We are expected to see WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder rematch Tyson Fury early next year, but before that happens, Wilder has to get past the man who came closest to knocking him out.
PBC officials confirmed on Saturday that Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) will take on Cuban power puncher Luis Ortiz (31-1-2 NCs, 26 KOs) in a FOX PPV main event on November 23rd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Showtime and FOX, both of whom have contracts with PBC, were in a bidding war to broadcast the pay-per-view. Ultimately, Showtime pulled out of the race because the deal apparently didn’t make financial sense. They paid a lot of money to keep Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale off pay-per-view (and Wilder away from DAZN), and now they don’t even get the rematch of a fight they aired last year.
Wilder knocked Breazeale out in a round back in May, in what was his first fight since his draw with Fury last December. “The Bronze Bomber” fought Ortiz prior to the Fury contest and was nearly knocked out in the seventh round. He rallied back and floored Ortiz twice in the 10th round to get a dramatic comeback KO win.
Ortiz has fought three times since his devastating defeat to Wilder. He knocked out Razvan Cojanu in July 2018, followed that up with a TKO of Travis Kauffman in December, and most recently won a decision over Christian Hammer in March. The 40-year-old has never won a major world title, and this is quite possibly his last chance to do so.
The co-main event is Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) taking on Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) for the WBA world super-featherweight title. I can tell you that this fight was booked in February and was garbage then, and that they’ve rebooked it as chief support for a pay-per-view makes it extra garbage.
If Wilder beats Ortiz again and comes away relatively unscathed, contracts have been signed for Wilder and Fury to fight in early 2020 in a joint ESPN-FOX PPV.