Wilder tells Ortiz he should be grateful for the opportunity
By Jeff Aranow: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder and challenger Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz spent time trash talking each other at the end of Thursday’s final press conference at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Ortiz had Wilder so worked up that he was still talking even after he’d walked off the stage.
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
The two fighters are facing each other this Saturday night on March 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Ortiz was given the title shot by Wilder despite having tested positive for 2 banned drugs last year. Wilder didn’t have to give Ortiz the fight, but he chose to because he wants to beat him. Ortiz is in a position where he owes Wilder for him doing him a favor. As such, Wilder wants Ortiz to show his gratitude in some way. It’s unclear what Wilder wanted Ortiz to do other than stop trash talking him.
Wilder repeatedly told Ortiz he should be grateful that he gave him the title shot against him. It looked like Wilder was trying to pressure Ortiz into being subservient to him. That’s what it looked like. Ortiz wasn’t saying much after that. He walked away from Wilder with a smile on his face.
“This isn’t a game for me,” Wilder said to Ortiz at the end of the final press conference on Thursday. “I risk a life to take a life. I ain’t playing around with nobody. They think this is a game. This ain’t no game. Be grateful for the opportunity, baby. Be grateful I gave you the opportunity, because I’m going to beat your [expletive]. Trust me. It’s going to be like any other,” Wilder said.
I’m sure Ortiz is grateful to Wilder for giving him the title shot, but he’s not going to keep his mouth shut just because of that. Wilder needs to be able to accept criticism from the 38-year-old Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) demanding that he be grateful for the title shot. The way that Wilder kept telling Ortiz to “be grateful,” it looked like he was trying to get the Cuban fighter to cringe around him and smother him with compliments. Ortiz shouldn’t have to do that to repay Wilder for him giving him the title shot. It’s nice that Wilder gave Ortiz the opportunity, but hopefully he doesn’t expect him to roll over on Saturday night let him win.
Ortiz is clearly grateful for Wilder giving him the title shot. We’ve seen that each time Ortiz is his presence. Ortiz acts like he doesn’t want to upset Wilder because he did him a favor by giving him the fight. It looks bad though. It’s too bad Wilder’s promoters weren’t the ones that picked Ortiz as his opponent rather than him being the one When a fighter makes it known that they picked out a opponent, it puts that fighter in a weird position. Do they attack the guy verbally that gave them the fight? Wilder demanding that Ortiz be grateful for the title shot looks to me like he’s trying to control his behavior to get him to be extra nice to him. Hopefully, Ortiz doesn’t take it easy on Wilder on Saturday out of loyalty for the title shot he was given. Ortiz would be biting the hand that feeds if he destroys Wilder.
Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) was extremely agitated at the end of the press conference after Ortiz scored some points with the media by telling Wilder, “This is not a video game. This is not using controllers. You have to actually step into the ring with me on Saturday night.”
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