Deontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz: Bronze Bomber to defend WBC title in Las Vegas on November 23

Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC title in a rematch against Luis Ortiz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday November 23.

Boxing's longest reigning heavyweight world champion inflicted the Cuban's only previous career defeat with a 10th round TKO in an explosive showdown in Brooklyn last year - although Ortiz had him in big trouble in the seventh.

Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) and Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) have a combined 66 knockouts in 74 fights so few pundits will expect this one to go the distance.

The Bronze Bomber, 33, has stopped all but one of the opponents he has beaten but he can ill afford to suffer a first career pro defeat if he's to remain on course for a huge blockbuster rematch with Tyson Fury next year.

Wilder vs. Ortiz: Highlights of the first fight

Ahead of his third title defence in 11 months, Wilder couldn't help but have a slight dig at Fury, saying: "I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don't.

"When I fought Ortiz not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division."

"In the rematch there's more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do. I've already seen the style before. It's going to make it more fun. I can't wait to see how he tries to handle me when I'm at my best.

"This is the second big fight for me under my company, BombZquad Promotions, and I'm very happy about that. We still have a lot of work to do to build it into the kind of company that I know it's going to be in the future, but it's coming along. To be able to do a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View at MGM Grand in Las Vegas under my own banner is fantastic."

Ortiz, who has won three-straight fights since losing to Wilder in 2018, including most recently winning a unanimous decision over Christian Hammer on March 2, said: "I have to give Deontay Wilder a lot of credit for taking this fight because it shows he has the heart of a true champion,.

Wilder v Fury full 12th round

"He is not at all scared to take a dangerous fight, because let's be honest, this is the most dangerous fight for him. In my opinion, he's the best heavyweight in the world until someone beats him, and that's exactly what I'm going to do on November 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. 'King Kong' is coming to Las Vegas!"

Also on the cards, three-division champion and current WBA featherweight king Leo Santa Cruz will seek a title in another division in the co-main event when he takes on Miguel Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship.

Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) will be making his debut at super featherweight and seeking a title in a fourth weight class.

The 31-year-old, has been a dominant force in the featherweight division since 2015 including two thrilling featherweight title duels against Abner Mares and Carl Frampton, said: "When I first started boxing my dream was to be a world champion and I've been fortunate to win three different world championships in three different divisions.

"I couldn't imagine winning championships in four divisions. It's something I never really dreamed of and I'm very happy about this opportunity.

"I know Flores is another tough Mexican boxer like me. He always comes forward, so it's going to be a fun fight for the fans. I'm really looking forward to fighting again in Las Vegas at MGM Grand. It's going to be a really exciting atmosphere because you have Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz in a heavyweight championship fight, and Deontay always knocks his opponents out, but we're hoping that our fight will steal the night."

Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) was originally scheduled to fight Santa Cruz for the featherweight title in February, but severely sprained his ankle in training and had to withdraw from the fight.

The Mexican-born fighter, who fights out of Houston, said: "I'm extremely excited to be getting this opportunity once again to fight Leo Santa Cruz and win a world title.

"Being the co-main event on this FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View card with Wilder vs. Ortiz headlining is incredible. This is a dream come true for me, and I'm going to take advantage of the situation. This moment in my life is something I've envisioned since I was a kid. On November 23, you will see the best version of myself as I plan to be in the best shape of my life, with the goal of becoming a world champion, and what better way to do it than in Las Vegas at MGM Grand. Leo and I are going to put on a great show, that you can guarantee."

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