Thank you very much to the media for joining us wherever you are around the world. We are very excited for next Saturday November 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the highly anticipated rematch between boxing's longest reigning Heavyweight Champion "The Bronze Bomber" Deontay Wilder as he puts his WBC Championship on the line once again against the hard hitting Luis "King Kong" Ortiz in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event next Saturday November 23 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
This is a rematch of their epic 2018 battle back in March of last year which saw Ortiz nearly stopping Wilder but then Deontay showed his championship mettle and went ahead and stopped Luis Ortiz in the 10th round. That seventh round and that tenth round are absolutely memorable.
The pay-per-view gets rolling at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It features a heck of a pay-per-view lineup including Leo Santa Cruz seeking a championship in the fourth division when he battles Miguel Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship. That will be the main co-event.
Tickets for the event are going quickly. It's promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions. They are on sale now and you can get them at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com.
Now let's talk about the challenger.
His record, 31 wins, 26 of those by knock out against one defeat. Originally from Camaguey, Cuba now living in Miami. He has actually been training in Las Vegas where the fight will be held next week.
He has reeled off three straight victories since losing and coming up short in the only blemish of his career when he first met Wilder back in 2018. Most recently he picked up a unanimous decision over Christian Hammer back on March 2 at Barclays Center.
He is one of the most avoided fighters in the heavyweight division. Now one thing about Luis Ortiz he is also a very proud family man. His daughter Lismercedes actually has a painful skin condition which results in painful skin blistering and Ortiz has worked quite a bit and done a wonderful job to raise awareness for EB.
Ladies and gentlemen I want to introduce to you Luis "King Kong Ortiz", Luis, opening comments.
Thank you very much for having me and thank you very much for everyone who is tuned in and, yes, I'm ready for November 23.
Herman while you were in corner watching what was unfolding in that seventh round, could you explain it to me or tell me what were you seeing that round that got Luis so close to the stoppage win. What was working for him and what were you seeing?
It was a combination of a few things but I think primarily it was just him getting settled in to the fight figuring out the style a little bit, he was boxing, he was just getting to his groove as he does, when he does that he is very dangerous and that's pretty much it. After that, once he made the connection and he hurt him, then I felt like everyone else, he was the new Heavyweight Champion.
Luis do you believe that this is your final chance at winning a Heavyweight title?
No. Absolutely not. I'm going to win the title so no need for another opportunity. I will be the champion.
Do you still look back at that first fight for what you could do better?
No. No. Other than just being in better shape, no. I don't necessarily see anything that could have been done differently on my part. I think that some of the things that Wilder did and the antics that Wilder does could be dealt with differently this time around, the illegal things.
Blows that he throws with the inside of his fists, punching down from the top of the head down and all kinds of craziness that he does, which makes it very difficult to get settled in any fight and quite frankly should be illegal and borderline criminal.
Does it feel easier to prepare for it this time around?
You absolutely never know what Wilder is going to do as far as how he approaches his fights. But one thing for sure is that both mentally and physically I'm at my best and prepared. So he can bring whatever he is going to bring. No problem.
What did you feel was working best for Luis at that moment in the seventh round?
Well, I think the best thing that was going our way was him boxing -- getting behind a good jab, and just beating him to the punch and not allowing Wilder to just get crazy with his antics and come out swinging wailing away. So I think just being a little bit better on the technical side and on the basics.
But again like Luis just said it's very difficult with him sometimes because he'll spin around and hit you with a back fist so it's like you never know what could happen.
Are you confident that in the rematch that Luis can get into position to be in that same situation where he has Deontay in big trouble like that and this time he will be able to finish him off?
I'm very confident that Luis is going to be in that same spot or different but in the same scenario and actually be able now to finish job.
He has dedicated 12 weeks in Las Vegas to a camp and he has really given everything that he obviously couldn't the first time around. So at the end of the day it's 1000% he will be there. He is a much superior boxer, fighter, thinker and has the experience.
Wilder has the experience over 10 defenses but Luis has experience over a history of fighting since he was 10 years old. So that's going to make all the difference when it comes down to all things being equal in condition.
Luis could you also think back to round 7 and from your point of view how close did you think you were from a knockout?
As soon as I made the connection and hurt him and I saw him where he was and I knew I was going to finish him and that the fight was over basically. I haven't had any other situation like that where I hadn't gotten a knockout in a scenario like that. So it's just a matter of putting some punches together and winning this fight.
