The biggest question will be the footwork of both men.
Saturday's fight is getting close. Sure, there have been recent exceptions like Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but they're the outliers. The 38-year-old Cuban last fought December 8, knocking out Daniel Martz in the second round. Such a fight would be the first time in boxing's heavyweight division that the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine titles would presumably be on the line in one fight. In other words, it's easier to find 30 easy wins at the start of a career for a heavyweight than it is for a lightweight.
"Some people can't understand when they see greatness", Wilder said. The only thing missing is convincing the public that he's the genuine article. Super-anticipated showdowns in the heavyweight division between two big punchers are rare. Wilder who started boxing at age 19, with an amateur boxing record of only 30-5 is an Olympian Bronze Medalist. Neither has fought a murderer's row when it comes to opposition but AJ's looks stellar next to Wilder's. While Ortiz would hold the advantage should this turn into 12 rounds of boxing, that's something Wilder fights rarely end up becoming.
"Hearn knows I'm a risky factor to his operation. It's starting to sicken me", Wilder said back in late October before he knocked out Stiverne in less than three minutes in his last fight.
At six-foot-four and 240-pounds, Ortiz is as wide as he is tall, a southpaw, and possesses skull crushing knockout power. Ortiz nearly lost this opportunity after testing positive for a banned substance that canceled the original date of this fight 4 months prior. "I have too much at stake - my family, my children and the possibility to provide for them".
"I'll go anywhere in the world for the (Joshua) fight".
But Wilder hasn't faced those guys and Ortiz represents, by a considerable margin, the best opponent he's faced. Marvin Hagler used to get dropped in sparring a lot, Mike Tyson got dropped in sparring'. His biggest victory was a seventh-round stoppage of Bryant Jennings, a decent heavyweight, in 2015. Wilder struggled a bit with Szpilka until the ninth round, when he caught Szpilka with a right cross that rendered him unconscious for several minutes.
Rain continues Sunday, Warm week ahead, Big storm Friday
It appears rain chances will start to go back up after 8 PM west of highway 49, then gradually increases eastward overnight. The rain will become more widespread through Wednesday morning and afternoon, with a rumbles of thunder around too.
We'll see if Ortiz is able to change the course of the heavyweight division and disturb Wilder's future plans. "I'm going to show the world who "King Kong" is".
"I must prove to myself and the people who is the best in the world", Wilder said.
"Come on, man. Come on", Wilder told CBS Sports' "In This Corner" podcast on Monday. And that can only be realized by Joshua fighting and beating Wilder; not Ortiz. He's got to deal with Parker first on March 31, it's a tough fight. "You do all you can to protect your fighter". Eddie doesn't have to take a punch in his life. Wilder is explosive, Joshua deliberate.
A lot is on the line for the 32-year-old Wilder as a lost would be devastating at this point, especially with a enormous payday still out there with Anthony Joshua.
I see Ortiz winning a hard-fought decision. Based on the way he's been brought along, I think it was for the objective of securing the home run payday which they are so close to securing. "I'm prepared for when it's time to fight".
So, I'm predicting Wilder in eight. I will knock him out and then I will unify the division. Although it has not been disclosed if Wilder has a rematch clause in his contract with Ortiz, most champions have one included in their contract as a sort of insurance policy. I made them many offers if they're talking about offers.
"So if he (Joshua) says that, and he needs to keep that in his mind to feel confident because we know this fight will happen".