By: Hans Themistode
The 2019 boxing calendar has been filled with big fights, and even bigger upsets.
Fighters who are expected to lose should never be counted out. With that being said however, that sentence takes a whole new meaning this year.
Remember when multiple division world champion Jorge Linares decided it was time to move up to the Super Lightweight division? He was fresh off a competitive loss to the consensus best fighter in the world in Vasiliy Lomachenko and his stock was never higher.
His introduction to his new weight class was against veteran fighter Pablo Cesar Cano. It was a fight which on paper, was an easy one for Linares. Cano after all, was never known as a great fighter and failed each and every time he stepped up in opposition. None of that mattered as he scored a first round brutal stoppage win over Linares.
How about Julian Williams shocking unanimous decision win over then undefeated unified Jr Middleweight titlist Jarrett Hurd? Williams was a great fighter in his own right, but a previous stoppage defeat in his lone attempt at a world title prior to his contest against Hurd, seemed to spell out another loss would be on the docket for him once again.
Instead, Williams dropped and subsequently won a fairly wide decision over Hurd.
The Heavyweights have received their fair share of upsets as well. Earlier in the year, fringe Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings was on his way to a decision victory over Oscar Rivas until a miraculous twelve round onslaught by Rivas sent Jennings down to the canvas and out.
The biggest upset of not only 2019, but also quite possibly of this decade occurred when former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was dropped four times en route to picking up his first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
With so many upsets happening around him, the question for Ortiz is, can he follow in the footsteps of those who came before him and become the first Cuban born Heavyweight champion in their storied history. Not only does he believe that he will get the job done this time around, but he also has no intentions of allowing this contest to make it to the judges scorecards.
“I have plans to finish all of this before the final bell ends,” said Ortiz. “But if I need to go the distance, I’m also ready to reach the end of the fight.”
A win over Wilder doesn’t seem likely. Ortiz might be a great fighter, but Wilder has been one of the most dominant champions in recent memory. With that being said however, did any of you expect any of those outcomes from the upsets that took place earlier this year? I doubt it.
It won’t come easy, but Ortiz has the opportunity to join the long list of 2019 fighters who upset the apple cart.