Deontay Wilder Ready For Challenges Of Luis Ortiz

He will be making the sixth defence of his title having stopped Bermane Stiverne in November

He will be making the sixth defence of his title having stopped Bermane Stiverne in November

If he'd been born in another era, they'd be measuring him for the bronze statue by this point.

"We don't want to milk with Anthony Joshua, that's why he's fought Wladimir Klitschko, that's why he's fought Joseph Parker, that's why he'll fight Deontay Wilder and that's why we want to fight Tyson Fury". "I think they're saying 'avoid this man as much as possible'".

Fighters usually don't take a big risk when they're on the verge of a mega-money fight when losing would no doubt destroy it.

The American defends his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz in the early hours of Sunday morning, live on Sky Sports, and could remain on collision course with fellow champion Joshua. I never put two and two together. I am the best heavyweight champion, period, and I'm willing to prove that not only to Luis Ortiz but to the world.

Ortiz's latest drug test failure - his second in three years - caused the first Wilder-Ortiz title fight to crumble apart. He is a guy, though, known more for his flirtations with PEDs than for anything he's done in the ring. Ortiz hasn't looked anything close to special since he devastated Bryant Jennings in seven rounds back on December 19, 2015.

The 32-year-old has defended that belt six times, winning every one of them inside the distance. Ortiz has the skills to potentially outbox Wilder. "That fight isn't going to happen". Why am I going to go to the trouble of taking an illegal substance that makes you go to the bathroom a lot? But he's 28-0 with 24 knockouts, and he's a southpaw who can both box and punch.

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Wilder is going to be the favorite heading into Saturday's fight, but Ortiz will have his backers.

"If he beats Joseph Parker then he just needs one more belt". Actually, if Ortiz loses to Wilder he could make a lot of money as an opponent down the road fighting up and coming prospects.

But Wilder chose to address Joshua directly at Thursday's final press conference in Manhattan and hit out at Hearn during an animated rant at the Edison Ballroom.

"Deontay Wilder has tried to sell his whole fight on Anthony Joshua - he should worry about Luis Ortiz", he said.

"When you're dealing with a guy who wants to rip his head off, wants to get in there not scared of no man no matter who they are, no matter what type of build, no matter what school they come from, no matter what country they come from, it's a different story", Wilder said. People were very excited. Ortiz is a much bigger challenge than Stiverne.

"He doesn't intimidate me", Ortiz said. That was the title.

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A Wilder-Joshua showdown figures to be the biggest bout the heavyweight division has seen in more than a decade - if it ever comes off.

He's now one fight away from putting himself in the place where he will have to find out.

"I say I'm the best, they say he's the best and that's what boxing is all about".

And so while it's not officially a single elimination, for Wilder, it nearly is.

If a fighter with some pop has the right backing and is brought along right, there's a fortune to be made by all parties involved. There are plenty of questions about Wilder, because he hasn't beaten any known commodities. He looks good, like that.750 hitter in high school who has a first-round draft grade, but until you see him against major league pitching, it's all just projection and opinion.

Don't be shocked if it's not just a home run, but a grand slam.

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The results may suggest that the teams have similar approaches, and are therefore adept in each other's conditions. The series is one for the purists - with four Tests and nothing else, starting in Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.

Wilder enters the major league on Saturday.

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