Wilder on fighting Luis Ortiz: ‘I’ve never been afraid of the boogeyman’

BROOKLYN (Jan. 23, 2018) – Undefeated WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will face his toughest opponent to date when he meets hard-hitting Cuban southpaw Luis “The Real King Kong” OrtizSaturday, March 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™ and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Tickets for the show, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, start at $50 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com, BarclaysCenter.com, or call 800-745-3000. Tickets for the event can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

True heavyweights in every sense of the word, the 6-foot-7, 228-pound Wilder and the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Ortiz have 62 combined knockout victories.

The 32-year-old Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs), the only reigning American heavyweight world champion, is a knockout artist with the power to end any fight in spectacular fashion. His only professional match that went the distance was the fight in which he won his world title with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne on Jan. 17, 2015 -the birthday of legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. The champion out of Tuscaloosa,

Alabama added Stiverne to his list of knockout victims in his last fight with a devastating first round destruction in their rematch at Barclays Center on Nov. 4.

Wilder was originally supposed to fight Ortiz that night, but Ortiz was pulled from the match after he tested positive for a banned substance. Ortiz was later cleared after the WBC determined he had failed to list medication that he was taking on his pre-testing paperwork, which triggered the positive test. He was assessed a fine and allowed to resume boxing.

Wilder, a Bronze Medal winner for the U.S. Olympic boxing team at the 2008 Beijing Games, has successfully defended the title six times. This will be his third title defense at Barclays Center. In his first defense at Barclays Center, Wilder scored a memorable ninth-round knockout over Artur Szpilka back in Jan. 2016.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Barclays Center to defend my title for a seventh time,” Wilder said. “Luis Ortiz is one of the toughest guys around and he’s supposed to be the boogeyman in the heavyweight division. But I’ve never been afraid of the boogeyman and I’ve knocked out every opponent that I’ve faced. I plan on keeping that streak going. Everyone standing in my way of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion has to go down. It’s Luis Ortiz’s turn.”

The 38-year-old Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs), of Camaguey, Cuba by way of Miami, Fla., will make his Barclays Center debut when he meets Wilder for his first title shot. The hard-hitting southpaw turned pro seven years ago after defecting from Cuba and has since been steadily climbing the heavyweight ladder. He cemented his standing in the division with victories over veteran contenders Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott and is the No. 1-ranked contender by the WBC. In his most recent fight, Ortiz scored a devastating second-round knockout of Daniel Martz in Miami, Florida on Dec. 15.

If Ortiz wins, he will become the first Cuban born fighter to win a heavyweight world championship.

“This really is the best versus the best as far as the heavyweight division, and everyone who knows boxing knows that,” Ortiz said. “There’s been too much talking already. It’s time to fight. All I ask now is that the winner of this fight receives the respect from the other man, from the public, from the media and the fans that they deserve as the best heavyweight in the U.S.”

Photos from Douglas DeFelice/Premier Boxing Champions
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