By Hook or By Crook, Luis Ortiz is Going Down

By Paul Magno on February 28, 2018
By Hook or By Crook, Luis Ortiz is Going Down
Fighting Luis Ortiz only makes sense if everyone is absolutely sure Wilder is going to win.

Would Deontay Wilder’s people be so dumb as to leave everything up to chance, now, right before it’s time to cash-out?

As I wrote previously—By hook or by crook, Luis Ortiz is going down in this Saturday’s WBC heavyweight title bout with Deontay Wilder. Maybe he’ll get legitimately clipped by the heavy-handed and wide-swinging American champ, but it’s more likely, at least in my estimation, that the fight won’t entirely be on the level.

There, I said it. Again.

Actually, I’ve been saying this since the Wilder-Ortiz bout was a mere rumor, whispered into the ears of boxing reporters/note takers.

From a business standpoint, an on-the-level Ortiz bout makes zero sense for Wilder, who’s on the path to a mega-lucrative blockbuster against Anthony Joshua regardless of who he fights between now and the signing of that fight. He WILL get Joshua, even if he doubles back to fight Chris Arreola and Gerald Washington again.

Fighting a skilled and poised Ortiz—with a Joshua bout so close within reach—only makes sense if everyone is absolutely sure Wilder is going to win. I don’t buy Team Wilder suddenly raging with matchmaking bravado when their fighter’s career, up until now, has been filled with mismatch squashes and a small handful of ugly, dubious-looking wins in bouts against “next level” opposition.  (Notably—the Malik Scott mess and winning the WBC strap against a stunningly passive Bermane Stiverne.)

A win over Ortiz, though, WOULD boost Wilder’s negotiating leverage in talks with Joshua. But the risk involved in acquiring that leverage is a fool’s gamble unless, again, the outcome is in the bag.

As for Ortiz, losing to Wilder may actually be of more value to him than a win. As I wrote previously:

“It wouldn’t be the wildest thing in the world to assume that a much-avoided 38-year-old [and likely older] contender—not guaranteed of getting Joshua or any other big ticket fight any time soon—might be willing to play fall guy for the right deal and proper future considerations. If anyone falls into the category of a candidate for paid patsy consideration, it would be Ortiz, who might actually be doing his career a service by losing and/or looking less than what he really is.”

An Ortiz who outboxes and beats Wilder will still be on the wrong end of the risk/reward spectrum for Joshua (or any other top heavyweight). Even with the WBC belt around his waist, there’s no guarantee that the top dogs in the division won’t just decide to wait out the old man in favor of simpler prey in the meantime.

But an Ortiz who gets blasted away by Wilder could find his agenda filled with plenty of fight dates. As a “name” fighter perceived to be on a steep career decline, he’d be the type of opponent every management team likes to have for their up-and-coming star or upwardly-mobile contender.

Would Ortiz prefer one legacy-defining win or the chance to make some consistent money at the tail end of a fairly cash-poor career, with the chance of getting another title shot at some point in the near future, anyway?

The fairytale-minded boxing fan and scribe may choose the former. But someone trying to feed his family and ensure a post-boxing standard of living would choose the latter.

Could Wilder beat Ortiz fair and square? Possibly. There’s the chance that Ortiz HAS slowed down considerably and is less sharp than he should be. There’s also the chance that the increased vigilance over his “nutritional supplements” will keep him one speed slower, one gear behind.

But with millions at stake and a career’s worth of building towards a pay-out on the line, would Deontay Wilder’s people be so dumb as to leave everything up to chance, now, right before it’s time to cash-out?

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Wilder vs Ortiz PREVIEW: March 3, 2018 - PBC on SHOWTIME

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  1. ceylon mooney 09:26am, 03/04/2018

    last nights fight was not on the level

  2. Don Trump 01:04pm, 03/01/2018

    This match-up stinks like a porn star’s pussy!

  3. ceylon mooney 07:10am, 03/01/2018

    damn, man, i hate it when a boxing writer tackles the obvious but taboo heads on. the honesty is killin me, but it is refreshing when the sportwriter isnt so beholden to or enmeshed with the business that it validates what it should challenge.

    im not bein sarcastic here—this type of speculation is a sober analysis, an honest appraisal of the circumstances right in front of us.

    i luv this sport but i hate this shit business.

  4. Koolz 10:18am, 02/27/2018

    Wilder hasn’t fought anyone at Ortiz level this where he gets exposed.  His one punch that he has won’t be enough to stop King Kong.  King Kong will use his size on the inside and his boxing IQ and totally embarrass Wilder.

    All Wilder has is an outside Jab.

    I shall grin from ear to ear…

    VADA is a JOKE all WADA are a joke as well.
    Thank God this fight was made even with those clowns existing.

  5. AkT 01:50am, 02/27/2018

    Paul Magno ... What bluntness! Bold write up.

    Boxing is a very interesting sport. You might just be right. Damn!

  6. Balaamsass 06:27pm, 02/26/2018

    Makes sense to me…..still….If I can get +500 on Ortiz I’m all in….for a 100 that is!

  7. Your Name 05:11pm, 02/26/2018

    Wilder can’t beat Ortiz. He made a big mistake. Wilders fans mistake KO power for skill. Big mistake. Wilder would be beaten by any top 5 heavyweights in the 80’s and 90’s. Anybody that says he is walking through Ortiz no problem has no business commenting on a boxing thread. Fans today either have no memory, or they are youngsters and have become fanboys of certain fighters. Ortiz will beat Wilder. That is my opinion. Take it for what it is.

  8. Lucas McCain 05:07pm, 02/26/2018

    Yeah, I’ve been getting the same fish-left-out-of-the-fridge smell about this one as well.  But I’m even more surprised to find your echo of a 1964 Bobby Vinton hit.

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