiz at +170. Did you know… that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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