Interview: Wilder and Ortiz discuss their fight on November 23
Thank you very much to the media for joining us wherever you are around the world. We are very excited for next Saturday November 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the highly anticipated rematch between boxing’s longest reigning Heavyweight Champion “The Bronze Bomber” Deontay Wilder as he puts his WBC Championship on the line once again against the hard hitting Luis “King Kong” Ortiz in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event next Saturday November 23 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
This is a rematch of their epic 2018 battle back in March of last year which saw Ortiz nearly stopping Wilder but then Deontay showed his championship mettle and went ahead and stopped Luis Ortiz in the 10th round. That seventh round and that tenth round are absolutely memorable.
The pay-per-view gets rolling at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It features a heck of a pay-per-view lineup including Leo Santa Cruz seeking a championship in the fourth division when he battles Miguel Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship. That will be the main co-event.
Now let’s talk about the challenger.
His record, 31 wins, 26 of those by knock out against one defeat. Originally from Camaguey, Cuba now living in Miami. He has actually been training in Las Vegas where the fight will be held next week.
He has reeled off three straight victories since losing and coming up short in the only blemish of his career when he first met Wilder back in 2018. Most recently he picked up a unanimous decision over Christian Hammer back on March 2 at Barclays Center.
He is one of the most avoided fighters in the heavyweight division. Now one thing about Luis Ortiz he is also a very proud family man. His daughter Lismercedes actually has a painful skin condition which results in painful skin blistering and Ortiz has worked quite a bit and done a wonderful job to raise awareness for EB.
Ladies and gentlemen I want to introduce to you Luis “King Kong Ortiz”, Luis, opening comments.
Thank you very much for having me and thank you very much for everyone who is tuned in and, yes, I’m ready for November 23.
Herman while you were in corner watching what was unfolding in that seventh round, could you explain it to me or tell me what were you seeing that round that got Luis so close to the stoppage win. What was working for him and what were you seeing?
It was a combination of a few things but I think primarily it was just him getting settled in to the fight figuring out the style a little bit, he was boxing, he was just getting to his groove as he does, when he does that he is very dangerous and that’s pretty much it. After that, once he made the connection and he hurt him, then I felt like everyone else, he was the new Heavyweight Champion.
What did you feel was working best for Luis at that moment in the seventh round?
Well, I think the best thing that was going our way was him boxing — getting behind a good jab, and just beating him to the punch and not allowing Wilder to just get crazy with his antics and come out swinging wailing away. So I think just being a little bit better on the technical side and on the basics.
But again like Luis just said it’s very difficult with him sometimes because he’ll spin around and hit you with a back fist so it’s like you never know what could happen.
Are you confident that in the rematch that Luis can get into position to be in that same situation where he has Deontay in big trouble like that and this time he will be able to finish him off?
I’m very confident that Luis is going to be in that same spot or different but in the same scenario and actually be able now to finish job.
He has dedicated 12 weeks in Las Vegas to a camp and he has really given everything that he obviously couldn’t the first time around. So at the end of the day it’s 1000% he will be there. He is a much superior boxer, fighter, thinker and has the experience.
Wilder has the experience over 10 defenses but Luis has experience over a history of fighting since he was 10 years old. So that’s going to make all the difference when it comes down to all things being equal in condition.
Herman was it just your decision to setup headquarters in Las Vegas as opposed to training out of your facility in Miami?
It was really a team decision. We were mulling it over for some time before we found out 100% that the fight was on. We considered California and a few other places.
Luis is definitely a family man and he is here and there and he is at the kid’s events and school events and plays and whatever it takes. He is there. And at the end of the day that’s not going to really drive and mix well with winning a championship and absolutely being at his very best.
So it was an easy decision. It was just a matter of where we were coming.
Was it a concentrated decision to be in better shape than the first fight and do you anticipate being around the same weight or do you believe you’ll be lighter for the rematch?
Absolutely. It’s never been about weight loss. I have always fought around the same weight but I’m definitely leaning out fat and transferring to muscle. So it was a conscious decision with everybody and it’s been a very productive 10 – 11 weeks here so far.
How does your new strength and conditioning coach help you heading into this super fight?
Coach Larry Wade has brought professionalism to the camp that fits right in with what we already do as far as schedules and professionalism. I got a new look at some of the stuff that’s being done with fighters. So it was a nice change and obviously sometimes it can be the same thing but just approached differently and the body will react better and that’s what it was. I’m very happy with coach Wade.
What has been the most unique training method that’s been implemented in this particular training camp?
There have been a few things obviously. If I had to pick one thing, it’s been the pool work.
How will being away from his family impact the training and preparation for this fight?
It will help 1000% in the discipline and sacrifice for the fight. I miss my family so it’s more fuel on a daily basis to to be heavyweight champion.
All right. Thank you very much to Luis Ortiz, Herman Caicedo, thank you very much gentlemen. We look forward to seeing you next week during fight week in Las Vegas – Luis Ortiz challenging Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World next Saturday November 23 live on FOX Sport PBC Pay-Per-View. A big night of live action.
Now we get set for the champion as we go ahead and look at a man who has a record of 41 wins and no losses, one draw, 40 wins coming by way of knockout. He actually earned his Bronze Bomber nickname when he won a Bronze medal for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games.
