By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder is holding out hope that a fight against Luis Ortiz can be finalized for November 4.
His handlers are working to arrange an optional defense of his WBC heavyweight title against Ortiz for that night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. An agreement cannot be completed, however, until the WBC reaches a resolution with former champion Bermane Stiverne, the mandatory challenger for Wilder’s title.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced last week that intends to come to a compromise soon that’ll satisfy all parties.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) defeated the Haitian-born, Quebec-based Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the WBC title in January 2015. Television executives haven’t expressed much interest in paying a license fee to televise a Wilder-Stiverne rematch, though, because Wilder defeated Stiverne convincingly in that 12-round fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Ortiz is considered a more attractive alternative because the 38-year-old Cuban contender is undefeated (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC) and clearly would be the best opponent Wilder has faced since he won the WBC championship 2½ years ago.
“My coming back, I would love to have an Ortiz fight,” Wilder said during a video interview that was posted to the Premier Boxing Champions website Thursday. “I would love to have that and get that going. You know, Ortiz is considered ‘The Boogeyman’ of the sport, whatever the hell that means. I’m the one that’s calling him out. I wanna see him in that ring, and I do mean soon. If you’re ‘The Boogeyman,’ if people are scared to fight you, let me show you who ain’t.”
The 31-year-old Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, hasn’t fought since he stopped former football player Gerald Washington (18-2-1, 12 KOs) in the fifth round of their February 25 fight in Birmingham, Alabama.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.