Former world heavyweight title challenger Luis Ortiz has been left wondering what might have been having lost out to WBC champion Deontay Wilder back in March.
As the Cuban pushes for a second opportunity against Wilder, ‘King Kong’ has revealed he wrongly felt he had the fight won when putting ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in a world of hurt during the mid-rounds.
Ortiz had an awesome vision as Wilder stumbled around the ring, picturing his opponent floored and out of it, before current king Anthony Joshua also flat on his back in his imaginary next contest.
Seemingly being one step away from having the chance to become undisputed against Joshua was too much for Ortiz to process and ultimately meant the beginning of the end of his slugfest with Wilder.
This meant Ortiz took his eye off the ball and let Wilder in for that split second he needed to regain a foothold and eventually take over the encounter.
As the veteran explained himself to Lem Satterfield of Premier Boxing Champions, it was quite a spiritual moment for Ortiz at the Barclays Center.
“Round seven was definitely an emotional round. My biggest mistake was that, once I hurt him with the shot, I was already visualizing myself as the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, and as the undisputed champion after knocking out Anthony Joshua. Rookie mistakes,” Ortiz said.
“All of that flashed before my eyes, and then I obviously punched myself out. But even as I was punching, there are some things that I would have done differently with my shot selection.
“Slowing down my punches, shortening them up, being more precise and not so much throwing the flurry of punches I was using.”
Asked by Satterfield whether he believed Wilder was inadvertently given extra recovery time while ringside doctors examined him in his corner before the eighth round, Ortiz replied: “That was absolutely an advantage for Wilder, but also for me as well, because that allowed me time to recover and to rejuvenate after having expended so much energy going for the knockout in the seventh.
“So if it’s good for the goose, then it’s good for the gander, and I’ve never mentioned, nor will I, that the referee gave Wilder a break at that point.”
On how the fight ended in the tenth, Ortiz concluded: “Wilder did not knock me out, even though he hit me with his best shots.
“I wasn’t unconscious and they didn’t take me out on a stretcher. It’s not my mentality to be rescued or saved in that way. It was purely a fatigue stoppage. I couldn’t continue because I was dead tired, so I’m not satisfied.
“The more conditioned, and not the better man, won, because Wilder had no answer for me other than the one right hand in the fifth and capitalizing on my fatigue in the 10th. I would have preferred a more conclusive finish, me being knocked out with birdies fluttering around my head.
“I would rather have Wilder knock my block off and have me knocked out cold. The better man did not win that night in the sense that I got tired. With a rematch opportunity, I can improve conditioning and tweak certain things, here and there, and Wilder will not stand a chance.”