Wilder to defend title against Ortiz on March 3
Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC world heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz in Brooklyn on March 3.
Wilder (39-0) was mooted as the next opponent for IBF and WBA belt-holder Anthony Joshua in a unification bout, but the Briton is closing in on a clash with WBO champion Joseph Parker.
'The Bronze Bomber' will instead face Ortiz (28-0), who lost his shot at the title on November 4 when he failed a drugs test and was replaced by Bermane Stiverne.
After returning with a second-round knockout of Daniel Martz in December, the Cuban has secured a long-awaited meeting with Wilder at Barclays Center.
The reigning WBC champion confirmed he would offer Ortiz another chance after watching his victory over Martz ringside.
Wilder entered the ring and said: "I think you're one of the best and I want to prove I'm one of the best. So for the best to prove they're the best, the best must fight each other. So I'm going to bless you again with a second opportunity.
"I'm always a man of my word. Luis Ortiz you will have your fight, I will bless you again. This time, no excuses.
"Make sure you train hard because I'm coming to whoop your a**.
"Every man that's stepped in the ring with me got knocked out, if you step in the ring with me I'm going to knock your a** out too."
Should Wilder retain his belt against Ortiz, he is expected to tackle the victor of Joshua's clash with Parker later in 2018.