Wilder flattens Ortiz. Fury next for the ultimate prize

Deontay Wilder’s demolition of Ortiz, having lost the first six rounds on every score card other than those of his eight children and Terry O’Connor, proved that he is the division’s, and maybe the entire sports’, purest puncher. Wilder appears to harness the power of Zeus in his right hand, and the one that pierced Ortiz’s guard, leaving the talented if venerable Cuban crumpled in a heap like soiled clothes on a wash room floor, had all the meta required for the viral age.

Wilder has become a box office fighter, just in time for the most lucrative box office era of them all.

Were fighters boxing more frequently, Wilder, Fury, Joshua and Ruiz may be busy forging a new golden heavyweight age. The modern preference for a mere two fights a year, where once Ali would have boxed four or five times, enlarges remuneration relative to damage for those at the top of the mountain, but it also steals momentum from the division and limits the potential for the round robin of fights fans all crave. Had Ali boxed Frazier but once, nor rematched Norton twice, or missed out Bugner, Patterson and the collage of good, game and garrulous, the golden age may never have been what it was.

That said, Deontay Wilder’s willingness to rematch Luis Ortiz, who caused him so many problems in their March 2018 encounter, a mere 12 weeks ahead of the mouth-watering return entanglement with Tyson Fury, is creditable matchmaking. A long time critic of his ability and the brittleness of his record I concede, as many now have, that his flaws matter little in the shadow of his otherworldly right hand.

More astute judges than I point to the precision with which he lands the equaliser and seek to dispel the theory he has no craft or guile in his work. Knocking out a seasoned heavyweight like Luis Ortiz, who had been on top and barely been touched in the preceding six rounds, with a solitary punch is not done merely by chance.

It adds to the excitement for the forthcoming Andy Ruiz Jnr. and Anthony Joshua rematch, but more pointedly, underlines the importance of that February clash with Tyson Fury. Irrespective of the belts or whether constitutional lawyers can prove the linear crown still exists, the proposed February 22nd date for Fury v Wilder II, is now ground zero for the title.

The winner will be the heavyweight champion of the world.


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