By Steve Kim
Originally WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder was scheduled to face Luis Ortiz this weekend at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York in what was a highly anticipated match-up.
But as the Cuban southpaw was removed from the fight after failing a pre-fight drug test administered by VADA as part of the WBC's anit-doping program.
In his place stepped Bermane Stiverne. The same Stiverne who Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) easily defeated in January of 2015 to win the title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Since that point Stiverne has fought just once since that point - a rather unimpressive ten round decision over Derric Rossy, where he was floored early, and that fight took place two years ago.
Many wonder if Wilder might be lacking a bit of motivation in facing Stiverne again.
But Don House, who trains Stiverne stated - "I think he's going to be motivated but it's like his last interview, he's a little distracted or he's talking about other fighters he wants to fight. Talking about Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, look, he's got to stay focused on Bermane.
"But it doesn't make a difference to me if he's motivated or not," continued House, who's fighter weighed in earlier today at a rather rotund 254.75 pounds, to Wilder's 220.75 pounds. 'The point is he's got an opponent in front of him, I never look past an opponent because you never know."
House also shook his head at Wilder's recent statements, where the boxer claimed that he hasn't treated good by the sport.
"And he says boxing hasn't been good to him. I mean, how has boxing not been good to you?," House said
''Boxing's been great to you. The roads been paved, he picks his opponents, he's had perfect matchmaking. Boxing's been great to you. He's been paid, how has boxing not been great to you? Boxing's been wonderful for you."
Wilder-Stiverne is part of a Showtime triple-header on Saturday night.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.