When Deontay Wilder first stopped Luis Ortiz in the 10th round of their back-and-forth bout for the WBC heavyweight title, he somehow knew their paths would cross again one day.
Even with potential fights against then-unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua potentially looming at the time, a rematch against Ortiz had always been something Wilder believed would happen. After all, the fight was universally praised and Ortiz nearly scored a big upset when he hurt and nearly beat Wilder in the seventh round.
Fast forward 20 months later and now the two will run it back one more time in the main event of a PBC on FOX pay-per-view. During a recent media call, Wilder was asked by Fightful whether or not he knew this rematch would ever see the light of day.
"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," Wilder said.
The back-and-forth punching, especially in the second half of the bout, made for great drama and Wilder believed a rematch would be just as entertaining.
"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," Wilder said.
But perhaps the real reason for granting Ortiz a rematch is the fact that he wants to give who many consider to be one of the most heavily avoided fighters in the heavyweight division another shot at a championship. In addition, Wilder wanted to also give Ortiz another major payday given how his daughter has a rare skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa and Ortiz moved his family to the United States to give her treatment.
As for what Wilder needs to send a statement as to who is the better boxer between the two, he tells Fightful that he doesn't feel the need to knock Ortiz out. Wilder will try to go for the knockout, but if he wins on the scorecards, he believes the victory is just as valid as a 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," Wilder said.
Wilder vs. Ortiz 2 for the WBC heavyweight title will headline the November 23 PBC on FOX card from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.