Luis Ortiz promises drama against Charles Martin on Saturday

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  • Luis Ortiz
    Cuban boxer
  • Deontay Wilder
    Deontay Wilder
    American boxer

Luis Ortiz begins his pursuit of another title shot in earnest this Saturday in Hollywood, Florida.

The 42-year-old Cuban heavyweight is two fights removed from his seventh-round knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in November 2019, his second failed attempt to withstand the monumental power of former WBC titleholder.

Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) rebounded to stop journeyman Alexander Flores in 45 seconds a year later but faces a genuine challenge against another former beltholder, Charles Martin, on an all-heavyweight pay-per-view card.

Ortiz will have been out of the ring for 14 months but he says we’ll see the best version of him.

“My mind is 100 percent and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “On Saturday night, everyone will see that physically I’m also completely ready to become world champion.”

Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) lost his IBF title to Anthony Joshua in less than two full rounds in his first defense in 2016 but is 4-1 since then, including a brutal sixth-round knockout of Gerald Washington in February of last year.

That was almost two years ago, the longest layoff in Martin’s career. However, he’s brimming with confidence. He predicted that he’ll follow Wilder’s lead and stop Ortiz.

Ortiz finds that notion amusing.

“When somebody says they’re going to knock me out, it just makes me laugh and smile,” Ortiz said. “Everybody says that. But you’re facing a fighter who has been through it before, so you can try your best.

“… He’s coming with bad intentions and so am I. Anyone can land the big shot, but it’s going to be me with my hand-raised Saturday night.”

That wouldn’t be shocking given Ortiz’s track record. No one other than Wilder has been competitive with “King Kong.” And only five of his victims have taken him the distance, evidence of his punching power.

He suggests that those watching shouldn’t look away.

“I’m very thankful for this great opportunity that my team has set me up with on Saturday night,” he said. “It’s exciting to be able to give the fans a great show.”

And if things go well? Ortiz has had difficulty luring the top big men into the ring, aside from Wilder. A victory over Martin will put him in a stronger position to get the fights he wants.

“All these guys that are talking, that say my name and claim they want to fight me never seem willing to take that next step,” Ortiz told BoxingScene. “It’s just talk. The others don’t even bother to say my name.

“I don’t know why. I’m ready to beat them all one by one.”