Wilder-Ortiz in the Works for November

Multiple sources have told Boxing Scene that Deontay Wilder’s next WBC heavyweight title defense will come against Luis Ortiz.

Negotiations are nearly finalized for Wilder to oppose Ortiz on November 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It is possible that the fight will take place October 14 at Barclays Center, but it is more likely to be scheduled for November 4.

Barclays Center has been reserved for those two dates by promoter Lou DiBella, whose company, DiBella Entertainment, has promoted Wilder’s recent fights on behalf of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) has a mandatory defense due against Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), from whom Wilder won the WBC title in January 2015. Though the top-rated Stiverne is the only opponent Wilder hasn’t knocked out since he turned pro in November 2008, Wilder won their first fight convincingly and network executives haven’t expressed much interest in televising a rematch of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native’s 12-round, unanimous-decision win in Las Vegas.

Haymon and Don King, Stiverne’s promoter, have been negotiating a step-aside agreement that would pay the Haitian-born, Quebec-based Stiverne a fee for allowing Wilder to defend his title against Ortiz, who’s ranked No. 3 by the WBC.

The 38-year-old Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC) has been one of various heavyweight contenders calling out Wilder since Wilder stopped late replacement Gerald Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the fifth round of their February 25 fight in Birmingham, Alabama. The Cuban contender would, at least on paper, represent the toughest test of Wilder’s title reign, during which the polarizing knockout artist has been criticized by fans and media for defeating five overmatched opponents.

Wilder, who couldn’t be reached for comment, alluded to a surprising pick for his next opponent in a video he released through his Instagram account early Tuesday morning.

“Shout out to all my heavy supporters,” Wilder said, “my Day Ones, my foot soldiers, and my hitters and my haters. Well, it’s only a matter of time, baby. I know y’all been waiting patiently, at least some of y’all. The time is almost up. Who will be that victim, No. 39? See, the thing about it [is], be careful what you ask for, because sometimes you might get it. Announcement soon.”

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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