I don't really remember which punch it was. It's just like a flash it was probably the right hook that did the damage but after that I can't remember what was doing more damage or not.
Did you feel like the ref could have or should have stopped the fight at that moment?
I have no quarrels with the referee. At that time he was an eight time defending world champion and he should have been given the opportunity to defend himself and obviously fight and I felt like the referee probably did the right thing.
Herman was it just your decision to setup headquarters in Las Vegas as opposed to training out of your facility in Miami?
It was really a team decision. We were mulling it over for some time before we found out 100% that the fight was on. We considered California and a few other places.
Luis is definitely a family man and he is here and there and he is at the kid's events and school events and plays and whatever it takes. He is there. And at the end of the day that's not going to really drive and mix well with winning a championship and absolutely being at his very best.
So it was an easy decision. It was just a matter of where we were coming.
Was it a concentrated decision to be in better shape than the first fight and do you anticipate being around the same weight or do you believe you'll be lighter for the rematch?
Absolutely. It's never been about weight loss. I have always fought around the same weight but I'm definitely leaning out fat and transferring to muscle. So it was a conscious decision with everybody and it's been a very productive 10 - 11 weeks here so far.
How does your new strength and conditioning coach help you heading into this super fight?
Coach Larry Wade has brought professionalism to the camp that fits right in with what we already do as far as schedules and professionalism. I got a new look at some of the stuff that's being done with fighters. So it was a nice change and obviously sometimes it can be the same thing but just approached differently and the body will react better and that's what it was. I'm very happy with coach Wade.
What has been the most unique training method that's been implemented in this particular training camp?
There have been a few things obviously. If I had to pick one thing, it's been the pool work.
How will being away from his family impact the training and preparation for this fight?
It will help 1000% in the discipline and sacrifice for the fight. I miss my family so it's more fuel on a daily basis to to be heavyweight champion.
Is this fight more of a personal mission for you to beat Deontay or is it more so simply avenging the loss? Is that more of a greater motivator for you for this fight?
I have absolutely nothing personal towards Deontay. I respect him as a man, father, human being and that's got nothing to do with nothing. It's all about being a world champion, coronating myself that night on the 23rd, achieving my goal since I was 10 years old.
Does Andy Ruiz's win serves as a special inspiration or motivation for Luis for this fight?
He is very happy that Ruiz won the fight. It was his destiny that night to do so and no one is taking that from him and I'm very proud of him and obviously any Latin fighter that has any kind of prosperity in the sport is great for sure.
Do you think Andy will beat Joshua again and do you foresee maybe a title unification between two Latin Heavyweight Champions?
I would be ecstatic to have a unification battle period and even more ecstatic if it were between two Latin fighters. As far as Ruiz winning or not, I'm not 100% sure on which way it goes but I would like to see him come out the victor once again.
All right. Thank you very much to Luis Ortiz, Herman Caicedo, thank you very much gentlemen. We look forward to seeing you next week during fight week in Las Vegas - Luis Ortiz challenging Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World next Saturday November 23 live on FOX Sport PBC Pay-Per-View. A big night of live action.
Now we get set for the champion as we go ahead and look at a man who has a record of 41 wins and no losses, one draw, 40 wins coming by way of knockout. He actually earned his Bronze Bomber nickname when he won a Bronze medal for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games.
He is boxing's longest reigning Heavyweight World Champion having held his championship since January 2015. He will be making the 10th defense of his championship. Now if he is successful next Saturday November 23 he will join the likes of Joe Louis. Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Tommy Burns, the Klitschko Brothers as those with 10 or more consecutive successful title defenses.
He is a rising star out of the ring as he was ranked 34 on ESPN's World Fame 100 list, the top spot for any boxer. He is an active champion as this will be the third title defense in his last 11 months.
Ladies and gentlemen with a knockout percentage of 95% please welcome the Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. Deontay, do you have opening thoughts?
What's going on? What can I say? November the 23rd is going to be an amazing, amazing, amazing time for boxing and boxing fans. Me and Luiz Ortiz, the first fight is self-explanatory. It was an amazing fight. It was a thrilling fight.
It was a fight that kept everyone on the edge of their seats from the first round through the 10th round. No one knew what was going to happen until it happened and here we are again. The same effect, the same momentum, the same game plan coming in for us. I'm sure it's the same for him. He wants to be the first Cuban Heavyweight Champion of the World and - I still want to keep my title.