He is boxing’s longest reigning Heavyweight World Champion having held his championship since January 2015. He will be making the 10th defense of his championship. Now if he is successful next Saturday November 23 he will join the likes of Joe Louis. Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Tommy Burns, the Klitschko Brothers as those with 10 or more consecutive successful title defenses.
He is a rising star out of the ring as he was ranked 34 on ESPN’s World Fame 100 list, the top spot for any boxer. He is an active champion as this will be the third title defense in his last 11 months.
Ladies and gentlemen with a knockout percentage of 95% please welcome the Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. Deontay, do you have opening thoughts?
What’s going on? What can I say? November the 23rd is going to be an amazing, amazing, amazing time for boxing and boxing fans. Me and Luiz Ortiz, the first fight is self-explanatory. It was an amazing fight. It was a thrilling fight.
It was a fight that kept everyone on the edge of their seats from the first round through the 10th round. No one knew what was going to happen until it happened and here we are again. The same effect, the same momentum, the same game plan coming in for us. I’m sure it’s the same for him. He wants to be the first Cuban Heavyweight Champion of the World and – I still want to keep my title.
This is what it’s all about in the Heavyweight Division. The big boys. It’s the heavy hitters where one hit can end everything no matter how hard a person has worked, no matter how many weeks, how many moths. One fight, one night, one blow can end it all. And we already know I’m the hardest hitter, probably in boxing history period.
I’m coming to keep my title. November 23 will be a great moment and I can’t wait.
What was your thought process of wanting to grant Luis Ortiz a rematch?
There were several reasons. One, he is one of the best in the world. No one has dared to give Ortiz the opportunity even after I defeated him the first time.
Did you watch anything with Tyson Fury in WWE and if you did what did you think of Tyson’s performances?
I didn’t. I didn’t even get a chance to see it. I wish I actually got a chance to see it. I would have loved to see how he transformed from boxing to WWE. Although WWE is more entertainment as far as acting things out and boxing is more serious. We risk our lives for sure.
But it would have been refreshing just to see how he does. I don’t hold grudges and I don’t have ill will towards any fighter. No fighter at all because I’m a fighter myself and I understand what we go through as fighters.
If any fighters have the opportunity to do other great things outside of the boxing ring I’m all for it because most fighters, they have been doing it for so many years, especially the ones they have been doing it since they were kids. They feel like this is all they have got. This is all they know how to do.
If all you know how to do is fight and let somebody dictate your career, then I feel sorry for you. The ones that know how to get out and go get another income or another resource, I congratulate you. That’s how I feel with that. I didn’t get to see it but hopefully I see a rerun or something and see how he did.
Did you think that you two might have to run it all the way back again or did you think that that part of your career against Luis Ortiz was over?
After that fight I felt like I wanted to run it back. It was such a great fight, I definitely wanted to run that one back with him. There was a moment in time where I felt like there was a part of me proving myself as a heavyweight champion.
Everybody has got their own different opponents that they look and say okay, I believe him. He is the real deal. I think with Ortiz it opened up a lot of people’s eyes. I know for a fact it opened up a lot of people’s eyes and it allowed a lot of the haters or the doubters I will say, it silenced the doubters and it made them a big fan of mine.
Now there is an uproar about Deontay Wilder not only because of the Ortiz fight but after my actions of what I have done after that and here we are again running back around with Ortiz too.
I always wanted to fight him again because I feel like it would be good for boxing. It will be great for pay-per-view because of what we did the first time.
If given the chance at whatever point in time whether it be during your career or after your boxing career is done, given the opportunity to go to WWE and kind of do the same thing that Tyson Fury did for the past month, would you take it?
WWE was a thing that we years ago talked about as far as promotion and different things and that’s the reason why he is doing it for promotion. He is trying to get his name bigger in America and that’s a good route to take because WWE has millions upon millions of followers that look at it.
So that was a good approach for him trying to build his name especially after coming from his Vegas shows and their ticket sale. The only reason he sold the first time was because he was coming to have a fight with me.
So now he is trying to find some type of way to market himself even more before the rematch or the fight. We are going to tell the difference when I fight in Vegas, you are going to see the difference of what I do and what he did and we will know for sure who sold the pay-per-view and I guarantee you right now it’s going to be me.
But if the opportunity came by at this point in time who knows. It all depends on what I have got going on at the moment in time or when the opportunity presents itself what the scale will be looking like.
My stardom has grown tremendously everywhere. I have got multiples of countries wanting to host me to their country. I’m popular right now. Life is great and I just want to continue to add to that.
I can’t say no and I can’t say yes. You know, I’m going to keep that bridge open. You never want to burn bridges because you may never know when you may need to cross them again. So that bridge is still open.
Do you have any final comments Deontay before we get to Las Vegas next week ahead of your championship defense?
It may be for others, but for me we are not asking each other to hit each other in the head. We’re doing it on will because we are getting paid to do so. We have a job that we have to do. You might as well call us hit men because that’s what we do.
We’ve got a contract to beat somebody up and we sign it and we go in and we have got a name on the paper and there is a price on his head and I’m going to do my job well like I always do.
So I appreciate you guys so much. The last fight with Ortiz it was amazing fight. It was an exciting fight. You didn’t know who was going to win and this is the fight that you want to be looking at. This is the fight that you want to tune into and pay your money.