By: Hans Themistode
Even at the age of 42, Luis Ortiz believes his time near the top of the heavyweight division is far from over.
In just a few more weeks, the Cuban native will look to prove that age is nothing more than a number when he takes on former IBF heavyweight champion, Charles Martin. The two are slated to face off on the first day of the new year at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
While Ortiz has scored several devastating wins throughout the course of his career, following two defeats at the hands of former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder, Ortiz has become somewhat of a forgotten man in the grand scheme of things. More than anything, the slick and powerful southpaw has patiently watched as names such as Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Andy Ruiz Jr., have received their just due as the best in the division.
Ortiz, on the other hand, believes his name should still be mentioned amongst the elite. However, while Ortiz is convinced that his skills are second to none, he has a strong hunch as to why his name isn’t mentioned by any of his top contemporaries.
“You know why my name isn’t mentioned?” Questioned Ortiz during a recent virtual press conference. “Because they avoid me. I don’t know why they avoid me but they do.”
Although Ortiz believes his name should still be protruding near the top of the heavyweight division, he’ll have an opportunity to climb his way back up the ranks come January 1st. Since losing a close but clear unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki in September of 2018, Charles Martin has hit the reset button. As a result, the former world titleholder has reeled off three straight stoppage victories.
Still, despite the current streak of Martin, Ortiz is confident that he’ll be able to put an end to it. Most recently, following his seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Deontay Wilder in November of 2019, Ortiz has bounced back. The Cuban made quick work of Alexander Flores in November of 2020, stopping him in the first round.
While Ortiz has failed to enter the ring since then, he confidently speaks of his work ethic and commitment to staying in the gym. Should the Cuban star pick up the victory against Martin, he isn’t expecting any of the former or current world champions to call him out publicly. Although he’s bemused by the lack of top names willing to face him, Ortiz believes he has an idea as to why his name isn’t exactly at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“Maybe it’s because they got their panties in a bunch. I don’t know but I’ll be ready for when they call my name.”
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