This is what it's all about in the Heavyweight Division. The big boys. It's the heavy hitters where one hit can end everything no matter how hard a person has worked, no matter how many weeks, how many moths. One fight, one night, one blow can end it all. And we already know I'm the hardest hitter, probably in boxing history period.
I'm coming to keep my title. November 23 will be a great moment and I can't wait.
What was your thought process of wanting to grant Luis Ortiz a rematch?
There were several reasons. One, he is one of the best in the world. No one has dared to give Ortiz the opportunity even after I defeated him the first time.
Most of the times when you win, especially when you knock him out, other guys are willing to fight him. They see weaknesses. They see kinks in his armor. But Ortiz's situation in this case, none of these guys still they didn't want to fight him then and they don't want to fight him now.
So I wanted to give him an opportunity again to prove all doubt about our first fight that we had.
Secondly, Ortiz has a family. I grew a great bond with Ortiz the first time with his child and my child, as she was born with a disorder as well. So I know personally how hard it is and how much it takes to take care of a child with a disorder. It takes a lot of money and it takes a lot of care and I grew a great bond with him.
So I have seen him as one of the top guys in the heavyweight division and I want to bless him. You need money to support them and I wanted to bless him again for not only for him being a great warrior, one of the best in the world, but also for his family. I wanted to bless his family and put him on pay-per-view.
This might be his last at 40 years old. Coming in we all know when you fight Deontay Wilder I take something from you. I take years from your life. And that is me going to him again to get some more. You already got some these sweet potatoes and now he's coming back for seconds. And I'm ready to fill his mouth full with it.
What have you taken from that Joshua vs. Ruiz fight to make sure you avoid hitting those pitfalls next Saturday?
So me and Anthony Joshua, we have different mindsets. My mindset is very strong. It's way stronger than him. I spoke about this before and Joshua, he called it upon himself. He knew he was going to lose one day. He had spoken about it.
He had spoken it to the universe and even when it was time for it to happen, look, he gave his belts over to Ruiz. He literally transported his belts to this man. His energy gave his belts to this man.
My mindset is different. I'm a totally different king. I'm a totally different beast. I'm the best in the world and I prove it each and every time I go in the ring.
I'm not worried about going in and making any mistakes and stuff and if I do make any mistake in the ring, rest assured I will correct it as the fight goes on. I see this fight going one way and that's Deontay Wilder knocking out Luis Ortiz point blank and period. You know it, he knows it, I know it.
I know when we were in the ring the first time he hit me with everything in the kitchen sink, stuff that he knows that he usually hits opponents with and they go down. But I'm a different beast and with that being said I have got a lot of things that I have got to do. I'm fighting for one champion. One face. One name. That's the unification and nothing is going to get in my way of that. Nobody.
Did you watch anything with Tyson Fury in WWE and if you did what did you think of Tyson's performances?
I didn't. I didn't even get a chance to see it. I wish I actually got a chance to see it. I would have loved to see how he transformed from boxing to WWE. Although WWE is more entertainment as far as acting things out and boxing is more serious. We risk our lives for sure.
But it would have been refreshing just to see how he does. I don't hold grudges and I don't have ill will towards any fighter. No fighter at all because I'm a fighter myself and I understand what we go through as fighters.
If any fighters have the opportunity to do other great things outside of the boxing ring I'm all for it because most fighters, they have been doing it for so many years, especially the ones they have been doing it since they were kids. They feel like this is all they have got. This is all they know how to do.
If all you know how to do is fight and let somebody dictate your career, then I feel sorry for you. The ones that know how to get out and go get another income or another resource, I congratulate you. That's how I feel with that. I didn't get to see it but hopefully I see a rerun or something and see how he did.
Does that nice round number of 10 title defenses mean anything to you?
It's definitely not easy to do. It's a great accomplishment for myself and for my career. It's definitely going to carry with me as I rack up these numbers. But to be honest at the end of the day it's just what it is. It's a number.
It's a great honor to be able to say this is my tenth title defense that I'm about to have, especially when many thought I was never going to be the heavyweight champion. And here I am 10. 10. 10 title defenses out of 41 fights and 40 have been knockouts.
It's amazing to be at this point in time and right now all I could do at this point in time for my career is just rack up numbers.
I have always fought for a legend's 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 that has ever done it.
When people think about boxing I want them to say Deontay Wilder and I'm doing everything in my power and I have done everything in my power to try to bring it to be and I'm still doing it right now to be the best. And if numbers are what makes you standout. If people look at numbers and see that's what makes you standout, then so be it.
