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Luis Ortiz claims Deontay Wilder’s tactics are ‘borderline criminal’

Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Fighters Network

Luis Ortiz and WBC heavyweight beltholder Deontay Wilder didn’t exactly exchange a war of words when the two spoke in different times on a conference call on Tuesday about their upcoming fight on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View (9pm ET/6pm PT).

Ortiz (31-1, 26 knockouts) had Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) in trouble in the seventh round when they first met on March 3, 2018, in New York, which was won by Wilder when referee David Fields stopped the fight at 2:05 of the 10th round with Ortiz down. Wilder was winning was up at the time, 85-84, on the three judge’s scorecards.

If there was anything gleaned from the Ortiz side of the conversation, it was the contention that Wilder’s “antics” should be different this time, as opposed to “illegal” blows that Wilder throws with the inside of his fists, and when Wilder punches from the top of the head down, which should be illegal and “borderline criminal,” Ortiz explained through his trainer and translator Herman Caicedo.

Asked if he would prepare better for Wilder’s “antics,” Ortiz said, “You absolutely never know what Wilder is going to do as far as how he approaches this fight. But there is one thing for sure, I’m mentally and physically prepared. So, he can bring whatever it is he’s going to bring, no problem.”

Asked what happened in the seventh round of their previous fight, Caicedo saw Ortiz beating Wilder to the punch and boxing better. Caicedo stressed that Ortiz could beat Wilder with “basics,” though it could be difficult sometimes, because Wilder is prone “to spin around and hit you with a back fist,” Caicedo asserted.

“I’m very confident Luis is going to be in that same scenario and finish the job that he couldn’t do the first time around,” Caicedo said. “He’s a much superior boxer, fighter, thinker. Luis has experience of fighting since he was 10 years old.”

This will be Wilder’s 10 th title defense, which places him in rarified air of the heavyweight division.

Wilder, who will be defending the WBC title for the third time in 11 months, said he wanted to give Ortiz a rematch because he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. Wilder stressed that he knows what Ortiz goes through as a father with a disabled child.

“This might be his last hurrah, at 40 years,” Wilder said. “We all know when you fight Deontay Wilder, I take something from you. I take years off your life. All I can do at this point in my career is rack up numbers. I always fought for a legacy and I’m still fighting to this day for that.

“I just want to be the best in the world. I want to be the best who’s ever done it. I’m trying to bring everything in my power.”

Wilder survived one of the most trying situations of his career in the seventh against Ortiz. It allowed Wilder, he says, to show what he’s made of.

“I was very proud of myself to be able to handle the fire like that with a flu,” Wilder said. “The proper protocol is to cancel that and wait until a later date. Being me, I’m hard headed. I always do things many boxers don’t do. I want to be different.

“I keep telling everyone I had the flu, and he threw everything at me and the kitchen sink. I remember getting buzzed (in the seventh round). He still had 40 seconds (in the seventh round) and he couldn’t get me out. He threw everything.”

When it was brought up to Wilder that Ortiz called some of his tactics “borderline criminal,” Wilder said he never heard it and Wilder responded that the only he does criminal is “me hitting people with the right hand and almost killing them, that’s the only thing I can go with.”



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