PBC on FOX (TV: FOX PPV)
Saturday, November 23rd 9:00 PM ET MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Vacant WBA Super Featherweight Title Fight: Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1) vs. Miguel Flores (24-2)
Fight odds: Leo Santa Cruz -10000 Miguel Flores +1600
WBC Heavyweight Title Fight: Deontay Wilder (41-0-1) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1) 2 NC
Fight odds: Deontay Wilder -650 Luis Ortiz +425
Fanduel Boxing Pick Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz II
The MGM Grand Garden Arena will host a great night of boxing. Boxing fans will be treated to a re-match of one of the best heavyweight fights in recent memory when Deontay Wilder faces off against Luis Ortiz. The first fight between Wilder and Ortiz was high drama and had some great back and forth action. In the Co-Main Event Leo Santa Cruz will face Miguel Flores for the vacant WBA Super Featherweight Title.
Santa Cruz is 31, 5’7.5 and 129.5 lbs with a 69 inch reach. Flores is 27, 5’8 and 130 lbs with a 69 inch reach. Santa Cruz, a 3 weight world champion is attempting to become a world champion in his fourth weight division, at 130 lbs. Santa Cruz has some of the fastest hands in all of boxing and is an all action fighter that is a must watch whenever he steps in the ring. Flores is a decent boxer, but won’t be able to match the punch output of Santa Cruz. Flores also likes to fight on the inside and drops his hands sometimes making him more prone to getting stopped. Flores has two losses and both are by knockout. Since those back to back losses in 2017, Flores has 2 wins by knockout to set up the matchup with Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz looks to be at a higher level of skill than Flores and has fought opponents that are tougher than Flores and won. Santa Cruz beat fellow top featherweights Abner Mares and Carl Frampton by decision and Flores does not present the same challenges or elite speed that Mares and Frampton exhibit. Flores might have his moments, but Santa Cruz should outwork him as his relentless pace will be something that Flores won’t be able to keep up with over the course of 12 Rounds. Santa Cruz should get the late knockout as his accumulation of punches will force the referee to step in. Flores has been stopped before and will need to have excellent defense to remain competitive against Santa Cruz.
The Main Event will feature Deontay Wilder defending his WBC Heavyweight Title against Luis Ortiz for the second time. Wilder is 34, 6’7 and 219.5 lbs with a 83 inch reach. Ortiz is 40, 6’4 and 236.5 lbs with a 78 inch reach. This is a dangerous fight for Wilder to take because Ortiz nearly knocked out Wilder in the 7th Round. Ortiz was unable to get Wilder out of there and he was saved by the bell. Ortiz punched himself out and did not have as much energy in the ensuing rounds. Wilder came back after nearly getting knocked out to stop Ortiz in the 10th Round in an absolute classic.
Luis Ortiz is a boxer with decent punching power. Ortiz is Cuban and comes from the famed Cuban amateur boxing program that has produced countless excellent boxers. Since there is no professional boxing allowed in Cuba Ortiz was forced to defect from his homeland to chase his dream of becoming a heavyweight champion. Ortiz is an impressive fighter in his own right and has 26 knockouts in 31 wins. Wilder handed Ortiz his only loss of his career and the competitive fight warranted a re-match. Ortiz frustrated Wilder early in the fight with his boxing fundamentals and Wilder was unable to find his range.
Ortiz has a great chin and is tough to hurt being such a durable and compact heavyweight. Wilder was finally able to stop him after an accumulation of punches that knocked down Ortiz more than once. He ended the fight with some trademark wild punches from weird angles as he stepped towards Ortiz while moving side to side, finishing the fight with a powerful uppercut. Wilder has an unprecedented 40 knockouts in 41 fights, with one draw to Tyson Fury. Wilder is not the most fundamentally sound boxer, but his power often bails him out. This was the case against Ortiz and Tyson Fury where Wilder was losing the fight, but his big right hand saved him. Wilder would’ve clearly lost the decision to Fury as he was being outboxed for a majority of the fight, but his two knockdowns helped him garner a draw on the judges’ scorecards.
Fanduel Boxing Pick Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz II
Wilder got a little lucky to get past Ortiz the first time and will need to improve on his mistakes to not suffer the same fate as he did in the 7th Round. Wilder got into too many brawling exchanges against Ortiz and didn’t really use his natural physical advantages of being the taller man and having the longer reach to control the fight. Wilder should look to work behind his jab to set up his big right hand. Ortiz is a skilled boxer so Wilder may need to disguise the right hand with feints and unorthodox ring movement in order to land his most devastating punch. Ortiz should look to get on the inside and work the body of the taller Wilder to take away his stamina and strength. If Ortiz can hurt Wilder to the body then he should have more success than the first fight.
Ortiz partly lost the first fight because he was fatigued after going all out to try and knock out Wilder in the 7th Round. Wilder took advantage of a tired opponent and got the biggest win of his career against Ortiz. If Ortiz can have better fitness and not punch himself out, he has a better chance of lasting the full 12 Rounds. Since their first fight was so exciting there should be more fireworks in the rematch. Wilder should once again get the late knockout as his power is unbelievable and Wilder often improves when he fights an opponent for a 2nd time, as was the case against Bermane Stiverne. Wilder is coming off a 1st Round knockout of Dominic Breazeale. Ortiz is coming off a unanimous decision win over Christian Hammer.