Less than two weeks after dominating Dominic Breazeale with a first-round knockout, Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) has named Luis Ortiz (31-1) as his next opponent. The bout, which has been rumored to take place at Staples Center in September by the Los Angeles Times, removes the possibility of Wilder participating in a title unification fight against Anthony Joshua or a rematch with Tyson Fury in 2019.
Ortiz had Wilder on the ropes in the seventh round of their first bout last year, hurting him and continuing to pepper him with lefts and rights. He couldn’t finish the champ, though, and lost by technical knockout after eating a nasty right uppercut in the 10th round.
The announcement comes four days before Joshua (22-0) defends the WBA, WBO and IBF titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden. Fury (27-0-1) also returns to the ring in less than three weeks against Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas.
Wilder has said repeatedly that he wants a showdown with Joshua, but didn’t wait until after Saturday’s fight to take Joshua up on his word to “sit down man-to-man.” On the Fury front, Wilder famously fought him to a split-decision draw back in December. When presented an opportunity for a rematch this summer, Fury instead opted for his bout against Schwarz with hopes of another crack at Wilder in late 2019.