Malik Scott says that his best years are still to come – and he’ll prove that by handing a first loss to dangerous Heavyweight Luis Ortiz when they clash in Monte-Carlo on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on HBO in the US.
American star Scott recorded impressive back-to-back wins over Alex Leapai and Tony Thompson in his last two outings to get in the frame for a big-time outing, bouncing back from a first round loss to Deontay Wilder back in March 2014.
Ortiz has been dubbed the most avoided Heavyweight on the planet, but Scott insists that this is a fight he’s wanted and the Philadelphian believes that beating Ortiz can be the springboard to him winning World titles, not ‘King Kong’ Ortiz.
“I don't want people to get the wrong end of the stick - I picked to fight Luis Ortiz,” said Scott. “People have crowned him as the next king of the Heavyweight division, so that's the kind of guy I want.
“Is he the most feared? Anyone will fight him but for the right amount of money. He's a 6ft 4in Cuban southpaw – he's got a hell of a pedigree, he can fight and he's dangerous – but that makes me want to fight him. I gravitate to risks like this, because the rewards out there are huge.
“I went to Australia and beat Leapai, I came home to beat Thompson who had just beat Odlanier Solis, another guy that had been hyped. People said that Thompson would beat me, I gave him a clinic. Ortiz is dangerous, but a punch at Heavyweight can change everything. He doesn't know what it's like to sit on the shelf and wait for a fight, get messed around by opponents. I am just as hungry as he is.”
Scott’s clash with Ortiz is part of a huge night of action in Monte-Carlo as WBA World Bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell defends his crown against Liberio Solis. It’s the fifth defence for the Doncaster ace, who followed his stoppage win over Javier Chacon with a pair of impressive wins over Tomoki Kameda in Texas last year and stopped Fernando Vargas in nine rounds at The O2 in London this April.
Stephen Smith has a second World title crack, challenging WBA Super-Featherweight kingpin Jason Sosa. Smith travelled to Connecticut to meet IBF ruler Jose Pedraza in April in his first outing for a World belt, and recovered from that points loss with a commanding win over Daniel Brizuela in his hometown of Liverpool a month later. Puerto Rican-American Sosa defends his strap for the first time having ripped the crown from Javier Fortuna in Beijing in June.
Martin Murray is targeting World title action in 2017 but faces a stiff test in the shape of former interim WBA Middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov.