Wilder to defend heavyweight crown against Cuba’s Ortiz

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Heavyweight Crown

Undefeated American Deontay Wilder will defend his World Boxing Council heavyweight crown against Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in a November rematch of their 2018 title showdown, promoters announced Saturday.

The November 23 matchup at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas gives 40-year-old southpaw Ortiz a chance to avenge his loss to Wilder, a 10th-round stoppage in March 2018 in his only prior world title bout.

“When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division,” Wilder said.

“I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t. In the rematch, there’s more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do.

“I’ve already seen the style before. It’s going to make it more fun. I can’t wait to see how he tries to handle me when I’m at my best.”

The card also features Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz, the reigning World Boxing Association featherweight champion, fighting compatriot Miguel Flores for the WBA super featherweight crown, trying to become a champion in his fourth different weight class.

Wilder, 41-0 with one drawn and 40 knockouts, will turn 34 in October before facing Ortiz, 31-1 with 26 knockouts.

In their first matchup at Brooklyn, Wilder knocked down Ortiz in the fifth round, was stunned by the Cuban in the seventh but battled back to drop Ortiz again with a powerful right uppercut in the 10th to end the fight.

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