LAS VEGAS – A second knockout loss to Deontay Wilder won’t prevent Luis Ortiz from continuing his boxing career.
The 40-year-old Ortiz is very disappointed that a slight tactical mistake resulted in Wilder knocking him out in the seventh round of their rematch Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ortiz was up on all three scorecards, however, and remains confident that he is capable of defeating any other heavyweight in the sport.
The skilled, strong southpaw just hopes another top heavyweight will fight him now that the hard-hitting Wilder has stopped him twice.
“Retirement’s not in my plans,” Ortiz said during a post-fight press conference at MGM Grand. “I’m going to take out my frustrations on a few other heavyweights that are gonna pop up. So, you’re gonna see just exactly how I feel in the next few years.”
The Cuban-born contender later added, “If there’s any heavyweight that thinks I’m old, jump [through] the ropes. Get in the ring.”
The dangerous Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC) has lost only to Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), who made the 10th defense of his WBC title by beating Ortiz in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event. Wilder was careful with the experienced, crafty challenger before he unloaded a right hand that knocked Ortiz on his back, underneath a bottom rope.
A stunned Ortiz slowly reached his feet, but referee Kenny Bayless still stopped their scheduled 12-round rematch with nine seconds to go in the seventh round. Wilder was behind 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 entering the seventh round.
“I really had to be smart with him,” Wilder said. “We knew that coming in. We knew that in training camp. I went back and looked at videos, and seen what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I look at videos and I looked and saw what he did right and what he did wrong. And we put a game plan together. And it was an amazing fight. I saw the opportunity, and I took it. And my statement, and I said these guys have to be perfect with me for 12 rounds, I only have to be perfect for two seconds, it’s legit. I proved that tonight as well. We’re still undefeated. We still have our belt. And now we move on to the next phase and chapter in my life. I’m looking to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
A respectful Wilder still feels that Ortiz can accomplish some of his professional goals as well.
“Ortiz, you definitely have to take your hats off to him,” said Wilder, who stopped Ortiz in the 10th round of their first fight in March 2018. “He’s definitely one of the most dangerous men in the heavyweight division. I always say that’s why none of these other heavyweights do not wanna fight him. And he proved that [Saturday night]. Hopefully, you know, they’ll give him an opportunity now. Maybe they’ll see little kinks in his game and give him an opportunity that he truly deserves.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.