This weekend, heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will face his toughest opponent yet. And no, that opponent is not yet named Anthony Joshua.
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (28-0-2, 24 KOs) is a Cuban-American boxing phenom that also has a history being on the wrong side of the performance-enhancing drug laws. It’s what curtailed the first planned pairing between the two at the Barclays Center that was scheduled for November 4th, 2017.
The drugs found in Ortiz’s sample at the time were diuretics chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide, which are used to treat high blood pressure, but also can be used as masking agents for performance-enhancing drugs.
The current WBC heavyweight champ. Deontay Wilder, shares his thoughts on how he will defeat Luis Ortiz in his upcoming PBC on Showtime, March 3, 2018 bout. Visit PremierBoxingChampions.com for info. SIGN UP FOR FIGHT ALERTS: http://pbcham.ps/FightAlerts FOLLOW US: https://twitter.com/premierboxing https://instagram.com/premierboxing https://www.facebook.com/premierboxingchampions
Still, Ortiz contends that he is not a cheater, regardless of an earlier infraction back in 2014 after he defeated Lateef Kayode in the first round, but then tested positive for a banned substance.
Ortiz is a scary fighter possessing Mike Tyson-style power in a combat resilient body. WIlder’s awkward style, height and power have kept him on top, but many have always felt that Ortiz would be his next great challenge while simultaneously touting the necessity of the Wilder vs. Joshua fight for the culture.
“We always say, once a cheat, always a cheat and that will always carry with him but thats going to be up to Luis Ortiz,” said Wilder on the international conference call. “I think Luis Ortiz is a smart guy and I think hes going to do the right thing up to this point. If he doesnt, itll be shame on him to put people through so much pain and its ridiculous that we have to be talking about this still at this point in time with drugs and cheating and stuff but I think hes going to do the right thing.”
Deontay Wilder makes quick work of former world champ Bermane Stiverne.
For Wilder, opponents and PEDs are like peanut butter and jelly. The WBC had to cancel a planned showdown in Russia with Alexander Povetkin, who tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
Wilder has been very outspoken about his feelings towards cheaters, but now that the fight is truly a go for this Saturday, it will be seen if Wilder will use the propulsion from his vicious beatdown of Bermane Stiverne win to move closer to becoming a world star.
“Everybody that talks as much as Deontay loses,” said Ortiz on the international media conference call. “Brandon Rios just the other day was talking and talking and talking and talking against Danny Garcia and look what happened. None of this talk bothers me. He can talk all he wants. Deontay is trying to convince himself.”
FIGHTER OF THE WEEK: Unbeaten contender Luis Ortiz looks to make boxing history next Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York. A win against World Champ Deontay Wilder would make “King Kong” the first-ever heavyweight world titleholder from Cuba. Watch Wilder-Ortiz live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Still, the ferocity used to dispatch Stiverne for the second time by Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) last November was so impressive that he immediately became America’s chosen champion, despite the roar of the welterweight division.
Wilder is now a star that still has a lot further to go and Ortiz is more necessary than Joshua to set the tone for that eventual pairing against the British sensation. With Wilder dominating his division for years, it is a must that he has a definitive win over Ortiz to set the tone for Joshua. Especially now, while the U.K. is on fire with the great fights and fighters.
“This is about to be my 40th fight with 39 KOs,” said Wilder. “Im a knockout artist. Thats what I come to do and thats what I will do. I promise you that.”
SHOWTIME Boxing analyst and Hall of Famer Steve Farhood takes a look into the boxing career of WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder. The Bronze Bomber faces his former world champion Bermane Stiverne on Saturday, November 4 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on SHOWTIME.
With Joshua already slotted to face Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury waiting in the wings, Ortiz is a great in-between fight for Wilder, who if successful should face Joshua, unless the ravenous British audience clamor for the Joshua vs. Fury fight first.
Still, as the some look past Ortiz and his 24 knockouts, Wilder knows that just like his rage-fueled demolition of Stiverne, this fight can prove even further his claim to being the best heavyweight in the world.
“There is nothing that mans going to do to touch me where hes going to hurt me,” said Wilder. “Im going to walk through all that. Im telling you. Thats nothing. Ive seen his style many, many, many times. Ive fought it coming up in the amateurs. Ive got a lot of Cuban friends. I know their style. Trust me. And I cant wait. Thats why I do my talking. I talk my talk so I can walk my walk.”