By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Deontay Wilder wants a win against Luis Ortiz to lead him to his ultimate goal in his following fight.
After a press conference last week in which Wilder promised to knock out Ortiz on November 4 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion said he wants Anthony Joshua next. Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC), a powerful southpaw from Cuba, is considered the toughest opponent of Wilder’s nine-year pro career.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), who’ll turn 32 on October 22, also is rooting for England’s Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) to beat Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, on October 28 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. If they both win, Wider wants their fight to happen earlier in 2018 than it is likely to take place.
There already are rumors regarding Joshua facing New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), the WBO champion, sometime in July at Wembley Stadium in London. Joshua-Wilder would be a more attractive alternative.
“When I beat him, I want Joshua,” Wilder said, referring to Ortiz. “Everybody knows that I wanna unify the division. And whoever I’ve gotta beat to finally get that fight made, then let’s do it. If Ortiz is the gatekeeper for unifying, then I can’t wait. But my ultimate goal is to unify. I’m waiting on them. As you can see, I’ve been ready. I’ve been calling all these champions out. I’ve done called these champions out – from Povetkin, Glazkov dodging me and going to Charles Martin. I done called out the Klitschkos, I called out the Furys.
“You know, Klitschko told me I’ve got to fight somebody else. But I’ve got the WBC belt. Why you didn’t wanna come take this? You had all the titles and I had the WBC belt. Why I’ve gotta fight somebody else? If I’m that easy, why people feel like they have to dodge me, if I’m so easy? I don’t understand it. If I’m fighting all bums and I ain’t fought nobody, why these mother*ckers don’t wanna fight me? That should be something people should contemplate in they mind? Why they ain’t fighting if it’s that easy. So with that being said, I wanna unify. So after this fight, when Joshua do what he gotta do with Pulev, and I’m gonna do what I’ve gotta do with Ortiz, I ain’t gotta say no more.”
Bermane Stiverne is Wilder’s mandatory challenger, but Haiti’s Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) accepted step-aside money to allow Wilder to face Ortiz. Stiverne, whom Wilder beat easily by unanimous decision to win his title in January 2015, will face American contender Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) on the Wilder-Ortiz undercard.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.