Legendary trainer Freddie Roach feels Luis Ortiz made a huge mistake in trying to lose weight for his rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
“I’ve seen him before. I’ve seen where they took him away, brought him to Vegas, then brought him with a new coach, and paid him to lose weight,” Roach said to Fighthub. “And the lighter he was, the more he got paid. And I say ‘yeah, but he’s not effective at that weight.’
“I say ‘This guy is one of the best fighters in the world when he’s heavy. He puts combinations together really, really well — better than any heavyweight I’ve seen — and he absorbs punches very well.’ I’ve never seen him hurt by a body shot or a head shot. He won the title fat, what’s wrong with that?! I mean, just because he’s a little skinnier he looks more presentable or something like that?
“This is not a modeling show,” Roach said of Ortiz and Wilder’s battle for the WBC world heavyweight championship. “I mean, this is a fighting show and I don’t think he needed to lose any weight. I don’t.”
“They made him skinny to make him look better for the audience. That’s the only reason. That’s foolish. I mean, who gives a shit what he looks like?! He’s a little chubby, yeah, but he fights really, really well. I love watching him fight, the combinations are great.”
On Bernard Hopkins expressing concern that Ruiz might not be able to take a shot as well at this lighter weight:
“Yes, that is definitely a big factor. Like I said, he absorbed punches really, really well and I’ve never seen him hurt when he’s heavy. But when he takes that weight off he gets weaker and he doesn’t feel that good…Very odd that they would do that at his level, where he just beat one of the best fighters in the world and beat him easily.”