But not only do I want the numbers to standout for me, I want my actions to speak as well too because actions speak louder than words any day and that's what it means to me.
How did you survive that seventh round and what did that teach you about yourself when you are in that kind of crisis?
The seventh round was an amazing time for me. It allowed me to see what I'm really made of. It allowed the world to see what type of champion and a true champion that they have in America and he has been here.
With that seventh round being under the conditions that I was under, I was very proud of myself to be able to handle those situations. To be able to go into the fire like that for one, plus just taking the fight going in to the fire like that with a flu. You know proper protocol is to cancel that and wait to a later date until you are healthy.
But being me, I'm a hard headed. I always do things that many boxers don't do and I think that's part of wanting my legacy to be different from the rest. I don't want the same old, I want to be different. That's why I do the things that I do.
How did you view what happened in the seventh round and did you think you had control of the fight after you scored your first knockdown?
I never go there and get ahead of myself. I'm always taking care. You want to be honest, in the fifth round the bell saved him.
I would say the bell saved you in the seventh round, didn't it?
Well I wouldn't say so because he still had 40 seconds. How many seconds did I have in the fifth round to finish him off? He had 40 seconds and he couldn't do it. He threw everything, everything. If you know anything about a flu it makes you weak mentally, physically, emotionally and he couldn't get me out. He threw everything.
What do you remember about that round when he was throwing and what was going through your mind as he has you up against the corner post?
Yes. I remember getting buzzed. How it first happened is we threw a punch together but he landed before me and that's what buzzed me the first time but it was like a slight buzz the first time. And then I tried to bluff it but I didn't bluff it.
When I bluffed it I wasn't separating myself from him. I didn't have enough distance apart from him. I was polling my jab just to let him know I'm still here, I'm active to bluff from that slight buzz that happened.
He was an experienced fighter and he caught on that I was buzzed and definitely he came again with the right hand and then that's when it became a severe buzz. I was never hurt.
I think people use hurt too much. They throw that round too much because they don't understand the difference between buzzed and hurt. I advise anybody if you are in boxing and you want to talk about boxing, experience some of things that we go through. Go in the ring, get hit and see what it feels like to get buzzed or maybe even get knocked out.
But I understood everything that was going on with me. I was coaching myself internally my inner voice was telling myself to keep going. Make sure the referee sees you. Make sure you just keep hitting him.
I didn't want to make any punch effective because I didn't want to waste any unnecessary energy because I wanted to be able to recover. So I didn't want to use that much energy and so that's why I hit him anywhere I could no matter where it was so that the referee could understand that I'm very active. I'm aware and I can still fight.
I don't think I got enough credit for that. That's where the commentaries that were commentating the fight, they didn't understand what I was doing, how I was closing in the perimeter on him. I didn't give him enough space where he could release out enough punches. I stayed close to him in a peer to peer. I didn't get no credit for the intellect that I had in the ring coming around in the seventh round.
So I knew what I was doing and when the bell rung as you can see I knew exactly where I was. I went right back to my corner and I still was talking shit going back there too.
What is your response to Ortiz saying that some of what you do is possibly illegal or beyond the rules?
You know I have never heard of that so I think that he is being sarcastic. Only thing that's criminal is me hitting people with the right hand and almost killing them. That's the only thing I can go with.
As far as in the ring I don't know what can be criticized. I would love to know myself to be honest.
I want to know that because if it's something to tear me down or something like that, then that will make me even more motivated towards Ortiz if he's trying to try to tear me down after I have blessed him twice.
I would love to know what he meant by that. That could be good for raising my blood and make me want to even more hurt him more than what I want to do now.
So he need to clarify that for me before I take it the wrong way. We know when I get mad, it's over with. It's over with. So right now I'm mutual with him. I'm very respectful. He said thank God for me, I blessed him a second time. A second time. A second time ladies and gentlemen, when I didn't have to.
So I need that clarified or I'm going to take this the wrong way and I'm really going to want to beat him down.
When you say that you want to leave no doubt this time, do you believe that getting a win is enough to silence any doubters or does it have to come from another knockout?
A win is a win whether it's ugly, pretty or in-between. A win is a win. I never want to leave the ring without a man being knocked out. I knock you out. That's the rules that I play with in this boxing industry. I don't play around with no one. I don't act like I play around with you and everything I say I mean.
