Both Wilder And Ortiz Have Something To Prove
Both Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz have something to prove. While Wilder may be brash, boastful, and the most self-confident fighter in the sport, Ortiz has stayed low-key, letting his manager Jay Jimenez do the talking. Yet, both men admit that there is more than the WBC world heavyweight championship at stake.
For Wilder, it is about recognition. Wilder has knocked out every contender in his way throughout his career, including Bermaine Stiverne in their second matchup in November, after being his only blemish in an otherwise perfect 39-0 record with 38 KOs. Wilder boasted about this at Thursday’s press conference:
“Everyone knows what I’m expecting Saturday night. I can’t say it enough. I have knocked every opponent out for a reason. I plan on continuing my knockout streak. That’s what I do and that’s what I’m best at…. There are a lot of good, up-and-coming heavyweights out there, but I wasn’t interested in them. This fight is how I prove that I’m the baddest man on the planet.”
This fight could be a stepping stone to the fight that Wilder has been clamoring for, a unification fight against Anthony Joshua, who faces Joseph Parker on March 31st in Cardiff, Wales. And while Wilder has had laser like focus on Joshua, the Alabama native knows not to take Ortiz lightly.
“The reason I wanted this fight is not only do I think Ortiz is one of the best technical fighters in the division, but he’s the boogeyman that everyone is running from. Champions have avoided him and I’ve always said I was the best and this is my chance to prove it.”
For Ortiz, this fight with Wilder is his chance to reclaim an opportunity he lost in 2017. He and Wilder were set to face off in Brooklyn this past November, but Ortiz would fail the second drug test of his career. The Cuban southpaw was pulled from the fight, and had to prove it was due to blood pressure medication that he and his team forgot to disclose. Now, inside the same venue he and Wilder were set to clash, Ortiz is thankful for a second chance.
“The public gave me this opportunity to fight for the title and beat you for your belt. I’m going to make the most of my chance and knock Deontay Wilder out.”
Speaking with FIGHT SPORTS during Wednesday’s open workouts, Ortiz stated that it is important for him is to become the first ever Cuban world heavyweight champion, and that is what people are going to hear on March 3rd after he “knocks Wilder Out.”
Ortiz also told FIGHT SPORTS that while he is an undefeated former heavyweight champion, he is the underdog in this bout. This drives him and it “just makes me want to prove to the people who I am and that’s a champion.”
With both men having something to prove, Deontay Wilder’s 7th defense of his WBC world heavyweight title may be the toughest to date. Ortiz and his manager, Jay Jimenez, may claim Wilder is not the toughest man he’s faced, but both men are looking at a long night in Brooklyn.
Whether it is the leader of the “bomb squad” or the man known as “King Kong” walking out on to Atlantic Avenue in the late hours of Saturday night as WBC Heavyweight Champion, history will be there to greet them.