UNBEATEN WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Cuba’s unbeaten contender Luis Ortiz exchanged words and went face to face at the final press conference in Manhattan Thursday ahead of their main event showdown (Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz) this Saturday, March 3 at the Barclays Center.
Deontay Wilder: “The reason I wanted this fight is not only do I think Ortiz is one of the best technical fighters in the division, but he’s the boogeyman that everyone is running from. Champions have avoided him and I’ve always said I was the best and this is my chance to prove it.
“This result isn’t up to anyone but myself. Every time I get under the bright lights, I give the fans what they want to see. This is the best versus the best and that’s what boxing deserves.
“I had all the excuses in the world to run away from this fight after he failed the test. There are a lot of good, up-and-coming heavyweights out there, but I wasn’t interested in them. This fight is how I prove that I’m the baddest man on the planet.
“On March 3, with all the personal things put aside, it’s going to be an honor to fight Luis Ortiz, man to man and father to father. I know that family is his motivation, just like it is for me, and that’s why I blessed him with this opportunity.
“The exciting thing about Saturday night is for everyone to see what I’m capable of doing. Luis Ortiz is determined to get my WBC belt. This is my seventh defense of my title and I’ve enjoyed every one. It’s a lot of responsibility and I take it seriously. You’ll all see on Saturday night why I’ve said the things I’ve said.
“Everyone knows what I’m expecting Saturday night. I can’t say it enough. I have knocked every opponent out for a reason. I plan on continuing my knockout streak. That’s what I do and that’s what I’m best at.
“This is the best fight right here in boxing that can be made. It doesn’t get any better than this on Saturday night. You have to be here in person, because you won’t want to miss anything. You never know what you’ll see, but Saturday night will be bombs away.”
Luis Ortiz: “I never say anything bad about fighters because inside the ring, anything can happen. I respect everyone who steps into the ring. This is my opportunity. This is my time. Deontay is a great champion but this is my chance.
“Like I always say, this is my time and it’s going to be a great triumph. This is big for all of Cuban boxing and I will make my country proud.
“This is going to be like two trains on the same track about to collide. I’m going to win and I’m going to take his belt.
“This is not a video game. This is not using controllers. You have to actually step into the ring with me on Saturday night.
“Deontay is scared. He’s talking a lot of nonsense. He’s worried about what I’m going to do. This is my time. I’m going to show everyone.
“I’m 100 percent ready to go. Sparring has been amazing and I’m totally prepared for Deontay Wilder. Deontay’s biggest mistake is that he talks too much.
“I looked into his eyes and I knew that I’m not going to lose this opportunity. I’m going to be the first Cuban and the first Latino born outside the country to win a title. Saturday night will be historic.
“The public gave me this opportunity to fight for the title and beat you for your belt. I’m going to make the most of my chance and knock Deontay Wilder out.”