Top heavyweight contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz will face WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder on Saturday, November 23rd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The two met previously in March of 2018. Though Ortiz was defeated by 10th round TKO it was an impressive outing. Since then he’s put together a string of victories which have earned him a rematch with Wilder. Ortiz held a workout ahead of the bout and he talked to us about Wilder, his prep for the fight, the outcome and his place among Cuba’s long and storied history of fighters. Here is what Ortiz had to say.
On Deontay Wilder
“I don’t know if Deontay will be improved for this fight, but I will definitely be an even better version of myself on November 23. If I get that opportunity like I got in the last fight, I’m not going to stop punching until it’s over. I’m going to seek and destroy. When you watch videos online from Wilder, there are definitely things he does better now. But he still doesn’t have the experience of taking that from training into the fight. He’s got to have a plan B and C, and if he doesn’t, it will be a mistake. I have a plan for everything.”
“If anything is going to change in this fight, it’s going to be Wilder making adjustments, if he can. I’m in 15 round shape and he’s going to have to deal with me for every round.”
On His Fight Preparation
“I wouldn’t be here in Las Vegas if I wasn’t serious about being all-in for this fight. I would have stayed home in Miami. I haven’t seen my family in months and that’s worse than any Deontay Wilder punch.”
“My main goal has always been to become heavyweight champion and that goal has not veered at all. I haven’t lost any of that hunger. You don’t go through the torture of a training camp like this to just show up.”
On the Outcome
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this fight is going to end in a knockout. Either I’m knocking him out, or he’s knocking me out…but he’s not knocking me out.”
On His Place in Cuban Boxing
“I’m very proud to be Cuban and I’ve been around some of the great Cuban fighters of all time. It’s going to be very exciting to become the first Cuban heavyweight champion.”
This fight, is viewed as a preamble to Wilder’s rematch with Tyson Fury. Yet, it is still quite a dangerous tune-up. In their first bout Ortiz took Wilder to places he had not gone, hurting Wilder and making the fight close prior to being stopped in the 10th round. Ortiz has a chance to play spoiler here. A fact not lost on Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions which is co-promoting the bout also chimed in on both Ortiz and Wilder.
“Luis Ortiz has the opportunity to mess up everybody’s plans. He’s not focused on anything else but Deontay Wilder on November 23. Ortiz knows he just needs to focus for 12 rounds and find a way to get a huge win. He’ll put himself in a great position. What better position than to be in than ‘the man’ in the heavyweight division?”
If Luis “King Kong” Ortiz has his way. He may be the “man” not just in boxing, but a win would make history and legendary in Cuba too!