By Dan Ambrose: Deontay Wilder was giving himself credit on Tuesday for fighting one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the division in Luis Ortiz twice.
The former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) says he took the talented Cuban ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) twice within a year in 2018 and 2019 in fights that were filled with drama.
Surprisingly, the top heavyweights, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Dillian Whyte, showed no desire to share the ring with Ortiz. Even after Wilder stopped Ortiz twice, they wouldn’t fight him.
Boxing is a strange sport in which talented fighters are avoided unless they’re well connected, and even then, they have problems sometimes getting fights.
In other sports like the NFL, teams can’t avoid each other like in boxing. Mediocre teams are forced to play against the best, even if they don’t want to.
Wilder showed courage fighting Luis Ortiz
The World Boxing Council twice ordered Whyte to face Luis Ortiz in a WBC title eliminator, and he opted not to take the fight, which is one of the reasons it took Dillian so long to become the mandatory challenger.
“To this day, no one wants to fight Luis Ortiz,” said Wilder to Brian Custer’s Last Stand Podcast.
“When they say Ortiz is old, these fighters use it as an excuse not to fight the highly skillful southpaw I fought twice. A lot of people avoided that man because they didn’t want to get beat,” said Deontay about ‘King Kong’ Ortiz.
It’s sad but true that Luis Ortiz has been ignored and avoided by the top heavyweights because he’s a threat to them.
Since Ortiz’s loss to Wilder in their rematch in November 2019, the talented Cuban southpaw has fought only once, stopping Alexander Flores in the first round last year in November 2020.
Ortiz has now been out of the ring for the last eleven months, and who knows when he’ll be fighting again.
Deontay faces Fury on Saturday
“I was shocked at what he brought to the table for that fight,” said David Haye to Boxing Social about Wilder in his second fight with Fury in 2020.
“In the first fight, he was able to deck Fury twice, but it was still a close fight. He lost a few of those rounds and got outboxed. In the second fight, he [Fury] made it conclusive as can be to the point where nobody was really interested in seeing this [Fury vs. Wilder III] fight.
“It was really strange that people were just like, it was so one-sided that a courtroom had to decide that it would take place, and it has,” said Haye about the U.S arbitrator needing to order Fury to give Wilder his contractual rematch.
“Has the fact that Fury was forced to fight him [Wilder] has he prepared for this fight like he did the second fight? My gut says no.
“Wilder had surgery on his right bicep, and that’s one of the reasons he believes the second fight didn’t go the way he wanted. He’s got a chance on Saturday to prove it,” said Haye.
When a fighter has a rematch clause, as Wilder had for his last fight against Fury, it’s not a good idea to pretend that it doesn’t exist and try and walk away from it.
Fury made a dumb mistake and ended up wasting a year and a half of his career to try to get out of fighting Wilder again.