THE climax of their thrilling first fight offered Deontay Wilder the perfect get-out, that is, the chance to never again have to deal with problematic Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz. Yet what preceded his 10th-round stoppage win made enough of a case for Ortiz to chase a second chance and a rematch to take place, which it does this Saturday (November 23) at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

That it takes place speaks to a few things. Firstly, it says a lot for Wilder’s fearlessness and his desire to clear up any grey areas on a record dominated by knockouts of the clean, conclusive variety. Secondly, it says a lot for the WBC heavyweight champion’s reluctance to go down the same path of Tyson Fury as he waits to rematch the ‘Gypsy King’ at some point in 2020.

Instead of killing time against soft touches, Wilder seems happy to risk everything he has, and all he could get, to go over old ground in what could amount to a hiding to nothing. After all, should he stop Ortiz again Wilder will merely be repeating a trick he performed in March 2018. Lose, though, and everything goes up in smoke.

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