Wilder-Ortiz Negotiating March 3rd Fight
Following a postponed fight in November, and a confrontation in December, it seems that Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will get a chance to finally face off.
In a story first reported by Boxing Scene, representatives for Wilder and Ortiz are negotiating for afight March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. While the deal isn’t finalized, Wilder wants to fight Ortiz next, even after their November 4 bout was canceled due to Ortiz’s failure to adhere to the WBC’s “Clean Boxing Program.”
Wilder went to Ortiz’s last fight to challenge Ortiz in person. They talked trash to each other in the ring after Ortiz knocked out journeyman Daniel Martz in the second round December 8 in Hialeah, Florida.
Wilder in an interview last month that would agree to fight Ortiz again, despite the issues that arose when their fight was canceled late in September, just a week after the official press conference to announce it in New York. Wilder warned Ortiz during that press conference to not create issues for their fight by failing a test for a performance-enhancing drug.
Ortiz tested positive for two diuretics he and his team claim came from medication prescribed to Ortiz for high blood pressure. Even if they were prescribed to him, Oritz’ failure to disclose that he was taking that medication before he was tested was a violation of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s rules.
VADA performs PED tests for the WBC, which refused to sanction Wilder-Ortiz as a fight for its heavyweight championship. Wilder deferred to making a mandatory defense of his title against former champion Bermane Stiverne, who was knocked out in the first round of their rematch November 4th at Barclays Center.
The WBC has since ruled that independent physical examinations determined Ortiz requires medication for high blood pressure and kept the 38-year-old contender in its rankings. Ortiz, who is ranked No. 3 by the WBC, previously tested positive for an anabolic steroid following his first-round knockout of Lateef Kayode in September 2014.
Failing that test cost Ortiz the WBA interim title he won by beating Kayode.
On top of the issue with the WBC, the WBA suspended him for a year and removed him from its rankings once Ortiz failed another test prior to his ill-fated fight with Wilder. Ortiz was the mandatory challenger for WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua before that suspension.