Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz II set for Nov. 23 in Las Vegas
Deontay Wilder has the first date on his rematch tour booked as he’ll once again face Luis Ortiz on Nov. 23 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it was announced Saturday afternoon.
The fight is a second go-around of one of Wilder’s roughest nights as a pro, in March 2018, when he survived a hellacious assault in round 7 that looked close to being stopped. Wilder recovered and went back to countering, eventually stopping Ortiz in the tenth.
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 knockouts) will be making the tenth defense of his WBC heavyweight title and is coming off a first round knockout of Dominic Breazeale in May. Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), who is seven years older than Wilder at 40, has won three straight since the loss to Wilder.
The first fight aired on Showtime Championship Boxing but the rematch will be distributed as a Fox Sports PBC pay-per-view event.
Should he get past Ortiz, the plan is to have Wilder resolve unfinished business with Tyson Fury, whom he was held to a draw by in their December 2018 fight in Los Angeles. Fury has since signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank and is coming off a tougher-than-expected fight with the unheralded Otto Wallin earlier this month, after which Fury required 47 stitches to heal two serious cuts around his right eye.
Fury had said that the rematch would take place on Feb. 22, 2020, though it’s unsure if that cut will push any rematch back.
The co-featured bout pits Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) against Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) for the vacant “regular” WBA junior lightweight belt. Santa Cruz, 31, currently holds the WBA belt at 126 pounds, and had previously held belts at 118 and 122 pounds, but is stepping up to 130 pounds in a sign that he may be moving away from a unification bout with Gary Russell, which his fellow PBC stablemate has been campaigning for.
Santa Cruz-Flores was originally scheduled for February 16, but Flores withdrew with an ankle injury, and Rafael Rivera took his spot instead. Santa Cruz handled business against the replacement, winning by scores of 119-109 on all three cards.
Flores’ career looked derailed in 2017 after he suffered back-to-back stoppage losses to Dat Nguyen and Chris Avalos. He has since beaten two unheralded fighters with combined records of 32-21-1.