Wilder Knocks out Ortiz by Tom Donelson

Wilder needed one punch to erase a four-round deficit on two of the judges’ scorecard and a two-round deficit on the other card.  (I had it 59-55 and many others had it 60-54.)  Ortiz seemed in control and connected on counter punches as it would appear that Wilder hesitated to throw punches. In their first fight, Ortiz stunned Wilder in the sixth round and like in this fight, was ahead on the scorecards when Wilder stopped him. Ortiz had the power to stop Wilder and Wilder understood that, so he played it safe.

When looking at the Compubox data, the actual connect rates were close. Going into the seventh round, Ortiz only connected on three more punches, but he had a 20-8 advantage in power punches through six rounds.  Interesting enough, Ortiz only landed more punches in three of the first six rounds and Wilder landed more punches in two of those rounds with both landing two punches in the fourth round.   Ortiz was winning rounds, but he was not dominating the fight.  He succeeds in keeping Wilder off balance and never allowing Wilder to set on his punches, in particular his right hand.

In the seventh round, Wilder landed one punch and down went Ortiz.  What this fight showed is that Wilder did adjust to his first fight but maybe he over adjusted and just like the Fury fight, he allowed Ortiz to set the pace before using his right hand to save the day.  Against Fury, his two knockdowns salvaged a draw as Fury controlled the pace.

Fury-Wilder is now a reality in February.  Wilder is not the most technically sound fighter, but he does have an effective jab and that jab sets up his right hand.  Fury is a slippery fighter who for a big man can maneuver around the ring and is not an easy fighter to hit consistently, which Wilder found in their first match.

Wilder could not penetrate Fury defenses easily and equally had a difficult in penetrating Ortiz’s defense.  Ortiz is a good fighter and while he is 40, he is still a very good heavyweight and the only fighter who defeated him was Wilder.  Ortiz will still be a threat as contender and in addition to his power, Ortiz is a good boxer.  (Ortiz has 26 knockouts in 31 wins.)

Fury easily defeated Tom Schwartz after the Wilder fight, but he had issues with Otto Wallin and had to survive a serious cut from a Wallin’s punch to win a decision.  Fury was heavily favored against Wallin but a big punch nearly derailed Fury.  Fury will be vulnerable to Wilder punches.  Fury has the boxing style to frustrate Wilder as he did in their first fight but Wilder has the great equalizer.  What adjustment would either fighters make in this fight will be interesting but for me, will Wilder be more aggressive against Fury and push the issue with his jab to set up his right hand? 

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