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WBC heavyweight champion Wilder to face Ortiz

Cuban aims to become first from country to be champion

Gulf News

New York: Undefeated heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre on November 4.

The fight will be televised by Showtime as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series. It will be the sixth title defence for the 31-year-old WBC champion Wilder (38-0, 37 knockouts), and he’s already touting a potential matchup with Anthony Joshua after Ortiz.

“When I knock him out, I want my due respect,” Wilder said at a news conference on Wednesday. “I’m the only American heavyweight champion of the world and I am the man. Nobody is stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. They are all scared of me.

“I’m the heavyweight in the division with real knockout power. I put grown men down easily. On November 4, Ortiz is going down. After that, you already know who is next. I’m ready to unify.”

The 38-year-old Ortiz is 27-0 with 23 knockouts. If he wins, the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder would become the first Cuban heavyweight champion.

Wilder has long stated his goal of unifying the heavyweight division. The 6-7, 228-pound Alabama native calls it “one of the best heavyweight fights in a long time.”

Ortiz offered his own prediction for the outcome.

“Wilder should sign his death sentence,” he said. “I’m very different than anybody else that he’s fought. I punch harder than anybody else. I’m going to teach him not to mess with Cubans.

“Some sceptics are talking about my age, but look at [Floyd] Mayweather. I still have my speed and my quickness.”

Joshua holds three heavyweight belts and will fight Bulgarian boxer Kubrat Pulev on October 28. Joseph Parker defends his WBO title Saturday night against Hughie Fury.

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SPORT PICTURE OF THE DAY: November 18, 2017


Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon of New Zealand powers through a corner on the first day of World Rally Championship (WRC) event Rally Australia near Coffs Harbour.

AFP