ALTHOUGH nothing is officially set in stone at the current time, it has long been anticipated that WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will face previous victim Luis Ortiz later on this year before meeting another old foe, Tyson Fury, early in 2020. However, according to Wilder himself, this potentially may not be the case.
Speaking at a WBC Cares event at Fitzroy Lodge ABC in London, the outspoken American revealed that if he successfully defends his title against Ortiz, there is a possibility that he could then meet fellow world titlist Andy Ruiz Jnr for all of the belts in his next bout.
“The Ruiz fight will happen at some point – most definitely,” Wilder said. “We’re in the same stable [Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions].
“When I beat Ortiz and if the Ruiz-[Anthony] Joshua rematch takes place and Ruiz wins that, it could be that way [that the fight occurs before he has a return clash with Fury]. I think Ruiz will win the rematch. In my opinion, Joshua gave up – he quit. He should take a warm-up fight before going back in with Ruiz. He needs to get his confidence back because he’ll be fighting his own demons if he goes straight into a rematch. It’ll be a mental battle first.”
Looking back on his dramatic draw with Fury in December last year, Wilder does not regret that he was unable to score a knockout despite twice sending Fury to the canvas. Following the incident-packed nature of the contest, Wilder believes that a sequel will be an even bigger event.
“Controversy sells,” Wilder said with a smile. “It was a good fight the first time and it’s going to be a better fight the second time. I strongly feel that I knocked him out in the first fight anyway [Wilder felt that referee Jack Reiss took too long to administer a count to Fury after he knocked him down in the 12th round]. The referee only had one job and it’s simple. Even my one-year-old could do the job. That’s to count to 10.”
Taking into account the standout strengths of both fighters – Wilder’s being his power and Fury’s being his boxing skills – many observers think that possibly the only way Wilder can defeat Fury is by KO, rather than on points. Wilder, however, does not agree.
“I never go in the ring feeling like I have to knock anyone out,” Wilder insisted. “I don’t wanna put that added pressure on myself. A win is a win, whether it’s pretty or ugly. I’m just here to win.”