The final touches have been applied to his training camp, and Luis Ortiz couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.
The 40-year old Cuban southpaw physically appears to be in the best shape of his near-10 year career as he heads into his upcoming rematch with unbeaten heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40KOs). The pair of familiar rivals collide once again this Saturday, live on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ortiz came dangerously close to dethroning Wilder in their first fight, recovering from a 5th round knockdown to badly rock the Alabama native in the 7th round of their memorable war last March. Wilder recovered, scoring two more knockdowns en route to a 10th round stoppage. Minor strategic adjustments have been applied in training camp, with a far greater emphasis on shifting his current weight from flesh to muscle.
“Other than just being in better shape, I don't necessarily see anything that could have been done differently on my part,” Ortiz (31-1, 26KOs; 2NCs) stated of their first fight in a recent media conference call to discuss the rematch. “I think that some of the things that Wilder did and the antics that Wilder does could be dealt with differently this time around.
“You absolutely never know what Wilder is going to do as far as how he approaches his fights. But one thing for sure is that both mentally and physically I'm at my best and prepared. So he can bring whatever he is going to bring. No problem.”
Recent photos have surfaced of the end result of a 12-week training camp on site in Las Vegas, as opposed to training out his Miami hometown. Often mocked for looking much older than his 40 years of age, Ortiz appears to be rock solid for the first time as a pro.
“We’re not bullsh-ting,” head trainer Herman Caicedo quipped to BoxingScene.com.
Wilder attempts the 10th defense of his heavyweight title, while Ortiz looks to become the first ever Cuban boxer to win a piece of the heavyweight crown.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox