Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder plans to show fans at least two things during his upcoming defense against Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz: The soles of Ortiz’s shoes.
“Somebody better endorse the bottom of Luis Ortiz’s shoes,” said Wilder. “Because he’ll be on his back, staring at the ceiling and they’ll be seeing both of them at the end of this fight.”
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) takes aim at his sixth straight knockout in as many heavyweight title defenses when he takes on the 6-foot- 4 Ortiz at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on November 4 on SHOWTIME. Wilder had one of his most explosive performances at Barclays Center when he scored a ninth round knockout of Artur Szpilka on Jan. 16, 2016.
“I’m looking forward to the Barclays Center. They showed me a helluva lot of love the first time, and this is an even bigger fight,” said Wilder, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who turns 32 on October 22. “I can’t wait for the environment, to feel the energy of the people who are gonna come out and watch me and Ortiz fight. I personally called out Ortiz. I want to prove that I am the division’s best, and that starts on November 4.”
With division counterpart Joseph Parker (23-0, 18 KOs) of New Zealand set face England’s Hugie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) in his second defense on Saturday, and the 6-foot-6 Anthony Joshua (19- 0, 19 KOs) of England fighting Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) on October 28, “The Bronze Bomber” envisions a path toward becoming the division’s first unified champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
“I want Joshua, and I want him, now. He’s saying he’s the best, but I know I’m the best,” said Wilder. “I’m very confident that I will unify this division, no if’s ands or buts about it. I will retire on top, undefeated as well.”
“ I personally called out Ortiz. I want to prove that I am the division’s best, and that starts on November 4. ” Deontay Wilder
In his last fight the 38-year- old Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) scored a seventh-round stoppage of David Allen in Manchester, England last December. Ortiz, whose nickname is “The Real King Kong” poses the stiffest test since Wilder dethroned Bermane Stiverne by unanimous decision in January 2015 to become America’s first division champion since Shannon Briggs in 2007.
The 240-pound Ortiz is the largest southpaw that Wilder will have faced since he stopped Audley Harrison, a British Olympic gold medal winner, in 70 seconds in England in 2013.
“Ortiz has a little power and an aggressive style,” said Wilder, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “With my power and our mutual aggression this will transform into being a helluva fight.”
Wilder scored an eighth-round knockout of three-time title challenger Chris Arreola in July 2016, but required surgery to repair broken bones in his right hand and a tear in his right biceps that sidelined him for several months. His triumph over Washington proved that he's back and healthy.
Ortiz’s biggest victory is a seventh-round stoppage of Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings in December 2015 following Jennings’ 12-round unanimous decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in his previous fight eight months earlier.
Ortiz also stopped left-hander Tony Thompson in the sixth round in March 2016. Thompson has a pair of stoppage losses to Klitschko the sixth and 11th rounds.
Wilder and Ortiz share an opponent in Philadelphia’s 6-foot- 4 Malik Scott. Wilder knocked out Scott in 96 seconds in March 2014. Ortiz dropped Scott three times on the way to a 10-round unanimous decision in November 2016.
“When I beat this guy, I don’t want any excuses from the commentators, the public, other fighters or the so-called expert boxing analysts,” said Wilder. “Some people already are making excuses about his age, but that wasn’t the case before I started calling him out. When I beat this guy, I want all of my due credit.”