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Luis Ortiz: I can still become world champion

Ahead of his clash with Charles Martin on January 1, Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz believes he is still capable of winning a world title before he retires.

Ortiz, known as ‘King Kong’, bounced back from his 7th round KO loss in his rematch with Deontay Wilder by dispatching Alexander Flores inside one round back in November 2020.

Saturday’s Ortiz-Martin bout will serve as an IBF heavyweight title eliminator, though the victor will need to take part in a final eliminator beyond that to secure mandatory status.

“My mind and my body are in tip-top shape,” Ortiz said. “If anyone thinks that I won’t be up to the challenge, they’re dead wrong. I welcome any challenger, and that includes Charles Martin.

“My strategy and goal has not changed. I want to face the best and be the best. Whatever path that takes me on, I’m fine with it. The goal will still remain the same.

“Everybody that knows me, knows that I don’t mess around in the gym. Throwing punches is what I do best. I take it very seriously. If someone bests me one day, then I say good job and learn the lesson and get better the next day.

“I’ve been able to help Carlos Negron in training, especially because I know he’s fighting a Cuban opponent. I think that will help him and I wish him the best on January 1.

“Nobody is ever going to be able to take away my dream of becoming world champion. I’m going to continue to prepare for my next challenge against Charles Martin. Then I’m going to keep going up from there. I have no reason to believe that my dream won’t come true.

“I’m ready for war. I’m going to come out there and give it all that I’ve got. I’m not worried about any size advantages my opponent might have. My mentality is to just be ready and take on all challengers.

“My name doesn’t get mentioned by other heavyweights because they’re avoiding me. I don’t know why they’re avoiding me, but I’ll be ready when they do call my name.”