By Elisinio Castillo
German Caicedo, trainer of WBA interim-heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz, is very familiar with their next opponent, Alexander Dimitrenko.
He crossed paths with Dimitrenko in 2009, when the fighter was training in Germany for a fight he subsequently lost against Eddie Chambers. At the time it was a big upset as Dimitrenko was being built up as the next heavyweight star.
"I spent a month in the same gym where he was training and I found him to be an interesting fighter with a good jab, but without a lot of power,'' said Caicedo to George Ebro. "I don't think he's going to give Luis a lot of problems. He will be one more step in the plan to make Luis a world champion.''
A few minor details have to be worked out, but Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KO) and Ortiz (24-0, 21 KO) will battle on March 5 in Washington in an HBO televised main event.
After Ortiz destroyed durable contender Bryant Jennings in December, Ortiz's handlers found it very difficult to get him a credible opponent for March.
Ortiz's manager says fighters like Andy Ruiz, Andrey Fedosov, Carlos Takam and former world champion Bermane Stiverne were not interested.
There is also another fight looming for Ortiz in May or June, with Alexander Ustinov - which is part of the WBA's tournament to set one world champion at heavyweight. At the moment Ortiz is the interim champ, Ruslan Chagaev is the "regular" champ and Tyson Fury is the "super" champ.
"Our plan is for Luis to fight at least three times in 2015, '' said Jay Jimenez, manager of Ortiz. "But we have no illusions of getting one of the champions this year. Luis is getting popular now at heavyweight, but that makes them want to avoid him."
Ortiz is ready for everyone. He wants the best at his weight and he's willing to face any of the world champions right now.
"Everyone is afraid of me and that's why no one wants to accept a fight with me, '' Ortiz said." But I still have my goal to become the first professional heavyweight champion who was born in Cuba. I'm going to make history. ''