WBC champion Deontay Wilder vowed to “get rid” of Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury in his coming fights amid “surreal” scenes at a restaurant opening in West Yorkshire.
America’s Wilder spoke to BBC Sport after tucking into burger and pizza at the Batley eatery and said he would look to unify the heavyweight division after facing Fury early on in 2020.
With hundreds of members of the public chanting and eagerly waiting outside to snap a picture, Wilder said that despite delays in finalising a date, a bout with Ortiz will still take place this year.
“Ortiz is definitely happening,” he said. “I am looking forward to fighting him. After I knock him out I will go to Fury, knock him out and then we will go for a unification.”
American-born Andy Ruiz, who fights under the Mexican flag, currently holds the division’s IBF, WBO and WBA titles after a sensational stoppage of Britain’s Anthony Joshua in June.
Wilder last fought in May with an incredible first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale to maintain his unbeaten record.
“It has been amazing watching all the fighters,” he said. “Moments where it has been memorable and history has been made, and upsets too – the sport has blossomed.
“As a champion, sitting back watching it has been amazing to see what is going on and the dynamics. Once I get rid of Ortiz, I will get rid of Fury too. We will figure it out but Ortiz comes first.”
Unbeaten before the fight earlier this year, Joshua’s loss to Ruiz was one of the biggest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing.
Fury said the manner of the seventh-round stoppage means his fellow Brit is “finished” in the sport, while Wilder predicts another defeat in the rematch.
The bout is pencilled in for 7 December in Saudi Arabia but Ruiz is stalling on the deal over fears about fighting in the Middle East.
Wilder said: “As far as location is concerned, they need to have a neutral venue, one that not only satisfies the fighters but the fans too.
“It should be somewhere people have knowledge about, it is too late to figure out the history of a country. Will it be safe? God forbid, if anything happens to someone or their family. I can understand why Ruiz does not want to go there.
“I saw Ruiz punch Joshua in the temple and it knocked his equilibrium out. He could not recover and that meant he got knocked down four times. When you are in a situation where you have not been before, it is like life teaching you a lot of lessons on the job.
“At that moment on the job for Joshua, he had to learn and could not pull through. But having fallen this time in life, the next time he might pull through because he has experienced it before and he should be able to correct the wrongs.”
Asked who wins the rematch, Wilder replied: “Ruiz in my opinion. I feel Joshua does not know how he lost, and that means he will not know how to set up a proper training camp – but anything is possible.
“Boxing is an amazing sport and you just do not know what is going to happen. That is why I love it.”