Luis “King Kong” Ortizis ready for a rematch…
The 40-year-old Cuban professional boxer and heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder have made their long-expected rematch official, formally announcing that they’ll face off again on November 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arenain Las Vegas.
The Premier Boxing Championsfight will headline a Foxpay-per-view card.
For Wilder (41-0-1, 40 Kos), who will be making his 10th title defense, retaining his belt is the final hurdle to a much-anticipated rematch with lineal champion Tyson Fury, whom he fought to a disputed draw in December at Staples Center.
If Wilder comes through against Ortiz, Wilder-Fury II is slated to take place on February 22 in a joint ESPN/Fox pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.
On paper, at least, Ortiz looms as a far greater risk to Wilder than Wallin was supposed to be to Fury.
“When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division,” Wilder said. “I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t. In the rematch there’s more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do. I’ve already seen the style before. It’s going to make it more fun. I can’t wait to see how he tries to handle me when I’m at my best.”
Wilder said he was very ill going into their first fight yet still was able to prevail.
Although Wilder and Fury were close to finalizing an immediate rematch after their draw, Fury instead signed with Top Rankto have his fights on ESPN platforms.
Eventually, however, Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions, which handles Wilder, worked out a two-fight deal for the rematch and a third fight.
However, Wilder and Fury would each take two interim bouts first. Wilder blew away mandatory challenger Dominic Breazealein the first round May 18, Fury did the same to Tom Schwarzin the second round June 15, and then Fury escaped from Wallin two weeks ago. Now Wilder-Fury II hangs in the balance on the outcome of Wilder-Ortiz II. Ortiz aims to ruin those plans.
“I have to give Deontay Wilder a lot of credit for taking this fight because it shows he has the heart of a true champion,” Ortiz said. “He is not at all scared to take a dangerous fight, because let’s be honest, this is the most dangerous fight for him. In my opinion, he’s the best heavyweight in the world until someone beats him, a nd that’s exactly what I’m going to do on November 23. ‘King Kong’ is coming to Las Vegas!”
Wilder first faced Ortizin March 2018 in what turned out to be a dramatic fight-of-the-year contender after a slow start over the first four rounds. Wilder knocked Ortiz down in the fifth round, then nearly got stopped during an Ortiz onslaught of punches in the seventh round before rallying for a punishing 10th-round knockout victory.
Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), a power-punching southpaw from Cuba fighting out of Miami, who has twice failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs, has won three fights in a row since the loss to Wilder, including on the Wilder-Fury undercard.