Return of the Big Men
After the little guy wars and with only five weeks to Christmas the big men return to finish a stellar year off with a sledgehammer. All sanctioned versions of the Heavyweight Championship of the World will be on the line from Las Vegas to Saudi Arabia, plus a British prospect makes further steps towards the ultimate prize in London.
First up, this Saturday 23rd is the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz for the WBC heavyweight title. The first fight provided plenty of excitement back in March when the Alabaman champion ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder was rocked by the big Cuban in the 7th round only to survive and later drop Ortiz twice in the 10th to register a 2:05 stoppage. It was a fight in which ‘King Kong’ Ortiz had his moments and this makes the return an interesting proposition.
Ortiz will be better prepared having a longer training camp than the first encounter but is an ageing heavyweight, reputedly 40, but as they say “The last thing a fighter loses is his punch”. History tells us no more apt is this than in the heavyweight division. Unless he gets clocked early, look for the younger, fresher Wilder to repeat the result of the first match within six rounds.
Two weeks later (7th December) the boxing roadshow heads to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia for the hastily arranged rematch between Andy Ruiz Jnr and Anthony Joshua. See last week’s LunchBox for a fight preview.
In this, the British challenger will look to avenge his sole loss back in June in one of the biggest shocks of the year. In Madison Square Garden, New York City Joshua surrendered his WBA, IBF and WBO titles and will be looking to put matters right. The hype will continue to build for this over the coming weeks in a fight that will hopefully re-assert the ‘reach’ of the heavyweight championship taking it to new frontiers, ala the 1970’s.
Last but not least, on 21st December young Englishman Daniel Dubois will be aiming to build on his undefeated 13-0 (12 KO’s) record and holding of British and Commonwealth titles, with an international contest against Japan’s 33 year old Kyotara Fujimoto 21-1 (13 KO’s) at London’s Copper Box Arena.
Up for grabs are the stepping stone WBC Silver and WBO international heavyweight titles. Dubois currently ranked inside the WBC, IBF and WBO top fifteen should be tested but get the victory to move further up the rankings.
Waiting in the wings will be the ‘Linear’ heavyweight champion and Ring magazine #1 Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury currently signed to rematch Deontay Wilder on 22nd February 2020. What transpires over the coming weeks will shape the validity of that rematch, should Ortiz cause an unlikely upset, with the outcome of the Ruiz-Joshua rematch further stoking the fires.
Add to the melting pot the freight-train progress of Dubois, with Dillian Whyte high in the rankings and Derek Chisora still on the periphery and the heavyweight division is back in vogue. Bombs away !
The Wilder-Ortiz fight will be on Sky Sports Action in the UK, Ruiz v Joshua rematch on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN, and Dubois v Fujimoto on BT Sport.
Croydon Charity Boxing night
Last chance to book a table or place for this year’s annual Boxing Gala Dinner at the Croydon Hilton Hotel on Friday 22nd November to raise money for charities chosen and supported by Wallington Rotary. Now in its 37th year this is always an excellent evening with amateurs from London Boxing versus a British Army team. For last minute bookings please call John Edwards on 07799 853 392 by Tuesday 19th November.