Forget about witnessing the rise of an undisputed heavyweight champion anytime soon because WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder announced on Tuesday that his next fight would be a rematch against Luis Ortiz.
The heavyweight division has reached heightened levels of popularity in recent years because of talents like Wilder, IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua and former multiple-organization champion Tyson Fury. But it has become increasingly frustrating for some to see such a clear path toward crowing the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis continually go unrealized.
Case in point: Instead of waiting to see what happens this week in Joshua’s bout against Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York, Wilder jumps at the chance to be a -450 (2/9) boxing betting favorite according to Ladbrokes to again defeat Ortiz, who is at +300 (3/1). The fight will be a Showtime PPV appearance in September, according to reporter Mike Coppinger:
SOURCES: The heavyweight championship rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz is headed for Showtime PPV on September 28. Wilder announced today that he’s fighting Ortiz again. Wilder knocked out Ortiz in Round 10 when they met in March 2018 in one of best fights of year— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) May 29, 2019
Wilder-Oritz Rematch Isn’t That Bad
As disappointing announcements go, this one really isn’t all that bad. After all, Wilder, 33, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, stopped Ortiz in the 10th round of a thrilling battle between two of the hardest hitting heavyweights in the world in March 2018. Wilder struggled early in the fight against the cunning southpaw’s tactics but ultimately overcame the crafty puncher to get the stoppage win.
Still, after the fight it wasn't hard to envision a rematch, especially since Ortiz almost knocked Wilder out in the seventh round.
Since that epic encounter, both fighters have gone unbeaten. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 knockouts) fought to a draw against Fury in December 2018 before destroying American contender Dominic Breazeale this month in just one round. Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), a Cuban who trains out Miami, Florida, has won three straight against second-tier heavyweights Razvan Cojanu, Travis Kauffman and Christian Hammer.
While Wilder-Ortiz 2 isn’t the heavyweight unification bout people want, it’s worth noting Wilder’s choice in opponent is much more appealing than Joshua’s was in picking Jarrell Miller. Originally Miller was scheduled to fight Joshua in New York before failing a pre-fight PED test.
So long as we’re ranking upcoming heavyweight fights, it’s also worth noting that Fury, who some consider the lineal heavyweight champion because he never lost his title inside a ring, picked the worst matchup by far in selecting German journeyman Tom Schwarz for his next fight on June 15 in Las Vegas.
Early Betting Tips for Wilder-Ortiz 2
Wilder’s profile was raised significantly when he defeated Ortiz last year. At the time, Ortiz was considered the most avoided heavyweight in the world. Wilder’s epic comeback win netted him a huge boost in terms of how the public views him, and he since has capitalized by becoming one of the biggest boxing superstars in the world.
Since winning that fight, Wilder has also gone 12 rounds with Fury, probably the best pure boxing heavyweight in the world. There’s no telling how much Wilder learned in that fight against a masterclass boxer who Wilder sent to the canvas twice despite being befuddled by Fury’s craft for much of the evening.
Coming off an astonishing one-punch knockout against Breazeale, Wilder seems the best version of himself right now. Ortiz, on the other hand, hasn’t looked as dangerous as he did before taking the loss against Wilder. Moreover, Ortiz is 40 years old and in his last fight against Hammer, he looked every bit the part of an old man.
Backing WIlder at -450 is the only boxing strategy play on the early betting market. He already has beaten Ortiz once and seems to have gotten better since that fight while Ortiz has either remained at the same level or diminished.