Roach: Ortiz Has A Chance Against Wilder

Freddie Roach dropped by Ferrall on the Bench to discuss a variety of boxing topics

November 22, 2019 - 8:48 am
Deontay Wilder Luis Ortiz

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Freddie Roach dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench to discuss a variety of boxing topics, including Saturday’s rematch between Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs).

Wilder beat Ortiz in March 2018, but Ortiz looks like he’s in the best shape of his life.

“He got in shape and looks like he trained,” Roach said. “For sure, yes. I think he might have a good chance to win the fight. They’re both good punchers, they both hit hard, and they’re both very, very good boxers. Wilder, when he knocked Tyson Fury down, I was amazed. I was amazed that my guy got up from those two shots.”

Wilder and Ortiz will fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Roach also praised Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1), who has held multiple world championships in three different weight classes. He will fight Miguel Flores (24-2) for the WBA super featherweight title.

“Leo’s a great fighter,” Roach said. “I like him to win by knockout in this fight. He’s a very good fighter, very good puncher. . . . Efficient punches, also. They all land.”

Errol Spence Jr., meanwhile, is still recovering from an October car accident.

“He broke his jaw only, they say, and knocked his teeth out,” Roach said. “I don’t believe that. You saw the car flip like five times. I’m glad he’s alive.”

Roach also offered a critique of modern boxing: he thinks fighters need to fight more.

“In today’s market, fighters are going a lot older than they used to,” he said. “They’re going to more like 40 right now because the activity is not there like it used to be. I fought 11 times my second year pro. It was a different game back then.”

Nowadays, however, fighters fight once, maybe twice, a year. 

“They should be fighting more,” Roach said. “There’s no way you can be sharp without activity. . . . Everyone wants to sign for so many fights, so many fights on TV, and there’s only so much TV out there. A couple guys get huge really quick with the signing bonuses over millions of dollars. It’s really good for a handful of guys, but not for everybody.”

Click below to listen to Roach’s interview in its entirety.