It was officially announced on Thursday that WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder will defend his title against mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne on Saturday, Nov. 4 in a rematch of their 2015 world title fight.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) dethroned defending champion Stiverne in January 2015 via unanimous decision in what was the promising challenger's toughest fight to date.
Stiverne replaces original opponent Luis Ortiz, who was pulled from the fight by the WBC on Wednesday after he failed a VADA anti-doping test.
Ortiz tested positive for two banned substances that were found in his prescribed blood pressure medication. An issue arose because Ortiz had never informed VADA that he was taking the medication in question.
Manager to Luis Ortiz, Jay Jimenez, wants to clarify the current situation with his fighter and the WBC's decision to move to a new opponent.
"To clarify the Luis Ortiz situation, this is the real and only version of the current process. Mr. Sulaiman and the WBC have NOT suspended or removed Luis from their rankings. The WBC's decision was as follows, they did not sanction the fight based off the fact that they are worried for Luis's health. And to be honest, I must respect and admire their decision because I agree, the fighter's health is paramount. So, the WBC will schedule a visit with one of their approved physicians to check Luis health, and make sure he is 100% healthy and fit to fight, and that the blood pressure pills will not affect him physically."
"Once Luis has passed all physical exams and is medically cleared to fight by the WBC, we will begin to work on a possible fight towards the end of the year. Also, once all is resolved, we hope that we can reschedule the Wilder fight in the first quarter of next year. Wilder has shown much interest in fighting Ortiz, and the best fighters in the division, so I know it will not be a hard fight to renegotiate. Thank you to everyone for your support. This soon will be corrected, and Luis can continue on with his career." ~ Jay Jimenez, Manager of Luis Ortiz