Should WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 34 KOs) come out victorious later tonight, the win over undefeated Cuban puncher Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) will be ranked as the biggest accomplishment of his career.
Wilder's main rival, IBO/IBF/WBA champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), pulled off his biggest career win last April, when he stopped former division king Wladimir Klitschko in the eleventh round - before a record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley in London.
Wilder and Ortiz will collide in a Showtime televised main event from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Joshua's win was impressive, but many critics also point to some of the factors - like Klitschko being 41-year-old, coming off a clear defeat to Tyson Fury and being inactive since November of 2015. Klitschko retired from boxing a few months after that loss.
When comparing their best opponents, Wilder ranks the boxing skills of Ortiz above those of Klitschko.
He feels Ortiz, who comes from a very respected amateur background in the Cuban boxing system, is a better schooled fighter than Klitschko was. Ortiz had an amateur record of 343-19 and competed in many international tournaments. Klitschko, who captured Olympic gold in 1996, had an amateur record of 134–6.
"I tell you this though: Ortiz definitely had more fundamental skills than Wladimir Klitschko. Wladimir may be a bit stronger, but it's hands down, Luis Ortiz has much more boxing skills than he did," Wilder told Sky Sports.
Joshua is currently training for the scheduled unification with WBO champion Joseph Parker on March 31, and there is no guarantee that he will stay up to watch Wilder's defense against Ortiz.
Wilder says the British superstar would be foolish to miss out on the fight.
"Of course he [Joshua] should be watching. If he isn't watching this one, he's a foolish man," Wilder said.
"If he was fighting I would be watching and that's how it should work. I am sure he will be watching, though, and paying close attention to me and what I do - and that's a good thing."