By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz has been clamoring for another shot on the big stage. After suffering two losses to former WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, Ortiz sat idle on the sidelines until this past weekend. In his return fight, the Cuban born product took on fringe contender Alexander Flores. If Ortiz was hoping to work on his craft while banking a few rounds, his hopes were immediately shot down as Flores went down in the first 40 seconds of their contest.
Any criticism that the former title challenger receives for his choice of opponent is understandable but just like the public wants him to face better opposition, Ortiz feels the same way.
“I want bigger names, better fights and better opponents but it’s just not happening,” explained Ortiz to Fight Hub TV. “There really wasn’t a better opponent to have. I want to fight everybody that says I’m not worthy, too old or washed up but in the meantime, I’m going to take whatever PBC and Al Haymon put in front of me.”
Well before Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) found himself on the wrong end of a Deontay Wilder right hand, the Cuban southpaw was widely viewed as the division’s boogieman. Although a third fight is unlikely to happen, Ortiz would love to face Wilder again, again and again.
“I still have a thorn in my side from losing twice to Wilder. If I could fight him 30 times I would until I get the win.”
As things are presently constructed in the heavyweight division, the path to another world title shot is an arduous one for Ortiz. Currently, unified champion Anthony Joshua is preparing for his IBF mandatory challenger in Kubrat Pulev. Should he get past him, he has another mandatory awaiting. This time of the WBO variety in Oleksandr Usyk. Tyson Fury, the WBC and Ring magazine belt holder, is weighing his options for a homecoming contest which is set to take place in early December. He may also be forced to face Wilder for a third time as a pending legal battle is currently underway. Outside of their mandatory obligations, both Fury and Joshua have expressed a desire to face one another for all of the heavyweight marbles. Effectively leaving Ortiz out of the championship mix.
Still, the 41-year-old has his eyes on a former belt holder. One that has just as much to prove as he does.
“The immediate fight is Andy Ruiz,” explained Ortiz. “It’s two fighters looking for get back and redemption. Ruiz is looking to prove that he wasn’t a fluke and I’m looking to prove that I still belongs and that I’m not too old.”
Ruiz, a former unified heavyweight champion, became the first Mexican born fighter to hold a heavyweight belt when he unseated Joshua in mid 2019. His title reign however, was immediately truncated as he lost the rematch six months later via lopsided decision. Since then, he has changed trainers and is now working under the tutelage of Eddy Reynoso, trainer of pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.
Ruiz is rumored to be facing off against former title challenger Chris Arreola later on this year.