WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will step back in the ring later this year to face Luiz Ortiz in a rematch of their memorable fight from March 2018.

Deontay Wilder Ortiz rematch
Deontay Wilder (left) will mace Luis Ortiz (right) in a rematch of their thrilling 2018 fight. (Image: Al Bello/Getty)

The first fight between the two ended with a TKO victory for Wilder, but only after a back-and-forth affair that nearly saw Ortiz deal Wilder the first loss of his career.

Wilder Makes Announcement on Social Media

The rematch was announced by Wilder on Tuesday night via social media.

“To all my fans, I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly,” Wilder wrote. “All my controversial fights must get dealt with ASAP.”

It’s probably inaccurate to call the first fight controversial, though it’s easy to see where the champion is coming from. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) had rarely been tested before meeting Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs), and looked like he might take command of the fight after scoring a knockdown in the fifth round.

But Ortiz fought back, and in the seventh round, it looked as though the Cuban might finish the fight. Wilder was stunned at one point and clearly hurt by a barrage of punches, but rallied back to finish off Ortiz in the 10th round.

Many boxing fans are still waiting for fights between Wilder and the other two fighters with a legitimate claim to the heavyweight championship: unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) and lineal title holder Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs). But it’s hard to call the announcement of another fight with Ortiz a disappointment given the excitement generated by their first encounter.

Since that bout, Wilder has fought Fury to a draw before crushing Dominic Breazeale via first round knockout earlier this month.

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reported that the Wilder vs. Ortiz rematch will likely take place either on Sept. 7 or Sept. 28. ESPN cited sources as saying that the fight will likely be broadcasted on Fox pay-per-view.

Fights With Fury, Joshua Still Likely

According to an ESPN report, it’s likely that after the Ortiz rematch, Wilder will opt to fight Adam Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) sometime early in 2020. However, Wilder co-manager Shelly Finkel told The Sun that there are still plans in the works to make sure his fighter will eventually meet up with Joshua and Fury.

“I had dinner the other night with [DAZN executive] John Skipper, we discussed the Joshua fight and I also have been in touch with [Fury promoter] Top Rank,” Finkel told The Sun. “These two fights are too important for the fighters and the sport, they will both happen.”

In the meantime, fans will have to settle for what is expected to be a competitive bout with Ortiz later this year. According to Ladbrokes, Wilder is a 2/9 favorite in the bout, while Ortiz can be backed at 3/1.

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