LAS VEGAS—It was as if someone stuck a pin in Luis Ortiz and deflated him. The 40-year-old Cuban expatriate looked like the smaller, younger brother who once fought Deontay Wilder back on March 3, 2018, than the “King Kong” who will be fighting “The Bronze Bomber” in the rematch Saturday night on FOX PPV (9PM ET/6PM PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas.
Wilder, however, came in at 219½, almost five pounds over the 214¾ he weighed during their first encounter. Physically, Wilder (41-0-1, 40 knockouts) didn’t look that much different.
Physically, Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) looked like a changed man from the 241¼-pound version of himself in the first fight.
Wilder, 34, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be making the 10th defense of the WBC title he won after he beat Bermane Stiverne in January 2015 in the very arena he’ll fight in Saturday night. Ortiz, who says he’s 40, had Wilder in some trouble the last time they fought in the seventh round, but the Bronze Bomber recovered in time to stop Ortiz at 2:05 of the 10th.
Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) will be making his 130-pound debut and came in at 129½ pounds to face 27-year-old Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) for the “super” version of the WBA belt. Flores came in at 130. Santa Cruz, 31, and Flores will fight for the WBA belt Gervonta “Tank” Davis vacated to move to lightweight.
Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) made 122 for his WBA super bantamweight title defense against Julio Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs). But because Ceja, 27, came in at 126½, the 22-year-old Figueroa will not have to concern himself with defending the title.
Before Ceja stepped on the scale, Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) didn’t make weight for his fight against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) for a 12-round WBC bantamweight eliminator. Nery, 24, came in at 119 for the 118-pound match, which Rodriguez, 27, hit on the nose.
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