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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Wilder can keep pressure on Joshua with KO of Ortiz

Heavyweight clash should be explosive

A masked Deontay Wilder prepares for battle against Bermane Stiverne
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WBC world heavyweight title
Sky Sports Action/Main Event, 3am approx Saturday night  

Deontay Wilder has spent much of the build-up to this fight calling out fellow world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but he faces perhaps the biggest test of his unbeaten career against Cuban Luis Ortiz in Brooklyn.

Despite what promoter Eddie Hearn says on camera, big-punching Wilder is capable of giving Joshua plenty of problems but he can't afford any slip-ups against Ortiz with a mega-money fight against AJ on the horizon. 

Ortiz has been fairly inactive with failed drugs tests and managerial problems threatening to derail his career. But he was a superb amateur and boasts sound defensive skills combined with explosive power - 24 of his 28 wins have been by knockout.

Wilder has been taken the distance only once, ending 38 of his 39 fights with a stoppage, so this scrap is unlikely to be boring. 

This could be a dangerous fight if Wilder is sloppy. He often pays scant regard to his defence but may need to be a bit more cautious against underdog Ortiz who is a smart counter-puncher and has the power to cause an upset.

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But it's difficult to trust Ortiz due to inactivity, doubts over his fitness and his age - he is officially 38 but some claim he is older, including Dillian Whyte who said Ortiz "is about 60,000 years old".

The only man to hear the final bell against Wilder was Bermane Stiverne when the American first won the world title in 2015, and he has since won six defences, all by KO including a first-round destruction of Stiverne in November. 

He will want another highlight-reel KO as he chases the Joshua fight, and he can get the stoppage in the second half of the fight. Wilder is odds-on to win by KO but he has won four of his last six between rounds eight and 11 and may need time to break down Ortiz's defence.

D Wilder rounds seven to 12
1pt 13-5 Betfair, Paddy Power

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The only man to hear the final bell against Wilder was Bermane Stiverne when he first won the world title in 2015
E.W. Terms
Sky bet