The few remaining minor details are being ironed out to finalize contracts for the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz rematch.
Multiple sources informed BoxingScene.com on Friday that those issues will be rectified soon and that an official announcement is imminent. Wilder-Ortiz II likely will be announced next week, which would afford everyone involved in this pay-per-view event more than two months to promote it.
Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight title versus Ortiz on November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, as BoxingScene.com previously reported. Showtime is expected to distribute the Wilder-Ortiz rematch as the main event of a four-fight telecast.
The official announcement will be a mere formality for a fight that, for all intents and purposes, has been considered a done deal for more than a month.
Al Haymon, who advises Wilder and Ortiz, considered FOX Sports as Premier Boxing Champions’ broadcast partner for the Wilder-Ortiz rematch. He ultimately chose Showtime, which has televised each of Wilder’s past four fights either live on that premium cable channel or via pay-per-view.
FOX aired back-to-back Wilder fights – technical knockouts of Chris Arreola and Gerald Washington – in July 2016 and February 2017. NBC previously showed Wilder’s 11th-round stoppage of Johann Duhaupas in September 2015.
Showtime made a considerable commitment from its 2019 boxing budget to televise Wilder’s last fight live on the network. Wilder delivered a devastating first-round knockout of mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in that May 18 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Fourteen months earlier, Wilder became the first fighter to beat Ortiz in a fight that took place at that same venue. The long-reigning champion dropped Ortiz in the fifth round, withstood severe trouble late in the seventh round and floored Ortiz twice more in the 10th round, when their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped.
Showtime also televised Wilder-Ortiz in March 2018.
If Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) can get past Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) a second time, the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native is contractually committed to another rematch with Tyson Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs). Wilder and Fury fought to a controversial split draw December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Wilder-Fury rematch could take place as soon as February 22 if Wilder overcomes Ortiz and England’s Fury defeats Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) on September 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing