By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Deontay Wilder would welcome a rematch with Luis Ortiz next if he can’t land a second fight with Tyson Fury or a long-discussed showdown with Anthony Joshua.
Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, acknowledged early Sunday morning that Ortiz is one of the three opponents under consideration for Wilder’s next fight. Ortiz stepped into the ring following Wilder’s first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale on Saturday night at Barclays Center and called out the WBC heavyweight champion.
The 40-year-old Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) has won three straight fights since Wilder stopped him in the 10th round 14 months ago at Barclays Center.
Ortiz hurt Wilder late in the seventh round, but Wilder withstood that trouble, dropped Ortiz twice more in the 10th round and stopped him. Wilder’s win over Ortiz was convincing, which is why boxing fans would much rather watch the Alabama-based knockout artist fight Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) or Fury again.
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) battled to a controversial split draw December 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. England’s Fury still isn’t expected to face Wilder again in his following fight if he overcomes Germany’s Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) on June 15 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Despite posturing from both sides, Joshua-Wilder will be difficult to make next because of the same promotional and network/streaming service affiliations that have prohibited them from fighting thus far. That could leave Wilder to oppose Ortiz again sometime in the fall.
“Ortiz? The heavyweight division is very small,” Wilder said during the post-fight press conference. “You know, so why not have two fights, three fights? You know, all these guys, that’s why I don’t understand why none of the big fights haven’t happened thus far. If you lose, OK. Rebuild yourself and get back up. Most of the time in life, many people lose, but they give up. And the great thing about life is people wanna see how you fall and get back up. It’s easy to stay on top. It’s easy to be a winner, with no losses and different things like that. You know, everybody wants to be a winner, but a real winner, a true winner is somebody that falls from that platform, because everybody wanna see how they develop themselves and get back up in life.
“And that’s why I don’t care about my record. You know what I mean? That’s how you become a two-time champion, a three-time champion, a four-time champion. And the heavyweight division, like I said, is very small. So, we’ve gotta make the big fights happen. You know, it’s one [loss] – you can come back. Look at most of these challengers – they lose many different times, but how many times they get title fights? Look at Breazeale. He lost before [to Joshua] and now he’s in another title fight. You know, and the list goes on and on.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.