By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – If Jarrell Miller were to bet his own money on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz fight, he’d place his wager on Ortiz.
That has more to do with odds than anything because Wilder is about a 3-1 favorite in advance of their fight for his WBC heavyweight title March 3 in Brooklyn. When objectively analyzing the bout between Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) and Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs, 2 NC), Miller could see either fighter winning by knockout early in their scheduled 12-rounder at Barclays Center (Showtime).
Miller gave BoxingScene.com his breakdown of Wilder-Ortiz before a press conference Tuesday in Manhattan for the undefeated heavyweight contender’s next fight. Brooklyn’s Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) will face France’s Johann Duhaupas (37-4, 24 KOs) on the Daniel Jacobs-Maciej Sulecki undercard April 28 at Barclays Center (HBO).
“I would like to see Ortiz put some work on Deontay,” Miller said. “I think he deserves it. I know he’s been getting a lot of B.S. from media and all that crazy stuff. But Ortiz is one of the best counter-punchers in boxing and if he can withstand the storm the first couple rounds and time Deontay, it’ll be an early night for Deontay to go home. But if he stands there and gets hit by Deontay, it could be an early night for Ortiz to go home.”
While Miller considers Ortiz a legitimate threat to Wilder’s title reign, he also views Wilder as an opportunist because he’ll fight the powerful southpaw when the Cuban contender is in the twilight of his career.
“We all know that Ortiz is not really 38 or 39,” Miller said. “He’s more like 43 or 45, and they kind of waited for Ortiz to get a little old, waited for the threat to go away a little bit. I feel like that’s what they did with this fight, to kind of hinder Ortiz, kind of, you know, wait for an opportunity to jump on him.
“So I know Deontay’s talking about everybody, and he’s beating Mike Tyson – he’s just hyping himself up. You know what I mean? But he does have confidence. I still see that fight as 50-50 because Ortiz is still more educated in the ring than Deontay is. So it’s the old, educated guy against the young stud.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.