On Wednesday, the announcement was made that undefeated Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz will face American Malik Scott on November 12 in Monte Carlo. I am interested whenever Ortiz goes into action. I consider him the best active heavyweight boxer on the planet. For a 6’4″, 240-pound man, he is surprisingly quick and agile. He has technical ability developed from years spent in the elite Cuban amateur system. He is able to throw counters and set traps in a manner rarely seen in the heavyweight division.
I am less excited about Scott as an opponent. Still, for a fighter as studiously avoided as Ortiz, he could do worse. Scott really is one of the better technical boxers in the division. In February 2013, he got jobbed with a split-decision draw against contender Vyacheslav Glazkov, in a fight where I had him winning seven or eight of the 10 rounds. He was out-boxing Dereck Chisora in July 2013, when he got stopped with four seconds left in Round 6.
Scott’s reputation took a permanent hit in March 2014, when he faced Deontay Wilder in Puerto Rico. After Scott went down for the count in Round 1 following a Wilder punch that barely seemed to land. In fairness to Scott, it should be pointed out that a fighter with Wilder’s power doesn’t exactly have to land clean to take out an opponent.
But Scott hardly seemed to be looking to win against Wilder. He showed up to the final press conference wearing a paper bag over his head. During the entire 1:36 that the fight lasted, he threw barely a single jab, against an opponent that he had no chance of defeating without establishing a very busy jab. He simply camped out within Wilder’s range, waiting to get walloped.
Ortiz represents a chance for redemption. A win here would put Scott in firmly in championship contention.
I will be shocked if he can beat Ortiz, though. And it is worth noting that Ortiz already has another fight scheduled, for less than a month later, on December 10 in Manchester, England.