Feb. 13, 2014
Luis Ortiz vs. Malik Scott: The Boxing Tribune Preview
By Danny Howard
At first glance, it’s easy to think that Luis Ortiz and Malik Scott are two fighters going in entirely different directions from each other when it comes to their careers. While that may be true, both men square off against each other this weekend in Monte Carlo for a far more intriguing match than Danny Garcia’s latest high-profile squash.
Many people see this fight as a tune up for the hard hitting Cuban, but this is as much of a crossroads fight for Ortiz as it is Scott. With a title shot a very real outcome for either man, the perceivable throwaway fight has much high stakes at play.
Ortiz is one of the most dangerous Heavyweights in the world and is desperate to get a shot at a world title, and at the age of 37, he is fully aware that time may not be on his side. Scott spent a large majority of his career with everybody excited about his potential, only for injuries and promotional issues to greatly hamper his career and left him a cautionary tale of what could have been.
Ortiz became a force in the Heavyweight division because not only is he strong, but he is incredibly mobile and intelligent to go along with it. It would not be much of a stretch to suggest that Ortiz may be the most well rounded fighter the Heavyweight division has seen since a prime Riddick Bowe. It would take a fighter of equal skill and heart as well as one hell of a chin to dethrone him, and a quick look at the division right now suggests that it isn’t in the cards.
At one time, Scott was considered a top prospect before an injury derailed his career for four years, but even in his younger years he was never a big puncher. Scott operates behind fast hands, but often works to slow the pace down as to not drag himself into a firefight. Because of that, Scott isn’t likely to force the action and immediately get his head popped off by Ortiz but what might transpire could be ugly.
Ortiz is a counter-puncher by nature, so by keeping matters strictly at a boxing standard would serve Scott best. It is very difficult to see Scott outbox and flummox Ortiz, but his chances of winning are almost non-existent if he tries to make a fight out of it. With that being said, that means Scott’s offense will consist of punch-punch-clutch and heavy backpedaling as Ortiz tries to come forward, hoping to grind out an ugly decision.
Therein lies the rub, because as disciplined as Scott has to be, there are several doubts that he’s mentally ready for a fight of this magnitude. If anything, these are the fights that Scott’s critics claim he never really wants anyway. He was subdued and content with an awful bad stoppage to Derek Chisora and doubts linger if he was actually seriously hurt when Deontay Wilder stopped him, therefore doubts linger that Scott is ready or willing for his last shot to fulfill his squandered potential.
There is no doubt that Ortiz has the goods and his actions in and out of the ring show that he’s not playing around on the way to a shot at the Heavyweight title. Unlike Scott’s performances at the highest level of the division, Ortiz is not going to be content just to say he was able to hang around for a few years.
After a terrifyingly boring first third of the fight where Scott tries to stink out the fight, expect Ortiz to quickly find his way past his defense and start wearing him down with heavy shot after heavy shot. Once Ortiz makes his initial adjustments he’ll put Scott down for the count later in a fight best left forgotten in the grander scheme of things.
Danny Howard has been all over the place, writing for FightHype, the Yahoo Contributor Network and the Examiner. He also became a legend in his own mind by writing “And Stay Down! Boxing's Worst Comebacks, which you can either buy on Amazon or email him for a free copy. Howard doesn't have time to drown in the nega-verse that is social media, but you can find him on Facebook or breathe life into his long dead Twitter @dbbox625 or let him have it directly at Daniel.Howard6@att.net