By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder hasn’t ruled out moving forward with his fight against Luis Ortiz.
In the most recent video the unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion posted to his Instagram account, Wilder revealed that he has asked the WBC to allow him to fight Ortiz on November 4 despite that the Cuban contender has tested positive for two banned substances, diuretics Ortiz claims were prescribed to control high blood pressure. The WBC wouldn’t allow Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) to fight mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin once Povetkin tested positive for meldonium in May 2016, but Wilder hopes that won’t be the case this time.
“I just wanna let everybody know that I will be fighting November the 4th at the Barclays Center, still,” Wilder said in the Instagram video. “Announcement’s coming soon. We’ll see what’s going on. We’re gonna try to resolve this matter as soon and as fast as possible. I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I know for sure November the 4th it’s still going down.
“And it’s all up to the WBC, whatever they wanna do with it. You know, I’ve already put in the request that I still wanna fight him, no matter what. Because, you know, these motherf***ers gonna do these PEDs. They’re just gonna do it. So if you need some help with me, fine. Let’s make this sh*t still happen. But again, it’s not up to me. So we’ll see what happens, baby.”
Ortiz became the third Wilder opponent in 16 months to test positive for a banned substance. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native hasn’t proceeded to fight either of the first of those two opponents.
The Povetkin fight was canceled by the WBC six days before it was supposed to take place. Nine months later, Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk tested positive for Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, and was replaced by Gerald Washington, whom Wilder stopped in the fifth round of their February 25 fight in Birmingham, Alabama.
If the WBC won’t allow Wilder to fight Ortiz, Bermane Stiverne is the most likely candidate to replace Ortiz.
Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) is the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title and was paid a six-figure sum to step aside and allow Wilder to fight Ortiz. The Haitian-born, Las Vegas-based Stiverne is scheduled to box Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) on the Wilder undercard November 4.
The 31-year-old Wilder defeated Stiverne by unanimous decision to win the WBC title in January 2015 in Las Vegas. Stiverne, 38, remains the only opponent Wilder hasn’t knocked out in a pro career that began in November 2008.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.