I make it loud and clear. I meant it what I said, I say it loud and clear so there is no miscommunications between my language and the words that I chose to use. I'm a knockout artist. That's what I plan to do, to knock you out. That's plain and simple.
There are no other better words that can explain that. I come to knock you out point blank, period. I don't care who you with, where you are from or what you've got going on at that time of your life. You sign the contract. You step in the ring with me now you're getting blessed.
Did you think that you two might have to run it all the way back again or did you think that that part of your career against Luis Ortiz was over?
After that fight I felt like I wanted to run it back. It was such a great fight, I definitely wanted to run that one back with him. There was a moment in time where I felt like there was a part of me proving myself as a heavyweight champion.
Everybody has got their own different opponents that they look and say okay, I believe him. He is the real deal. I think with Ortiz it opened up a lot of people's eyes. I know for a fact it opened up a lot of people's eyes and it allowed a lot of the haters or the doubters I will say, it silenced the doubters and it made them a big fan of mine.
Now there is an uproar about Deontay Wilder not only because of the Ortiz fight but after my actions of what I have done after that and here we are again running back around with Ortiz too.
I always wanted to fight him again because I feel like it would be good for boxing. It will be great for pay-per-view because of what we did the first time.
If given the chance at whatever point in time whether it be during your career or after your boxing career is done, given the opportunity to go to WWE and kind of do the same thing that Tyson Fury did for the past month, would you take it?
WWE was a thing that we years ago talked about as far as promotion and different things and that's the reason why he is doing it for promotion. He is trying to get his name bigger in America and that's a good route to take because WWE has millions upon millions of followers that look at it.
So that was a good approach for him trying to build his name especially after coming from his Vegas shows and their ticket sale. The only reason he sold the first time was because he was coming to have a fight with me.
So now he is trying to find some type of way to market himself even more before the rematch or the fight. We are going to tell the difference when I fight in Vegas, you are going to see the difference of what I do and what he did and we will know for sure who sold the pay-per-view and I guarantee you right now it's going to be me.
But if the opportunity came by at this point in time who knows. It all depends on what I have got going on at the moment in time or when the opportunity presents itself what the scale will be looking like.
My stardom has grown tremendously everywhere. I have got multiples of countries wanting to host me to their country. I'm popular right now. Life is great and I just want to continue to add to that.
I can't say no and I can't say yes. You know, I'm going to keep that bridge open. You never want to burn bridges because you may never know when you may need to cross them again. So that bridge is still open.
Do you have any final comments Deontay before we get to Las Vegas next week ahead of your championship defense?
I just want to tell all the fans of boxing and fans that are going to tune in to boxing, I just want to say thank you so much for your support. Thank you so much for your time and your willingness to understand this sport. It's a brutal sport and I always say it all the time, this is not a gentleman sport for me.
It may be for others, but for me we are not asking each other to hit each other in the head. We're doing it on will because we are getting paid to do so. We have a job that we have to do. You might as well call us hit men because that's what we do.
We've got a contract to beat somebody up and we sign it and we go in and we have got a name on the paper and there is a price on his head and I'm going to do my job well like I always do.
So I appreciate you guys so much. The last fight with Ortiz it was amazing fight. It was an exciting fight. You didn't know who was going to win and this is the fight that you want to be looking at. This is the fight that you want to tune into and pay your money.
If you can't be there, click that pay-per-view button. You want to see a fight where you don't know what's going to happen but you know that at point in time something is going to happen, Wilder vs. Ortiz is the fight to see.
I can't wait to perform for you guys as I always do. I can't wait until you guys witness that you have a bad man in Deontay Wilder in America and we aren't going anywhere.
Again, thank you guys for your love. Thank you guys for your time, and thank you for your money. I love you. God bless and I can't wait. BombZquad!
ABOUT WILDER VS. ORTIZ II
Wilder vs. Ortiz II will see boxing's longest reigning heavyweight world champion Deontay "The Bronze Bomber'' Wilder defending his WBC title in a rematch against once-beaten Cuban slugger Luis "King Kong'' Ortiz Saturday, November 23 in FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View action live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Three-division champion Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz seeks a title in another division when he takes on Miguel "El Michoacan" Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship in the co-main event.
Pay-per-view action begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features undefeated rising star Brandon "The Heartbreaker" Figueroa making the first defense of his WBA Super Bantamweight Title against former champion Julio Ceja while undefeated Mexican power-puncher Luis Nery battles Puerto Rico's Emmanuel Rodríguez in a matchup of former bantamweight champions.