On Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder faced off against Luis Ortiz in a rematch of their exciting 2018 contest. The first contest between the duo was won by Wilder who stopped Ortiz in round ten after being rocked and only ahead by a slight margin on the judges’ cards. This time he wanted a more decisive victory but when Wilder landed his monstrous right hand to end things in round seven, cards read 59-55 twice and 58-56 all in favor of Luis Ortiz.
While Wilder did get the stoppage three rounds earlier, I don’t think it was a more decisive performance but certainly more impressive finish. One day Wilder might have his game plan of “Wait for the perfect shot no matter how many rounds I lose” backfire, he was lucky to escape with his title after facing Tyson Fury. His right hand dropped Fury in rounds nine and twelve ending the affair in a draw. It did not end the night so we must be honest despite how hard Wilder punches, there will be an opponent who doesn’t go to sleep.
With the above being said rather than criticize Deontay Wilder, we should be ecstatic with these highlight reel stoppages it’s what boxing insist on and always has. A puncher like Wilder only comes around once an era, he might not be the hardest puncher ever only time will tell. At the moment he is the hardest puncher in boxing and what more can we ask of a heavyweight champion?
With the win Deontay Wilder improved to 42-0-1 (41), Luis Ortiz now stands at 31-2 (26).
The co-feature of the evening would be between three division world champion Leo Santa Cruz and tough as nails Miguel Flores for the vacant WBA Super World Featherweight championship. It was not an overly exciting match-up, while Flores was game he did not have the skillset or firepower to overcome Santa Cruz.
When the contest was over Judges seen it 110-117 twice and 115-112 all in favor of Leo Santa Cruz who is now a four division world champion. With the win Leo Santa Cruz improved to 37-1-1 (19) while Miguel Flores now stands at 24-3 (12). In his post-fight interview Santa Cruz hinted at wanting to face the divisions WBC title holder Gary Russell Jr or move up to face the winner of Gervonta Davis and Yuriorkis Gamboa who meet for the vacant WBA lightweight title this coming December 28th.
One of the most exciting fights would be between undefeated WBA super bantamweight title holder Brandon Figueroa and former world champion Julio Ceja. In the opening rounds Figueroa came out guns blazing hoping to capitalize on Ceja possibly being out of shape after coming in four pounds over the 122 lb limit. It would be Ceja who mounted a comeback for the majority of the middle rounds, Ceja peppered Figueroa with combinations while Brandon having his moments didn’t seem to win the rounds in many observers opinion.
In the later rounds Figueroa would turn the tide back in his favor and finish stronger to tighten up the scorecards. When official scores were announced Judges seen it 116-112 for Julio Ceja, 115-113 Figueroa and 114-114 even making it a split draw.
The two fighters threw a combined “2811 punches” the second most punches in super bantamweight history. With the result Brandon Figueroa improved to 20-0-1 (15) while Julio Ceja now stands at 32-4-1 (28).
In Undercard action
Super Featherweight- Eduardo Ramirez 23-2-3(10) def. Leduan Barthelemy 15-1-1(7) via KO 4
Super Featherweight- Viktor Slavinskyi 11-0-1(6) def. Rigoberto Hermosillo 11-2-1(8) via UD 6
Lightweight- Jhon Gemino 21-12-1(11) \def. Arnold Alejandro 11-1(10) via KO 5
Featherweight- Angel Alejandro 8-0(4) def. Mark John Yap 30-15(15) via UD 6
Super Lightweight- Omar Juarez 6-0(4) def. Kevin Shacks 3-5-3(3) via KO 6