WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder is a minus-620 favorite to defeat Luis Ortiz in their rematch this Saturday, per BetOnline. Most expect Wilder to win and move on to face Tyson Fury in another rematch in February 2020.
Despite the fact that Wilder scored a thrilling KO win over Ortiz in their first match, the champion would be wise to guard against looking ahead to the second Fury fight.
Ortiz is 40 years old and he knows this fight is likely the best opportunity at glory he’ll get in what’s left of his career. He should be in top-notch physical and mental condition. Ortiz and his team will be hoping to take advantage of a champion with a bigger payday and more famous opponent on deck.
Make no mistake about it, Ortiz is still dangerous. In addition to his physical gifts and the sense of urgency, Ortiz gave Wilder all he could handle in the first fight. He had Wilder hurt and seemingly out on his feet in the seventh round before the latter scored the KO in the 10th.
Ortiz’s counter punching and quick hands gave Wilder problems in the first fight, and his team will likely look to build upon the success they experienced early in the first fight. In heavyweight boxing, a moment without focus is all it takes and the WBC title could be around the waist of the Cuban contender.
A loss could cost Wilder the major payday against Fury and it could severely delay his chances of competing for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Needless to say, Wilder must go into this fight prepared to be at his best and not expecting the rematch to be easier than the first fight. If he can finish Ortiz earlier, then so be it, but he cannot come out as if he expects to walk through the veteran. Overconfidence could be the trial ingredient in a recipe for disaster.