I can scarcely believe that we are in the month of March already, and one thing is for certain. It is a great time to be a boxing fan! For the next 31 days boxing’s attention moves to that of its premier division, the one that puts bums on seats and gets even the most casual a boxing fan talking at the coffee machine on a Monday morning. That’s right folks this month is the March of the heavyweights. Four men from across the globe will contest in two fights, the attrition leaving us with just two men who have fought for their right to be called champion. Leaving us with the possibility, we will see the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis in the not too distant future.
Our first stop takes us to the Big Apple, The Barclays Center in Brooklyn to be precise. WBC World Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder squares off against his toughest test in Cuban Luis Ortiz in a fight that has had more than its fair share of obstacles. Let us not forget that this fight should have happened six months ago, but a failed drug test from the challenger firmly hit the breaks on this fight. But only temporarily.
Now ordinarily as a journalist and a pundit I would almost always say that a fighter who is fundamentally stronger and is smarter in the ring wins a fight against a puncher nine times out of ten. Well ladies and gentleman, this is no ordinary puncher. This is Deontay Wilder, and it is my personal opinion he is the biggest puncher in the world of boxing, and on the face of it its hard to disagree. Make no mistake about it I could sit here all day and talk about how his level of competition isn’t great, and he hasnt really beaten anybody. Unfortunately, he is a champion of the weakest heavyweight division in recent memory. BUT, you can only beat what is put in front of you. There isnt anything pretty about the way he has done it, but he has done it with raw power and left a path of destruction in his wake.
In Luis Ortiz he faces a man who’s skills far outweigh his own. In fact, Ortiz is better than Wilder in pretty much every department, fundamentally. Father time is not on the challengers side and there are already the naysayers beginning to flap their gums that should Wilder win, he has beaten an old man. But Ortiz is no joke, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if we saw his hand raised at the end of the night.
Now I could go into a technical breakdown for you all, but I see no need. There are all but two caveats to this fight which really matter. Power and Chin. It goes against everything I know but in this fight boxing goes out of the window to a degree. We have seen Wilder get out boxed by several of his opponents, but look how they ended. Both men staring at the sky on the verge of an outer body experience. Wilder’s power is the great equaliser and he WILL land a shot at some point, if Ortiz’ whiskers cant take it, he will be added to the Wilder knockout list. The same can be said for the champion, who we saw rocked by Carlos Molina. It is paramount that Ortiz sets traps for Wilder if he is to win. Force Wilder to step in behind his jab by feinting and stepping back, creating opportunities to counter.
Make no mistake fight fans, this is a real 50/50 fight. If you can only cast your eyes on one fight tomorrow, make it this one. Because this fight has shootout writing all over it.
By: Aaron Cooper