Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz II Preview

The first fight was a classic. Can the rematch live up to the hype?

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In 2018 boxing fans were hanging out for the historic unification fight between WBC champ Deontay Wilder and unified champ Anthony Joshua.

But for various reasons, the fight never eventuated. Given every opportunity to fight a can, Deontay Wilder instead surprised everyone and chose to give Cuban boogeyman Luis Ortiz a shot at the heavyweight belt:

I didn't have to fight this fight, I had all the excuses in the world after the first one to run away from this fight, easy. I could have fought anybody. You know, we've got a lot of great Americans coming up, I could have fought anyone of those guys, easy, easy. But I said, 'Nah. I'm still going to bless him with the opportunity because I feel he's the best and I say I'm the best. I know I'm the best and I want to prove to the world that I am the best heavyweight in the world, the baddest man on the planet.

Wilder wasn’t just talking up his opponent. Luis Ortiz was an anomaly in the world of heavyweight boxing - because King Kong could box.

A product of the famously technical Cuban amateur boxing system, Ortiz was a noted destroyer of men who reached his title shot with a 28 and 0 record with only two decisions.

Wilder and Ortiz were undefeated but that was where the similarities ended. The Bronze Bomber boasted a 13-centimetre reach advantage and was six years younger. But Ortiz outweighed Wilder by 12 kilos - he may as well have been in a different division.

The fight itself was a classic. Ortiz ran the first few rounds, but Wilder fought back and dropped Ortiz in the dying seconds of the fifth. In the seventh Ortiz stunned Wilder and the American was lucky to make it out of the round. Then in the 10th, Ortiz was dropped twice to end it.

After the fight, Ortiz was nothing but respectful, but he also knew things could have gone very differently and was immediately keen to get a rematch:

I want it, I think I deserve it, but it's up to Wilder- it was a great fight.

And now the real King Kong has got his wish. He faces Wilder this weekend in what will hopefully be as exciting a fight as their first go-round.

Considering Ortiz has come closer than any boxer in history to knocking Deontay Wilder out, it is a bold move from the WBC champ. Wilder has everything to lose and little to gain, but the Bronze Bomber has come prepared:

What I didn't do in the last fight, I didn't throw enough jabs at him, you know. My feet... I would say I could place my feet in a better position, being that the movement we have is very awkward when you have an orthodox and a southpaw in there. I'm looking forward to having a great fight this time around as well.