LAS VEGAS. – WBC heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder faces another tough test when he meets Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz in a return match tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1 and 5 from 4am tomorrow (Zimbabwean time).
Wilder puts his WBC world heavyweight title and the possibility of a money-spinning superfight on the line tonight when he climbs back into the ring for a rematch with dangerous Cuban veteran Ortiz.
Twenty months ago, Wilder was rescued by the bell after Ortiz wobbled the American in the seventh round of their first clash, unleashing a flurry of punches to leave the champion staggering around the ring.
Wilder recovered from that bombardment to score a spectacular 10th round knockout, preserving his grip on the WBC belt and his unbeaten record.
Since then, Wilder has fought twice, battling to a thrilling draw with Tyson Fury last December before annihilating Dominic Breazeale in the first round in May.
The 34-year-old already has a rematch with Fury provisionally scheduled for Las Vegas next February, and could also expect to be at the front of the queue to face the winner of next month’s rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
Both the Fury fight or a possible unification match with Ruiz or Joshua would be guaranteed to generate untold millions for Wilder, who is unbeaten in 42 fights and widely regarded as the most destructive puncher in the division.
Given all that, many observers see Wilder’s decision to press ahead with the man nicknamed “King Kong” as a risky move.
While an emphatic Wilder victory would stoke excitement for a Fury rematch, and boost the champion’s box office appeal, the not inconceivable possibility of defeat could spell disaster.
Wilder, however, dismissed the concerns, instead emphasising that giving Ortiz a rematch was the honourable thing to do.
“For the removal of all doubt that I am the better man,” Wilder said when asked why he was taking the fight.
“Some people think I got a lucky escape and I want to prove that wrong. But also because Luis has spent his career being denied opportunities by the other top heavyweights. And still is.” – AFP