The time has finally arrived for Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KO's) to defend his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KO's).
The bout was initially slated for Nov. 17, but Ortiz failed a drug test, and Wilder went on to knockout an out-of-shape Bermane Stiverne in the first-round of a lethargic rematch.
Wilder, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, weighed-in at a lean 214.75 pounds Friday, while Ortiz, a former amateur champion, looked relatively soft in comparison at 241.25 pounds for his first major world title challenge. Their clash takes place tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (SHOWTIME, 9:00pm ET).
Ortiz presents the stiffest challenge of Wilder's career to date. The Cuban has heavy hands, but at 39 years of age, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the champion's length, and do some damage.
Ortiz does hold a one-inch reach advantage (84" to 83") over the champ. However, the 32-year-oldWilder is better able to utilize his reach because he is more mobile, and lighter. a
Aside from his colossal power, Wilder has a great jab, which is going to be effective when Ortiz attempts to rush in.
If Ortiz pushes this fight into deep waters, the more susceptible he will be for the knockout, and Wilder can crank it up at any moment.
I am taking Wilder by fifth-round knockout.