Luis Ortiz, Alexander Flores More Than Ready To Stake Claim To Title Shot

It’s been nearly one full calendar year since Luis “King Kong” Ortiz last fought in the ring. Unfortunately for him, our final memory of that November 2019 bout against then-WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was Ortiz down on the canvas, falling to the powerful heavyweight once more.
Fast forward to November 2020 and Ortiz is back on the comeback trail. His first fight will be against Alexander Flores in the main event of PBC’s next fight card airing on FOX on November 7.
A win over Flores puts Ortiz back on the winning column at a much needed time in the heavyweight division. A number of notable heavyweights have been able to make statements with great performances during the pandemic. Alexander Povetkin scored a “Knockout Of The Year” contender against Dillian Whyte, Oleksandr Usyk faced a tough test against Derek Chisora, but passed that test. Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, the two champions atop the division, are set to fight in the coming weeks.
Everything about this fight between Ortiz and Flores almost seems to be set up for Ortiz to push through and try to make one more run at the heavyweight title. Even as uncertain as things are in this division, the one constant among PBC heavyweights is this: win a televised main event and you’re certain to get a big fight next or at the very least, land yourself in a fairly good position to maybe challenge for a title one day.
Which is why it’s so important for both Ortiz and Flores to get this victory. Even if PBC no longer has any piece of the heavyweight titles, they know that things can quickly change. Ruiz became heavyweight champion of the world last year when fortune smiled on him just a couple of months after he had won a fight on a PBC card.
For Ortiz, winning this next fight is more than just getting back on track to fighting for a world title. It’s about proving to the naysayers and skeptics that the “King Kong” that many feared prior to the two losses to Wilder.
“I want people to stop talking shit about King Kong. I want them to know that you can line up anyone against me, doesn’t matter who it is because I want to have another go at fighting for a world title,” Ortiz told me during fight week.
As for Flores, the Californian says he has done everything in his power to prepare for the best version of Ortiz. After losses to Charles Martin and Joseph Parker, there was no guarantee that he would ever fight a boxer of Ortiz’s caliber.
Even he knows that fights like these don’t come every day. A loss against Ortiz could be the last time Flores sniffs the national spotlight and with such a potentially large audience, an opportunity to write a new chapter is present.
“I do think it’s possible I’m being overlooked by Ortiz. I’m just focused on what I can control. I know that one day I might not get these opportunities anymore, so I have to jump all over this one… Beating Ortiz will put me up with the top heavyweights. I think a win is going to definitely lead to a world title fight sooner rather than later,” Flores told me on a recent media call during fight week.
With a year in between fights and in his 40s, the clock could be ticking on Ortiz’s abilities. Although heavyweights are typically late as far as having their abilities go away, the ring rust certainly hasn’t helped things.
Even Ortiz admits that it’s probably been too long since he last fought. Of course, that’s not really his fault given that the majority of the year has been dominated by a global pandemic.
“I’m feeling fine, no extra pressure really. I feel ready both physically and mentally for war. You know, as far as the rest, I think there was a little too much rest here. I can rest all I want in my grave and now it’s time to fight,” Ortiz said.
Flores has finished 16 of his 18 wins inside the distance, so Flores does possess at least some modicum of power. He says he’s expecting the same Ortiz that was outboxing Wilder at times. It’s not just your typical, “can’t get overconfident of my next fight.” With so many uncertainties regarding Ortiz and Flores’ history of failing to win whenever he steps up in competition, he can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.
“I’m expecting the best Luis Ortiz on Saturday night. I’m preparing for the same guy who was beating Deontay Wilder twice,” Flores said.
When talking to Ortiz, there was a level of intensity in his voice that clearly stated two things: He was ready to fight again and that he is angered at the notion of someone actually doubting his skillset.
I asked Ortiz about what that path to a world title would look like if he emerged victorious. The Cuban heavyweight took major offense to the fact the question said “if” not “when” he beats Flores. Even just listening to him, there was an aura of intimidation that few fighters today can possess.
“Don’t you say to me if I beat him. Alexander Flores I’ll say it again, is in my way and my plans are just to be world champion… My plans are just to go out and win this fight just to have the eyes of the world stop saying that King Kong can’t do it, can’t handle the big fights. King Kong is going to demolish anyone because I want to keep fighting for that title shot,” Ortiz said.
There’s no guarantee that the fight between Ortiz and Flores will be a modern heavyweight classic. However, when Ortiz steps into the ring, Flores won’t just be fighting Luis Ortiz, boxer and father. He’ll be fighting “King Kong,” the dynamic knockout artist who struck fear in many heavyweights’ hearts.
The intrigue isn’t in seeing “King Kong,” but more so in seeing if Flores, after two unsuccessful attempts at fighting top heavyweights, can get over the hump and change his career for the better.

Luis Ortiz Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mh7RbleHBI
Alexander Flores Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZk-_fgZC98


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