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Luis Ortiz to face Alexander Dimitrenko on March 5 on HBO

dimitrenko434333By Allan Fox: Interim WBA heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) will be facing former heavyweight contender Alexander Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KOs) on March 5 on HBO Boxing After Dark at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C, according to Dan Rafael.

Ortiz’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions had problems finding an opponent for the 36-year-old Ortiz, as many heavyweights were said to have turned down a fight with them. The 33-year-old Dimitrenko was accepted by HBO, which is kind of surprising because Dimitrenko’s career has tanked since he was stopped in the 11th round four years ago by Kubrat Pulev in 2012.

Since that loss, Dimitrenko has fought mainly poor journeyman in beating Drazan Janjanin, Milos Dovedan, Zoltan Csala, Patryk Kowoll, Ivica Perkovic and Samir Kurtagic. The 6’7” Dimitrenko was a fighter that was groomed for a long time to be an eventual world champion, but he never panned out.

Born in Russia, Dimitrenko has an Eastern European style of fighting, but he lacks punching power, defensive skills and a good chin. Dimitrenko was beaten by Eddie Chambers by a 12 round majority decision in 2009 in a fight that was one-sided from start to finish. Dimitrenko has wins over fighters like Michael Sprott, Albert Sosnowski, Luan Krasniqi, Derric Rossy, Timo Hoffmann and Ross Puritty.

Ortiz likely scared away a lot of potential candidates to face him with his recent 7th round knockout win over Bryant Jennings last December. Ortiz fought with a flu and was still tremendous with the boxing skills and punching power that he showed in defeating Jennings.

According to Rafael, the following heavyweights turned down the fight against Ortiz: Andy Ruiz, Andrey Fedosov, Carlos Takam, Alexander Ustinov and Bermane Stiverne.

We don’t know what the reasons were for these heavyweights allegedly turning down a fight against Ortiz. Perhaps they wouldn’t have been given enough time to train for the fight, and it would be very important to have a full eight weeks of training camp to get ready for a talented heavyweight like the 6’4”, 245lb Ortiz. It’s not a fight that you want to go into off of only five weeks of training.

Dimitrenko has the size to reach Ortiz. However, without much punching power, Dimitrenko is going to struggle to keep Ortiz off of him. Dimitrenko has been around forever, but his career just never took off. He’s going to be facing easily the best fighter of his career in Ortiz, and it’s coming sat a really bad time for him. Even if Dimitrenko fought Ortiz earlier in his career, he likely would have been over-matched, but now at 33 and seemingly past his prime, Dimitrenko is going to be in deep trouble in this fight.

It would be unfortunate if this is the type of opponents Ortiz will be fighting for the remainder of his career. It’s quite possible that he could age out fighting no names, even if he eventually beats the WBA “regular” heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev to pick up a title.

The contract for the Ortiz-Dimitrenko fight isn’t signed as of yet, but the two fighters have agreed to the terms. Dimitrenko is now promoted by Greg Cohen.

Also on the Ortiz vs. Dimitrenko card is #1 WBO welterweight contender Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) facing #4 WBO Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) in a fight for a welterweight title. This will be the co-feature bout.

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