Wilder vs. Ortiz with clear path to Nov.4
By Jim Dower: Former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) is close to agreeing to step aside so that WBC champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) can face #1 WBA Luis “King Kong” Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) on November 4 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Wilder-Ortiz fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Stiverne, 39, has been an obstacle keeping the Wilder-Ortiz fight from being made, as he’s mandatory for Wilder, and he doesn’t wish be steered around. Stiverne wants his title shot and doesn’t wish to wait for the fight to take place until after Wilder defends against Ortiz. Never the less, Stiverne is working out a deal with the World Boxing Council for him to step aside so that Wilder can face the 38-year-old Ortiz next
According to Dan Rafael, Stiverne will fight on the undercard of the Wilder-Ortiz fight against a still to be determined opponent. Stiverne would still need to win that fight for him to get the title shot against the winner of the Wilder-Ortiz. It’s unclear how much money Stiverne will be paid for him to step aside for the Wilder v. Ortiz fight to go ahead as planned. It would be a shame if Stiverne loses his fight on the Wilder vs. Ortiz card.
Wilder-Ortiz still isn’t a done deal though, but the fight is at least a little closer with Stiverne on the verge of stepping aside.
Stiverne has just seen action in one occasion since losing to Wilder by a 12 round unanimous decision in January 2015. Stiverne struggled to beat journeyman Derric Rossy by a 10 round unanimous decision in 2015, Stiverne has been out of the ring ever since. Wilder has defended his title 5 times in making voluntary defenses one after another.
Ortiz is the WBA mandatory challenger to IBF, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. There’s no word whether the World Boxing Association will remove Ortiz if he challenges Wilder for his WBC title. It’s something that potentially could result. It would make little sense for the WBA to keep Ortiz as their mandatory if he gets beaten by Wilder. Ortiz wants to fight Joshua. If Ortiz beats Wilder, then he’ll need to defeat Stiverne in his next fight for him to get a crack at Joshua in a unification fight. Stiverne comes next for the winner of the Wilder vs. Ortiz fight as long as he wins his next fight.
Ortiz has looked good at times in wins over Bryant Jennings and Tony Thompson. However, in Ortiz’s last 2 fights against Dave Allen and Malik Scott, he’s not looked good. Whether that’s a case of Ortiz having aged or simply him facing bad styles for him is unclear. Ortiz hasn’t fought since December 10 last year when he beat Allen by a 7th round knockout. By the time Ortiz does fight Wilder, he could have a lot of rung rust on him which isn’t a good thing for a fighter his age. Ortiz is listed at 38 but some boxing fans suspect that he’s at least 5 years older than that.
- Andy Ruiz sounding desperate, asks Joshua & Wilder to face him next
- Frank Warren says Joshua vs. Wilder not happening, wants AJ to fight Dubois
- Eddie Hearn waiting/hoping contract for Joshua vs. Wilder from Saudis
- Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs. Wilder could happen in March or April in Vegas or Wembley