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Wilder Craves Unification, Says Now Is Time To Step Up, Prove His Worth



Deontay Wilder made clear that now is go time, step up time, the right moment to take stern tests and do what he has to do so that he gets the respect he believes he is due.

The 38-0 (37 KOs) Alabaman who has been slammed by some fans for not taking on the best available foe declared that he cannot be derided now, because he is paying a lesser foe (Bermane Stiverne) step aside money for the right to take on a stiffer test, in Luis Ortiz, come Nov 4 in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.

The long tall Wilder (age 31)  said that really, the only way he will get his just due, is by beating the 38-year-old  Ortiz, who owns a 27-0 (23 KOs) mark and the reputation, according to promoter Lou Dibella as the “bogeyman” of the heavyweight division.

Dibella presided over a press conference at the Dream Hotel in Manhattan on Wednesday, to bang the drums for a tango which will run on Showtime. Ortiz, alas, was present only vocally. An airline snafu ket him stuck in Florida. But via phone he said that Wilder screwed up in deciding to go this route. He is quite cognizant of the importance of being the first Cuban to win a heavyweight title, and he said he’s in it to win it.

Wilder engaged in some trash talk, telling Ortiz to stay clean, keep off PEDs, referencing his past positive for performance enhancing usage.

Wilder clearly wants to shut up naysayers. “If I was from the UK (or Africa) I would be the biggest thing there,” he stated, noting that in the US, fans would often rather back a foreigner rather than be patriotic when choosing their fave hitters. That is especially true towards a black man, he stated.

“We need a unified champion,” he declared and made clear he wants a crack at Anthony Joshua from England after he beats Ortiz. Oh, he’s dialed in, he said, and can see himself stopping Ortiz quick, in round three…or maybe round one. Wilder gave props to the Cuban for being solid, and for having an aggressive style. Dibella too reminded people that Ortiz was an amateur ace and has been widely avoided in the division.

Ortiz too talked a little smack. He said he expects Wilder to run from him come fight night. Also, he thought Wilder sounded nervous, being that he several times muffed the date of the fight. The Alabama athlete responded that he has stuff on his mind, stuff with his kids, and also that he’s been making changes to his team, to become better.

The WBC champ also accused trash talkers of speaking to his face. No one took him up on that…

He told the assembled that he not long ago called Al Haymon and told him he wanted sterner tests and to have fights made that prove his worth. I will note that he signed on to fight Alexander Povetkin but Povetkin screwed that up by testing positive (May 2016)…so that should be noted to folks who think Wilder has been dodgy.

Talk to me; who wins Wilder versus Ortiz, and how?

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.