Undefeated WBC Champ Deontay Wilder to face Cuban Challenger Luis Ortiz in November
By: Eric Lunger
WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will put his belt and his undefeated record on the line on November 4th in Brooklyn, NY, giving Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz his long-sought shot at a world title. Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) will make his sixth defense of the belt, and his second foray to Barclays Center.
“The Bronze Bomber,” as Wilder is known in homage to the great Joe Louis, was a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games. His last outing at Barclays Center in June of 2016 culminated with a brutal knockout of Poland’s Artur Szpilka. At 6-foot-7 and 228 pounds, the Alabama native is an imposing force with dynamite in his right hand: we are talking thirty-seven knockouts out of thirty-eight professional fights.
Luis Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) is a product of the vaunted Cuban boxing program, and he brings the full skill set that one expects from that system. Having defected to the USA seven years ago, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Ortiz made his mark defeating veteran contenders Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson, and Malik Scott. Now thirty-eight, Ortiz is hungry and determined to make the most of his opportunity.
“Wilder has been doing a lot of talking about me and this fight,” said Ortiz at the SHOWTIME press conference today. “I’m tired of hearing it. I like to do all my talking in the ring and that’s what I plan to do. I respect him. I know he hits hard, but I hit hard too. It’s going to be a great fight. I can’t wait to get in the ring and shut him up in front of everybody at Barclays Center on SHOWTIME on November 4.”
Wilder sees the fight as an important step towards unification: “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’m excited that the time has come to meet Ortiz,’’ said Wilder. “Luis Ortiz is considered the boogeyman of the sport and I am the hardest hitter in boxing. When you put us together in a ring, you will get one of the best heavyweight fights in a long time. I will unify the division. This I promise. This is the first step towards unifying.”
The bout will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing, presented by Premier Boxing Champions on November 4th (9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT). Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports, framed the bout this way: “The main event on Nov. 4 features two dynamic punchers with a 92-percent knockout ratio between them. It will be the 21st world championship fight on SHOWTIME this year and the 16th time we’ve seen undefeated fighters going head-to-head.”
With WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in action this weekend in Manchester, UK, against Hughie Fury, with Anthony Joshua defending his IBF and WBA belts against Kubrat Pulev in October, and now Deontay Wilder taking on Luis Ortiz in November, this fall is the season of heavyweight boxing.