Cuban heavyweight contender wants to make up for the only blemish on his record with an emphatic showing in the ring this Saturday night on Showtime.
Fight night is just a couple of days away, and heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz has only one thing on his mind: Revenge.
As Ortiz (28-1-0, 24 knockouts) prepares for his Saturday night showdown with Razvan Cojuna on the Showtime-televised card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Staples Center in Los Angeles, he can’t get the first loss of his professional career out of his mind. It occured March 3 when WBC champion Deontay Wilder registered a 10th-round TKO of Ortiz.
The result of that bout is so deeply embedded in Ortiz’s mind that he no longer attempts to erase it. Instead, he has decided it’s best to use the loss as motivation against Cojuna. And that’s what he’s done. Ortiz intends to not just defeat Cojuna, but to severely punish him, then knock him out.
There’s a reason the 39-year-old Ortiz has adopted this madman persona. He wants another shot at Wilder to prove their first encounter was nothing more than a blunder on his part. And he vows to never make that mistake again.
“You will see what I always do,” Ortiz said. “I will knock out Cojuna.”
But there’s also the possibility of a loss. And if that happens, it will ruin any plan Ortiz has of getting Wilder in the ring anytime in the foreseeable future.
Ortiz, however, is confident losing to the 30-year-old Cojuna will not take place. He believes this fight will end when he decides to end it. For his part, Cojuna has no intention of making this night easy for the extremely confident Ortiz.
“I’m proud and confident to know that I will be stepping into the ring against a worthy opponent,” said Cojuna, who will take a 16-3-0 mark into the ring. “Luis Ortiz is a world-class fighter with a lot of experience, which will give me the opportunity to show my skills to all the fans at Staples Center.”
“ You will see what I always do. I will knock out Cojuna. ” Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz
Cojuna, who was born in Romania, but now lives in Burbank, California, has registered only nine knockouts in his professional career so, unlike Ortiz, he isn’t talking of a finish. But there’s is no need to worry; he plans to take Ortiz into deep waters and leaving the ring victorious.
In his most recent outing, a lopsided unanimous-decision loss to Joseph Parker for the WBO title, Cojuna failed to show the skills he vows to reveal against Ortiz. If they are exposed, fans will likely see an above-average jab and some decent footwork. Cojuna, who traveled to New Zealand to fight Parker on 12-days notice in his hometown, said that he couldn’t get a bead on Parker and lost because the WBO champion ran “like a chicken’’ the entire 12-rounds. He also admitted that taking the fight on short notice meant he didn’t have time to properly condition and he ran out of gas during the fight. He had time to train for Ortiz.
Ortiz isn’t noted for wearing track shoes in the boxing ring and because Cojuna doesn’t have the same power as Wilder, there won’t be much reason for Ortiz to retreat from Cojuna.
At 6-foot-8, Cojuna is similar in height to Wilder. The height did bother Parker early in their fight. But once he got over the fear of getting knocked out, Parker settled in and out-boxed Cojuna.
That height could trouble Ortiz as well, but without much sting on the punches that might not be enough to keep Ortiz off-balance and hand him his second professional loss. Ortiz says that will not happen, he is hell-bent on stopping Cojuna in a way that will force a rematch with Wilder.
“I believe that a rematch is merited, especially if Wilder doesn’t get the Anthony Joshua fight,” Ortiz said. “I’m the only fighter who has hurt Wilder and nearly had him out.”
Ortiz staggered Wilder in the seventh round of their bout. A powerful left nearly floored the champ, he landed several more hard shots but failed to finish the fight.
Wilder would recover and regain control in the eighth round and go on to finish Ortiz in the 10th. Ortiz has viewed the fight numerous times and says he learned from his mistakes and will get the job done if a rematch comes to fruition.
But first, he must get past Cojuna in impressive fashion then hope Wilder doesn’t get upset. He also must hope Wilder and Joshua continue their inability to make a unification bout a reality.
Ortiz has a lot on the line against Cojuna. But he promises to take care of business and keep his title goal alive.
To see more on Luis Ortiz, check out his fighter page.
- Luis Ortiz