Lennox Lewis was the last undisputed world heavyweight champion back in April 2000. Ralph Ellis explains how this year could end the wait for another....
"He’s [1.72] in the Method of Victory market https://btfr.co/138899762 to add Ortiz to the long list of victims who couldn’t survive 12 rounds, and [23.0] to score another first round KO."
The only question mark I can see about Deontay Wilder is why, some three years after he outpointed Bermane Stiverne to win the WBC heavyweight crown, he still holds only one title.
The 32-year-old has defended that belt six times, winning every one of them inside the distance. But for some reason he's never fought for any of the other recognised titles.
From the moment he won his crown there was talk of a unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko but it never happened. Was that because Klitschko was scared of him? Or has it been Wilder that dodged the other champions?
After Saturday night we could be about to find out because if Wilder puts away Luis Ortiz when they meet in Brooklyn then there's only one place for him to go next and that's the winner of Anthony Joshua's March 31 date with Joseph Parker.
It means that by the end of 2018 there's a very real chance of us having an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and it's why Wilder against Ortiz has become such a huge contest.
The Bronze Bomber
Wilder, who is [1.38] in the Match Odds, steps into the ring with a record of never having lost any of his 39 professional fights, and only that once against Stiverne having failed to finish it inside the distance.
Incredibly half of those stoppages happened in the first round, including a rematch with Stiverne the last time he fought in November, and the 6ft 7ins giant has more than lived up to his nickname as the Bronze Bomber, gained in recognition of his medal at the 2008 Olympics.
He's [1.72] in the Method of Victory market https://btfr.co/138899762 to add Ortiz to the long list of victims who couldn't survive 12 rounds, and [23.0] to score another first round KO.
Ortiz comes into the ring with his own unbeaten record, winning 24 of his 28 fights inside the distance. But there's a troubling history of positive drug tests, including being stripped of the WBA title in 2014, and then last November this fight being postponed after a problem with prescription drugs he claims he was using to deal with high blood pressure.
At 38 years old, and three inches shorter than Wilder, this looks like a step too far for him and the night when his unbeaten record will go.
Fighting for his daughter
Wilder's story is inspiring. As a 19-year-old he took up boxing in the naïve belief that it was automatically a pathway to riches because he wanted to support his daughter who had been born with Spina Bifida.
They are both fighters. Little Naieya went through half a dozen operations and has now defied doctors who said she would never be able to walk.
Meanwhile Deontay, told when he first entered the gym that he was too tall and gangly and would be better off playing basketball, has risen to the point where many believe he is the one man in the world capable of depriving Joshua of his own dreams.
He's now one fight away from putting himself in the place where he will have to find out.