By Charles Brun: Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will now be fighting their rematch in November instead of the previously scheduled September 28 date, says Mike Coppinger. This is likely a strategic move on Wilder’s management’s part in moving the Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) rematch to November.
Having the Wilder-Ortiz fight pushed to November will put it close to the date of the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch. As of now, Wilder is supposed to be fighting a rematch with lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on February 22.
Obviously, that fight isn’t going to happen in February. Wilder isn’t going to return to the ring three months after his rematch with Ortiz in order to fight the slippery, eel-like Fury. After Wilder’s rematch with Ortiz, 40, he’s going to wait for the smoke to clear from the Joshua-Ruiz Jr. rematch. Once that fights over, Wilder will likely dump Fury overboard, and face the winner of the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
There will be far more interest in Wilder vs. the Joshua-Ruiz Jr. winner than there would in a rematch against Fury. We saw recently that Fury can’t sell tickets in the U.S when he fought Tom Schwarz. Wilder will go after the money fight against the winner of the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch, because he won’t have to single-handedly sell tickets. Against Fury, Wilder would be doing all the work in bringing ticket buyers in the U.S all by himself. The American boxing fans aren’t enamored by Fury, because he’s still an unknown and he has an ugly fighting style.
Fury’s promoters need to have a back-up plan for February
Tyson’s promoters at Top Rank Boxing need to have a good Plan-B option for Fury to fight in February if/when Wilder drops out of the bout to face the Joshua vs. Ruiz Jr. rematch winner. It wouldn’t be a good idea for Top Rank to trot out another Tom Schwarz level heavyweight to put in with Fury, hoping to impress the casual U.S boxing fans. They tried that with Schwarz, and the fans didn’t fall for it.
Top Rank will have their work cut out for them in finding someone to face Fury. The top fighters in the division will want a cut purse split for a fight with Fury, and it’s unclear whether that would be an option. Fury isn’t a pay-per-view level fighter, so it would be cost Top Rank a lot to get a talented fighter to face him.
Chasing Fury around the ring for 12 rounds isn’t what a lot of the top heavyweights are interested in unless they’re getting good money.
Here are some of the possible options Top Rank can look at for Fury:
- Kubrat Pulev
- Dillian Whyte
- Bryant Jennings
- Joe Joyce
- Adam Kownacki
- Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Michael Hunter
- Filip Hrgovic
- Ivan Dychko
- Sergey Kuzmin
“It is not going to be Sept. 28,” said @MikeCoppinger, when asked if Wilder vs. Ortiz will take place on September 28. “Yes,” said Coppinger when asked if the Wilder-Ortiz fight will take place in November.