By Ponciano “John” Melo Jr.
CALIFORNIA, USA — A couple of months before their much-awaited bout next year, talks about Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury’s rematch is slowly getting louder and louder.
But before their gigantic clash on February 2020, there’s still one to tick off the list for Wilder when he meets Fury for a second time to settle their stalemate the last time around.
Wilder will battle Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) on November 23 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to set up the stage for Wilder-Fury 2.
This will come a the same month as the equally-important bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight championship belt as the Mexican superstar Canelo is looking to further stamp his legacy with a win to capture a fourth title in as many divisions.
Meanwhile, Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs), is eyeing the same result against the same fighter he knocked out in brutal fashion last year.
The heavyweight blockbuster will also feature Leo Santa Cruz against Miguel Flores for the vacant WBA super-featherweight title.
Now, Wilder should do his homework at hand first before getting into the ring with Fury who dispatched with some difficulty hitherto unheralded Otto Wallin last month.
“When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division,” said the 33-year-old Wilder in an interview with the LA Times.
“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.”
On the other hand, Ortiz says Wilder is the best in the world in their division — that is if he beats him come the 23rd of November.
“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, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”