Luis Ortiz is keen to prove that reports of his demise are premature.
The widely-avoided Cuban, who twice gave former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder fits before falling foul of the Bronze Bomber’s vaunted power, believes he still belongs in the heavyweight title equation despite his advancing years.
Southpaw Ortiz, 41, emerges from a year-long hiatus this Saturday against Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores (18-2-1, 16 KOs) with a knockout return seemingly likely, given the Californian’s early defeats against former heavyweight champions Joseph Parker and ‘Prince’ Charles Martin.
Rated No.3 by both the WBC and WBA, Ortiz hopes victory at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will propel him to another title shot though he certainly isn’t taking the younger Flores, 30, for granted.
“I know that [my opponent] will always come to win. From the moment that I decided to be a fighter, I also have that on my mind. I’m always going to prepare like it’s a world title fight. I’m ready and he will know that on November 7, when the bell rings,” Ortiz told journalist George Ebro.
“I don’t think Flores is in a position to defeat me because I have prepared very well. What I want most is that there are fighters who think like him [and fight me] and not like the majority who avoid each other. If you have the desire to fight, to be a champion, then you must fight with the best, as it was in the past, but it is difficult to achieve that in modern boxing.
“It has been difficult for me, very difficult [preparing for this fight]. I’ve had to train a lot at home, run where I can find a space, go to the gym a bit. My coach Germán Caicedo has always been very careful with me and so we have been progressing little by little in this camp.
“This fight is a farewell to the year for me, but in 2021 I hope that new opportunities will come for Luis Ortiz. Whoever says I’m old, that ‘King Kong’ is finished, I suggest you climb into the ring with me and draw your own conclusions.”
Main image: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions.