Luis “King Kong” Ortiz joined by Deontay Wilder during media workout
Photos from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Top heavyweight contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz held a media workout in Las Vegas on Thursday as he nears his WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator against former unified champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. taking place September 4 in Labor Day Weekend action headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Also featured at Thursday’s workout was unbeaten super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem as he nears his showdown against Mike Plania which highlights PBC action on FS1 and FOX Deportes ahead of the pay-per-view event.
Tickets for the Ortiz-Ruiz event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online at AXS.com.
The media workout was live streamed on the Premier Boxing Champions YouTube page and can be viewed HERE. The workout also included an interview with former WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, who is currently training in Las Vegas for his FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View showdown against Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius on Saturday, October 15 and offered his take on the Ruiz vs. Ortiz clash.
“I’m going with my heart, and Luis Ortiz is a fighter with heart,” said Wilder, who defeated Ortiz in a pair of heavyweight title defenses, Ortiz’s only two defeats. “Why do you think so many other fighters wouldn’t give him a chance? ”
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday from Las Vegas Fight Club:
“I feel so good both physically and mentally. I’m eagerly awaiting this fight and you’re not going to want to miss it when we get in that ring.
“After I fought Charles Martin, I was back in the gym a week later. Whether I have a fight or not, I’m always active and staying ready.
“I respect Deontay Wilder a lot and I appreciate him picking me in this fight. My intention is to knock out Andy Ruiz. One of us is getting knocked out and I can guarantee this one doesn’t go to the judges.
“I have studied Andy from top to bottom. If I don’t knock you out with one punch, then I’m just going to chip away at you until you can’t go anymore.
“Training camp is winding down and it’s exciting. We’re just waiting for camp to be over and for fight night to begin. My objective is always the same and it doesn’t change. I’m trying to do whatever it takes to beat my opponent.
“Every training camp is different and we’ve made adjustments now just like we have in the past. We’re going to show those adjustments and improvements when the fight comes.
“I’m just focused on myself and doing my job. What’s going to cause Ruiz trouble in there is me, regardless of what kind of style I’m using.
“I’m always trying to reach the top of the mountain. I want the top prize. This is a very important fight for me, but so is every fight. They all get me closer to another world title shot.
“It’s all about training, training and more training. I feel better now than I did when I was 25.”
HERMAN CAICEDO, Ortiz’s Trainer
“Ortiz has been even more focused and more lasered in, and that says a lot. He’s always ready and puts his heart 100% into everything we do. He never leaves the gym and I have to tell him to take it easy.
“The level of focus that he’s shown is a testament to who he is and what he believes in. I’m very happy with what he’s doing this camp.
“He’s not just more motivated, but he’s out-performing the young guys in what we do in the gym. He’s also very strong mentally and I think that’s his biggest attribute. That’s why he’s still here at this age.
“What I know is that Luis and I trust one another in what we’re doing. I don’t know how much chemistry Ruiz and his corner have at this point, so if things get muddy will he trust his corner? I know that my corner will and I will trust him.
“In the end it’s going to come down to skill, dedication, who put in the hard work and who wants it more.”
“This is a huge fight. I’m excited. It’s going to be electric fighting on a huge card. I’m fighting for the number one spot again and I can’t wait. I’m going to put on a show, be the best version of myself and make it all happen.
“I want to fight all the top fighters in the division. My ultimate goal is to become world champion and I have to beat the top guys to get there. Me and Plania both have a lot of momentum right now and that makes it a great fight.
“I’m an exciting fighter and I throw punches in bunches and come forward. I don’t hold and I don’t run. He says he wants to go toe-to-toe, so it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.
“This has the potential to be the fight of the night and I believe it will be. We’re both bringing our A-games. This is a fight everyone should tune in for and I can’t wait.
“I’ve been following my dreams and just trying to make everything happen. Plania is an extremely tough fighter who’s faced some top guys. I believe that if I’m the best version of myself I’m not only capable of winning, but of dominating the fight.
“Every training camp is semi-the same, you just tweak some things or tighten something up. The grind is the grind and it doesn’t stop.
“I love to make an action fight. It’s just the beast in me. I don’t care if I’m up on the scorecards in the final round, I’m trying to get him out of there. I don’t like to take a chance with the judges. I have to be smart against a good fighter, but I’m definitely working to get on the inside.
“I take care of my body. I do what champions have to do to be the best that I can be. I feel like I’m in my prime and still getting better and better. You’re always evolving in this sport and I believe the best is yet to come.
“My ultimate goal is to be the mandatory to fight for a world title. I want the world title fight next no matter who it’s against. Stephen Fulton is a great fighter and a strong technical fighter. He’s earned those belts and it’s my job to take them away from him.”
BOBBY MCROY, Aleem’s Trainer
“Mike Plania is a picture of our previous opponents. People aren’t really recognizing how slick he is, but he wants to fight. He definitely wants to come forward, but we’re going to make him back up.
“We follow the flow of the fight. We make our own fight. We dictate what goes on in the ring. That’s what ring generalship is.
“I don’t mind that Ra’eese likes to gamble in the ring sometimes, you just have to gamble smartly. He has that bravado to fight on the inside, but you still have defensive responsibilities.
“We want to send a chilling message that Aleem is number one at 122. We’re going to put on a show and make a big statement. We’re telling the champions that you have to fight us eventually.”