Must be nice to have the knowledge that the other guy has to be perfect, defensively aware, and adept and focused for 36 minutes, every second really of every round — and if he isn’t, you got this.
The right hand is a weapon, it should be registered, and maybe Deontay Wilder’s body should be checked for levels of radioactivity, because the right hand, as Luis Ortiz can attest, is bloody well nuclear.
The Alabama Slamma got ‘er done, detonation successful against Ortiz, who over-delivered compared to what pundits predicted, Saturday night at MGM in Las Vegas on FOX PPV. Here’s what we took from the KO victory for the WBC champ, who rose his record to 42-0-1.
THEME IS SOLIDIFIED
You and me saw the same thing, against Tyson Fury and then against Ortiz, the allegedly 40-year-old Cuban-Floridian. Wilder loses rounds, chooses to wait, watch, and not employ the law of averages, which says he has a better to chance to stop a foe the more he throws.
Or maybe not. Maybe he’s smarter than given credit for, and is patient, and waits for the timing to be right, to press play on his master blaster frightful right. What this means for me is, a lot of Wilder fights can feature some boring rounds. If you are a fan of volume and workrate — boooooringgggg, and then BANG!
Pity you if you snooze, you will lose. If you fall asleep on the sofa during a Wilder fight, you will regret it. You slept, and so did the Wilder opponent. “They have to be perfect for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for two seconds,” Wilder stated, and he’s wrong. Half a second and g’night, don’t let the bedbugs bite.
BIRTHER MOVEMENT IS OVAH
Ortiz, he says he’s 40. Maybe it’s time to just believe the guy. Either someone snag a birth certificate, legit, that proves he isn’t 40, or maybe we all should stop the silly speculation. He was proving age is but a number through six rounds, boxing well, and then he lost sight of the positioning that had been working for him, and he got frozen by a paw job, dipped his head right to slip the jab, and was in the lane for the right hand to land clean and rattle his brain pan.
Point being, so what if Ortiz is 42, 45, 47, or whatever? He comports himself well, and yes, he’s had his missteps with PED positives, but we’ll assume that he’s learned his lesson, is fighting clean, and his disputed birth-date is too easy a target.
SPEAKING OF AGE
Funny, isn’t it, that nobody ever mentions that Wilder is not young for a fighter. Man is 34, but that rubber-band snap in the shots is still there, so no one tends to get stuck on the fact that he’s probably in the late-ish innings of his career.
Or maybe not, maybe that power holds and he’s soldiering on, Hopkins-style, long past the time people assume he’d be dunzo. Curious, you think he’ll still be gloving up in 10 years, or will time catch up to the Bomber in a time frame more typical?
BEST EVER PUNCHER? WHO KNOWS
More man and woman hours are spent on social media debating the unknowable, the un-provable, and what if we all decided to not argue that of course Hearns, Shavers, Foreman or Liston or whoever the hell is a harder hitter than Wilder? Because we can never know. Unless they find a way to measure power, during a fight, and then be able to employ the tech for fights on film, we’ll never know.
“He’s the biggest puncher not just in heavyweight history, but in boxing history,” Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison said when asked where Wilder sits, power-wise, among the sport’s greats. Un-provable, but this we can say: Wilder punches like a mule that got into the Mexican meat kicks, let’s leave it at that. VF hard!
GET READY FOR OUT OF THE RING CLASHES
Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised, but one would think that it will get a tad messy, as jostling for position occurs while powers that be hash out the proposed Feb. 22 rematch dance-off between Wilder and Tyson Fury.
PBC and FOX and Top Rank and Bob Arum and ESPN are getting into the kitchen to bake the bread, of which there will be plenty be made. But when it is cut, who gets how many pieces? Ah, but if you expect there to be blood in the streets as the execs battle it out via sound bites provided to the press, maybe not. Because that February date was decided on awhile ago, and it’s possible lots of terms and conditions and such have been pre-baked.
Hey, not gonna lie, the drama found as high level chefs try to carve out space in that hot kitchen is good for me, doing my job, finding entertaining spots to report on. So bring on the blood!
NOT A MATH MAN BUT...
Wow, so Wilder was guaranteed $20 million, eh? You who are better at computation than I can maybe figure out how people make money on this bout and card, being that Ortiz needed to get paid, too. How many PPVs do they need to sell to break even again? Oh, and no, it isn’t not my business, because pay structure for fighters does indeed affect me and you. The massive jackpot paydays are great for them, but there is down the line impact.
One, the money has to come somewhere to pay the players. In this case, it comes mostly from you, the fans. Over at DAZN, the Len B vault has made Canelo happy, but we have seen one price increase — when might the next one come?
Boxing finances are usually a black box, you and me don’t know the Top Rank-ESPN money matters. PBC’s finances are not matter of public record so much, and DAZN is now furnishing less and less info on their financial in and out-flow.
Last point, we had Cletus Seldin on the Saturday night Facebook FightNight Live show, and we talked about purses, and he said this: “There is no middle ground in boxing.” You get to world title territory, and then the bank can come. But until then, most boxers except the ones that backers are sure will get to the top 5% region are not raking it in enough to live comfortably as much as many fans might think. Same goes for MMA, same goes, by and large, in the world economy. Needle movers get rewarded, everyone else battles and grinds for crumbs.
What are your top takeaways from Wilder’s win?