WBC heavyweight champion of the world Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder landed a textbook straight right hand on the chin of Cuban exile Luis Ortiz at 2:51 secs of the 7th round to retain his title for the 10th time.
This is a fight that showed why the man with the best knockout percentage of any heavyweight world champion in history cannot earn anywhere near the amount of cash that his rival, and former champion Anthony Joshua is able to. Throughout the 7 rounds the fight lasted, the audience sat impassively while the two combatants traded jabs and manoeuvred one another into place to land their backhand punches. There seemed to be little or no atmosphere in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The 6’ 7” champion was no match at long-range boxing against Ortiz whose extra experience, gained during a long amateur career gave the 40-year-old the knowledge to skip in and out of Wilders long arms and score enough to win all the early rounds.
The stoppage came against the run of play. Wilder looked comfortable with events up until the finish, but he will need to be a lot more assertive in his approach if he is to be victorious for a 43rd time in his career in his proposed rematch with Tyson Fury in February. He simply does not have the boxing brain to win a fight against a highly skilled boxer.
It looked clear to me that co-trainer Mark Breland, a former Olympic Gold medallist and former two-time world welterweight champion had worked hard schooling Wilder at how to use the jab and right hand while controlling distance with fast footwork, and it worked to a degree, but Wilder just wasn’t doing well enough to win the rounds.
You cannot argue with Wilder’s ability to end a fight at any moment, he is Mr Excitement himself when it comes to that part of his game, but something is still missing, and he just can’t win over the boxing fans in the way Joshua does the world over.
Leo Santa Cruz vs Miguel Flores
Leo Santa Cruz became a four-weight world champion when he outpointed Miguel Flores to win by 115-112 from Judge Tim Cheatham, Glenn Feldman 117-110, and Julie Lederman 117-110. This is a Santa Cruz fight that won’t be remembered as one of his best, but he won clearly.
Brandon Figueroa vs Julio Ceja
WBA super-bantamweight champion had to settle for a split draw in his 12 round featherweight bout on the Wilder vs Ortiz II undercard.
Figueroa’s title was originally on the line but Ceja came in a whopping 4 1/2pounds over the 122lb limit. Figueroa’s team decided to take the fight and be at a huge disadvantage on the night and this allowed Ceja to take the 22-year-old’s high volume punches all night without too much trouble.
The fight was a barnburner and the fans had something to be excited about as the battle pitched one way then the other.
Hopefully Figueroa can get the rematch with Ceja having to make the weight correctly.