Deontay Wilder barely got by Luis Ortiz on March 3, but according to his trainer and manager, Wilder was not even close to fighting Ortiz at 100 percent.
Jay Deas, Wilder's manager and trainer, spoke to Fansided and revealed that Wilder was fighting at perhaps three quarters of his full strength. The reason for this is because Wilder was suffering from a cold up until a week before the fight. Deas said he was shocked to hear Wilder reveal to Showtime's Jim Gray that he was sick the week before the fight because Deas didn't want people to find out about Wilder's condition. Although Wilder wasn't sick by the time the fight came around, he was still recovering from the cold.
"As the week went by, he [Wilder] was getting better and better. Just because your cold is leaving you doesn’t mean you’ve got your strength all the way back. In reality, he was at 72-76 percent by the time he got in the ring. He was not fully, fully recovered. He was still coughing stuff up in the dressing room before the fight," Deas said.
Questions about Wilder's health arose with the revelation, coupled with the fact that he came to the weigh-ins at 214 pounds, the lowest he has ever weighed in his professional career. Wilder managed to retain his WBC heavyweight title against Ortiz, knocking Ortiz out late in the fight after Ortiz nearly knocked down Wilder midway through the fight. The win improved Wilder's perfect record to 40-0 with 39 KO.
With Wilder beating Ortiz, his next fight will likely see him face unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua if Joshua manages to defeat WBO champion Joseph Parker on March 31. By the time Wilder's next fight arrives, his current reign as champion could be the sixth-longest single WBC heavyweight title reign in history, Fightful will have complete coverage of that fight.