Ortiz-Wilder Official: Jermall Charlo On Undercard
In a press release sent out on Tuesday night from Premier Boxing Champions, it was confirmed that WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will face off on March 3rd from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
While this fight was all but confirmed and set for the March date, PBC also announced that Jermall Charlo will be in action as he takes on Hugo Centeno Jr. for the WBC interim middleweight title.
“We’re very excited to bring the heavyweight champion of the world, Deontay Wilder, back to Brooklyn for his seventh title defense and third appearance at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.
“This fight is happening because Deontay wanted to silence his critics by taking on the biggest challenge available. Deontay has an axe to grind with Ortiz and will swing it on March 3. Former 154-lb. champion Jermall Charlo is already a top player at middleweight and plans to prove he’s carried his power with him by facing one of the division’s best prospects, Hugo Centeno Jr., who is coming off a huge knockout victory in his last fight.”
In Wilder’s last defense, originally scheduled to be Ortiz, he handed Bermane Stiverne a devastating knockout on November 4th.
Stiverne, who was the mandatory challenger, stepped aside for Ortiz to battle Wilder in November. Weeks before the fight was sett to take place, Ortiz was pulled from the match after he tested positive for a banned substance. Ortiz was later cleared after the WBC determined he had failed to list medication that he was taking on his pre-testing paperwork, which triggered the positive test. He was assessed a fine and allowed to resume boxing.
If Ortiz wins, he will become the first Cuban born fighter to win a heavyweight world championship.
Charlo won his super welterweight title with a knockout of Cornelius Bundrage in 2015, and eventually achieved the distinction of holding a world title in the same weight class (154 pounds) as his twin brother after Jermell won a title in 2016. After successfully defending his 154-pound title three times, Charlo of Richmond, Texas decided to move up to 160 pounds to win another title in a different weight class. In his debut at 160-pounds the 27-year-old scored a TKO victory over Jorge Sebastian Heiland at Barclays Center on July 29.
The 26-year-old Centeno caught everyone’s attention when he scored a stunning knockout of Immanuwel Aleem in his last fight on Aug. 25. It was enough to springboard Centeno into middleweight title contention. Centeno of Oxnard, California successfully rebounded from a tough TKO loss to Maiej Sulecki on June 18, 2016 with a victory over Ronald Montes before his match against Aleem.