Wilder Ready For ‘Boogeyman of Boxing’ Ortiz
WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (38-0-0, 37 KO’s) has confirmed talks have been held with unbeaten Cuban Heavyweight Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (27-0-0, 23 KO’s) over a proposed clash, with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ declaring that he previously had no interest in fighting Ortiz due to his ban from the sport for doping.
Ortiz, who like Wilder is advised by American boxing powerbroker Al Haymon, served an eight month ban following a positive test for the banned substance Nandrolone in the wake of his first round KO win against Lateef Kayode in September 2014. The bout was later changed to a ‘No Contest’ and Ortiz was stripped of the lightly regarded WBA ‘Interim’ World Heavyweight title. It is a blemish on his record that has not been forgotten by Wilder.
In an interview with Behind The Gloves’ Michelle Joy Phelps, Wilder addressed the rumours surrounding a future bout with Ortiz. “This isn’t rumours. This is real. I want Luis Ortiz. Luis Ortiz is considered the ‘Boogeyman of Boxing’. He’s considered one of the most avoided guys in boxing, which I don’t understand why.” He said, seemingly intent on reinforcing his willingness to take on the biggest challenges the division had to offer.
The Alabama-native spoke further about Ortiz’s ban for use of performance enhancing drugs, stating that was the reason the fight had failed to materialise in the past. “When they brought up about me and Luis Ortiz, I had no interest in fighting Luis Ortiz because I knew Luis Ortiz was doping. I knew this.” Wilder stated. “I’m 2-0. When I say a man is doping: they’re doping.” He continued, alluding to Russian Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin, who failed two drugs tests in the space of 7 months in 2016: leading to the cancellation of two separate bouts with Wilder.
In a candid 25-minute interview, Wilder appeared defensive when addressing claims that he had been avoiding the best fighters in the Heavyweight division – a criticism that has plagued him since capturing the WBC title in January 2015 with a resounding points win over Bermane Stiverne.
“There’s been a lot of ducking and dodging so a lot of things ain’t been my fault. I can understand if I backed out of fights or if I didn’t accept fights if something came up: but these fights have not happened because of my opponents. Because of the other guy. It’s never been about me, it’s never been about my team. It’s been about the other side,” said the brash American, “In my career I had nothing to do with these guys testing positive for drugs or backing out of the fight and stuff like that. But still, people don’t care. They just want to make it seem like I don’t want to fight.”
When speaking about his future plans, Wilder made it clear that his goal moving forward was to unify the World titles in the Heavyweight division. “I want to unify. That’s my main thing.” Said Wilder. “I hear a lot of these other guys that try to become Champions and stuff. But as a Champion, I’m calling out other Champions and they are ignoring me, because they know.” He continued.
When pressed on the subject of the mooted match-up with Ortiz, Wilder seemed to have softened his stance on the bout, following Ortiz’s return to the sport as a clean fighter. “Well, time has passed, he’s [Ortiz] even had a couple of fights. He’s with Al Haymon as well and they’ve been doing a great job. I’m just super confident in my ability and my skills.” He finished.
However, Wilder was in little doubt as to the outcome of any potential fight, leaving a chilling message for any challengers to his WBC crown: “They know how serious I am. I’m like this untold story, of this man, this legendary myth of me having this tremendous power that ‘if I touch you I’ll f**king kill you type of power’.” He stated menacingly, “I don’t just knock you out: it’s the fashion that I knock you out. You don’t know whether you might spaz out, you may get knocked out and look like you’re dead, you’re probably going to go to the hospital, you have all of these knots on your head: you might even lose your life when you’re dealing with somebody like me. That’s just what I bring to the game. I’m dangerous.”
One thing is for certain, following an unprecedented five consecutive mandatory challengers, the time has come for Deontay Wilder to take the next step in his Championship career. With Luis Ortiz waiting in the wings, and a potential mega-fight with IBF/WBA ‘Super’ World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua lurking in the background, Wilder faces a career-defining 12-month period in his career.
One thing is for certain, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ isn’t lacking in confidence: now is the time to put it into practice against the world’s best…
You can listen to the full interview by clicking on the link below:
Article by: Rob Tebbutt
You can follow Rob on Twitter at: @RobTebbutt