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Wilder: Everyone Avoided 'Boogeyman' Luis Ortiz - I Blessed Him

A degree of paternal empathy with Luis Ortiz was a motivating factor for Deontay Wilder to grant him a second shot at his WBC heavyweight title.

Ortiz (28-0) was forced to withdraw from a fight with Wilder (39-0) last November after failing a drugs test, and the reigning champion duly dispatched stand-in Bermane Stiverne with a brutal knockout.

Wilder agreed to take on the 38-year-old Cuban following his return, despite being tipped for a unification fight against IBF and WBA belt-holder Anthony Joshua, who will face WBO king Joshua Parker on March 31.

wilder-ortiz-weights (18)

Having seen his daughter struggle with spina bifida, the American sympathised with Ortiz, whose little girl was diagnosed with the inherited skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa, and wanted to help him support his family.

"Me and Ortiz have some similarities, we've got something in common, and that's our children," Wilder told a news conference ahead of Saturday's fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

"We know his story about his daughter, and you guys all know my story about my daughter, so when I saw that I thought, 'You know, I've got to bless him with a second opportunity because he's trying to support his family just as well as I'm trying to support my family.'

"So, from a father to a father I gave him that opportunity."

However, Wilder was primarily motivated to prove himself as "the best" by refusing to steer clear of a powerful, unbeaten foe.

"Not only do I think Ortiz is one of the best technical fighters in the business, with his Cuban background and style, and a lot of people have labelled him the boogeyman of the division. And coming up, you've seen many guys have avoided him - even champions have avoided him," said Wilder.

"And I've always said that I was the best. I say it all the time. I think I get on peoples' nerves because of the things I say all the time because I believe in myself.

"If I don't believe in myself then I can't convince others to believe in me. I can't get America to get behind me and say 'Believe in me because I'm this and that,' and I don't show it.

"When you're dealing with Luis Ortiz, they didn't want to fight him. They avoided him. So I said, here was the opportunity to bless Ortiz with this opportunity. I say I'm the best, they say he's the best. And this is what boxing is all about. The best fighting the best."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by krazyn8tive on 03-03-2018

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;18534457]The right hand didn't connect much at all but the left hook absolutely was a temple shot. If you've ever been hit there you'll understand.[/QUOTE] I've sparred plenty rounds against guys who can crack...and a slapping left hook like that…

Comment by Pigeons on 03-03-2018

[QUOTE=JRB123;18535872]I said universally recognized, not by just one rankings group. For example the Premier Boxing Organisation had Stiverne ranked 6th. [URL="https://premierboxingorganisation.com/heavyweight-200"]https://premierboxingorganisation.com/heavyweight-200[/URL][/QUOTE] PBO has computerized rankings. They are even less relevant than BoxRec's. Stiverne was rated #3 by The Ring and…

Comment by mathed on 03-03-2018

Wilder gonna eat some punches tonight. Hopefully the old man puts him in his place.

Comment by JRB123 on 03-03-2018

[QUOTE=Pigeons;18534654]No, that came against Stiverne over 3 years ago. [URL="http://www.tbrb.org/2015/10/10/13-january-2015/"]http://www.tbrb.org/2015/10/10/13-january-2015/[/URL][/QUOTE] I said universally recognized, not by just one rankings group. For example the Premier Boxing Organisation had Stiverne ranked 6th. [URL="https://premierboxingorganisation.com/heavyweight-200"]https://premierboxingorganisation.com/heavyweight-200[/URL]

Comment by Sledgeweather17 on 03-03-2018

[QUOTE=jonnyc420;18534061]Yeah and how long has Wildher been a pro? AJ has half the fights and already has a soon to be first ballot HOFer on his resume. He is gonna unify titles in half the fights. What was the hold…

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