by David P. Greisman
Heavyweight fighter Luis Ortiz has come up positive for steroids in testing done for his Sept. 11 first-round stoppage win over Lateef Kayode, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
“[The] commission has suspended him pending a hearing,” Rafael tweeted.
The bout was for the World Boxing Association’s “interim” heavyweight title, though the sanctioning body also has a “regular” titleholder in Ruslan Chagaev and a “super champion” in Wladimir Klitschko.
Kayode, who also had a 2012 draw with then-cruiserweight Antonio Tarver overturned after Tarver tested positive for a banned substance, issued a statement to BoxingScene.com:
“This is God’s work that he looks after me. I have no anger towards Ortiz because this is a mistake that he has to answer to. This is between him and his maker,” Kayode said. “I worked very hard to prepare without any help from drugs and I expect my opponents to do the same. It's not good for the sport or for kids who may look up to us boxers to cheat.
“This time I hope the WBA does right,” Kayode said. “After Tarver the IBO forgot about me, but I believe my promoter and the WBA will not forget. I should be given that belt — or the chance to win it. No one else has the right to be named champion. I was honest. He was not, and I should be rewarded. I felt his power and now I know why he has this power. It did not belong to him. Thank you God.”
Kayod’s manager, Steve Feder, also spoke with BoxingScene.com:
“It's kind of mind-boggling. We all know that this goes in our sport, but to have the same thing happen to the same guy under really basically the same situation, both title-type fights, it's just kind of mind boggling,” Feder said.
“I'm always surprised that these things happen, but I'm not naive about it. Ortiz was always kind of a big guy who typically was much heavier and much slower. When we saw him at the weigh-in, he had said he was putting a lot of work into this training camp and trimming down in weight. When we saw him, he was in a lot better shape than we expected. It crosses your mind for a minute. […]
“Who knows if the outcome would've been drastically different or have been the same? At the end, it doesn't matter. He [Ortiz] cheated, and we need to start making an example of these situations. Tarver paid a huge price for this mistake. Lateef was ostracized, and it turned out he was right. He was incredibly upset about the decision, and he was ostracized from the network. When the news came out, nobody came out and apologized to Lateef. Nobody turned around and said, ‘Now we understand why you have a right to be upset.’
“We're looking at the exact same situation. What is the promoter going to do? Greg Cohen will do whatever he can do make this right. We hope that Golden Boy will do the same. It really comes down to the sanctioning body and boxing. Don't just change the decision on BoxRec. That's not going to do anything. Take the guy that went thru 10 weeks of training and did it right and was honest, give him something so that the guys who are cheating don't think they can get away with it. If there's a slap on the wrist and no real price to pay and eventually after one or two articles it all goes away, what are we making a big deal about, then?
“Absolutely we wanted the drug tests. We wanted before and after. That was my sole request. I'm really glad I requested it,” Feder said. “Had we had what it should've been, had we tested during the camp, we would've found out about this for sure. Thank god it [the banned substance] didn't cycle out.”
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