It’s official: undefeated WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder has announced that his next bout will be a rematch versus the dangerous Luis Ortiz, most likely on September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) made the announcement on his social media pages:
Wilder v Ortiz II ?????
To all my fans,
I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly.
All my controversial fights
Must get dealt with ASAP‼️#BombZquad pic.twitter.com/RZs7vLEhaj
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) May 28, 2019
The news cuts short all chatter of a potential unification versus Anthony Joshua this fall–and also leaves Joshua in a bind with regard to opponents later this year. Joshua will make his debut on US soil this Saturday versus Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr. However, with no feasible American opponent afterward, he may have to return to England for his next bout.
Wilder’s audacious maneuver also raises the stakes in negotiations for a unification match. The division’s longest reigning-champion has long argued that he has not been treated fairly at the negotiating table by Joshua’s team. Wilder, 33, is now out to stamp himself as the A-side in negotiations by taking on Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), whose only loss was to Wilder in their Fight of the Year candidate at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last year in March.
Wilder dropped Ortiz in the fifth, only to be badly hurt by the Cuban southpaw in the seventh round. Many deemed Wilder lucky to escape that barrage. But the Tuscaloosa, Alabama native showed his mettle, roaring back to stop Ortiz in the tenth round of an incredible battle.
The rematch will likely head to pay-per-view, although there is no official word on whether that will be on FOX or SHOWTIME. Wilder is hoping to build off his growing star power, which only increased following his vicious KO of top-rated contender Dominic Breazeale a couple weeks ago.
Wilder was originally slated to face former heavyweight king Tyson Fury instead of Breazeale. Wilder and Fury battled to a disputed draw last December, a fighter marked by Fury’s miraculous recovery after being dropped and seemingly out in the 12th and final round. A rematch appeared set for May 18. But “The Gypsy King” inexplicably walked away from negotiations to sign a long term deal with Top Rank Promotions instead.
With Wilder, Joshua and Fury now jockeying for position, Wilder has made his move. Taking on Ortiz again is a risky proposition. However, it forces the other players to step up. Stay tuned to BoxingAfrica.com for more details.