Larry Wade on Luis Ortiz
Throughout his tenure as a well-known heavyweight, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (31-1, 26 KO’s) has struggled to get marquee fights. From the perspective of the fans, this is easy to understand. King Kong is a big, strong, Cuban-schooled southpaw with devastating power that few want to cross paths with. However, his fellow heavyweight fighters always bring up his age.
Ortiz’s age, which seems to be a mystery, is the number rationale for why his divisional rivals will not face him. This is somewhat fishy being that Ortiz has rarely, if ever, given a flat performance due to his advanced years. Even if King Kong was 99 years old, if he was still clearly a dangerous and credible opponent, why not fight him?
Thankfully for Ortiz, and the fans, WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s) holds no reservation about chucking knuckles with the Cuban monster. Not only did Wilder choose to fight him voluntarily last March, their November 23 rematch is also a voluntary option. Countless fans of the Bronze Bomber are quietly, and not so quietly, nervous about this upcoming do-over.
“I haven’t seen anything really stop him based on age, I mean let’s be clear about the heavyweight division. They don’t throw as many punches as say welterweights, or even below that. So that being said, the activity that’s he’s given me is that much more of a heavyweight.
So, he’s throwing punches like a light heavy or even a cruiser. Something along those lines. So, I’m expecting to see a good fight, I expect to see an active fight. I don’t think anybody is going to walk away from this fight and not be excited or happy with the results.” ~Larry Wade, Strength and Conditioning Coach
REBUILT CUBAN MONSTER
On that note, respected and well sought out strength and condition coach Larry Wade believes that this worry is very justified. The camp for the Wilder rematch is the first time that Wade and Ortiz have collaborated. From the very beginning of their professional partnership Wade has remained impressed with King Kong.
“Never having worked with him before, I didn’t know what to expect, but he has shown me that he is truly a hard worker. His athleticism is amazing! For a guy to be able to do some of the things he can do when we started camp being 256lbs and now being about 25lbs lighter than that, I was truly, truly impressed! Fast feet, fast hands, high IQ, this fight is going to be really good. I’m waiting to see how Wilder deals with some of those things.” ~Larry Wade, Strength and Conditioning Coach
Aside from his tremendous work ethic, Ortiz has continuously fascinated Wade with the athleticism that the big man has displayed. Throughout the fight week activities, a huge talking point has been how youthful and restored King Kong appears to be. Larry Wade insists that the changes that he has undergone go far deeper than mere surface level appearances. Come fight night, Wade is sure that Luis Ortiz will perform with a new efficiency and savagery.
If King Kong truly has been transformed to the degree that Wade believes he has been, then perhaps Wilder is in for a long night in the office! Only time will tell, but from the outside looking in we have one excellent fight on our hands.
By: Bakari Simpson