Odds: Wilder 33/100, Draw 33/1, Ortiz 9/4
Date: 0100, 04/03/2018
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
TV: Sky Sports
Deontay Wilder is expected to retain his WBC heavyweight title by beating Luis Ortiz in Brooklyn this weekend – and stay on course for a massive unification match-up with Anthony Joshua.
The Briton will seek to add Joseph Parker’s WBO belt to his IBF and WBA crowns in Cardiff at the end of March, with the long-term plan being a winner-takes-all showdown with Wilder.
History shows that nothing can be taken for granted in heavyweight boxing, but we’re backing everything to remain on track in the early hours of Sunday morning in our Wilder vs Ortiz betting predictions.
Wilder became a world champion back in January 2015 when emphatically outpointing Bermane Stiverne, the only time he has been taken the distance in a 39-0 pro record.
In last November’s sixth defence of the WBC title, the 32-year-old American put the same opponent down three times en route to a first-round victory.
It is easy to pick holes in the calibre of opponent Wilder has faced so far, with Audley Harrison being victim number 28 in the paid ranks.
However, the 6ft 7in Bronze Bomber has undoubted power and 57/100 he again gets the job done inside the distance here is the first of our Wilder vs Ortiz betting tips.
Wilder to wear down ageing opponent
Ortiz was scheduled to challenge Wilder four months ago but failed a drugs test due to having outlawed diuretics chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide in his system last September.
The Cuban veteran, who was banned for eight months after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone in 2014, avoided another suspension, as it was ruled he took the latest medication for high blood pressure.
December’s win over Daniel Martz made it 28 straight victories as a pro for King Kong, who was also a successful amateur for many years.
Ortiz beat Yorkshireman David Allen 12 months earlier on the undercard of Joshua’s win over Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena and has been highly ranked by the WBC for some time.
Impressive counter-punching skills probably explain why he has been avoided by the big names until now and most pundits believe Wilder will need to be wary early on.
However, the feeling is that some of the challenger’s speed has slipped away at the age of 38 and there are also stamina doubts at this level.
We can envisage the champion keeping it tight until halfway, before then upping the tempo and getting on top as Ortiz tires.
Looking at the Wilder vs Ortiz odds for individual rounds, let’s split our stakes between 12/1 for the favourite to oblige in the seventh and the same price for the eighth.
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Best bets for Wilder vs Ortiz