By Jake Donovan
Just because Luis Ortiz is the oldest current heavyweight contender, it hardly means he can’t also be the most active.
The 39-year old Miami-based Cuban southpaw is set for what will be his 5th fight in just a 15-month span. BoxingScene,com has learned that Germany’s Christian Hammer has agreed to terms to travel to the United States for a showdown with Ortiz, with their heavyweight clash penciled in for March 2 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“Our goal remains to win the world heavyweight championship, hopefully in a rematch with Deontay Wilder,” Herman Caicedo, Ortiz’s longtime trainer told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday. “In the meantime, we just want to stay active and clean out the rest of the division, fighting anyone willing to get in the ring with us.”
The proposed fight will mark the one-year anniversary—almost to the day—of Ortiz’s 10th round knockout loss to Wilder, which also took place at Barclays.
Ortiz (30-1-0-2NC, 26KOs) pushed the unbeaten defending champion to the brink, recovering from a 5th round knockdown to badly hurt Wilder near the end of round seven. The chance to seize the moment ultimately passed, as Wilder regrouped to floor the southpaw a second time, this time for good in the 10th round of a nip and tuck affair.
There’s been no rest for the weary, as Ortiz has since bounced back with a pair of stoppage wins. The second of the two came in a drubbing of Travis Kauffman last December, last December. Ortiz won each of the first nine rounds before putting away the Pennsylvania-based contender for good in the 10th and final round.
The bout served in preliminary capacity to Wilder’s 12-round draw versus Tyson Fury in the Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner, the first time they shared a card since their aforementioned title clash.
As Wilder is tied up in negotiations for a targeted springtime rematch with Fury, Ortiz looks to return to early career form where he was kept active.
In Hammer (24-5, 14KOs), he gets a serviceable journeyman whom—at the very least—was willing to take the fight. The 31-year old will make his U.S. debut, having fought largely in almost exclusively in Europe over the course of his 10-year career.
“I’ve never worried about who my opponent is,” insists Ortiz, who will get the fight in just shy of his 40th birthday. “My main goal is a rematch with Deontay Wilder, to (avenge) the only loss on my record. I can’t get him next and none of the other top heavyweights know how to return a phone call, so I just fight whoever is willing to get in the ring with me,
“I just want to keep busy. I would fight every month if I could.”
The bout will come as part of a yet-to-be-announced Showtime telecast topped by a super welterweight showdown between unbeaten secondary titlist Brian Castaño and former champ Erislandy Lara.