By Rick Reeno
On Wednesday, Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz advised BoxingScene.com's Ryan Burton that he was ready, willing and able to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on February 25th at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) was scheduled to face Andrzej Wawrzyk, who earlier this week was removed from the fight after testing positive for a banned steroid.
The event will still go forward, with Wilder's handlers pushing hard to find a replacement for the Fox televised headliner.
"Tell Wilder, 'hey I'm here, I'll take the February 25 fight. Let me know and stop wasting the fans' time with these fights'," Luis Ortiz (27-0-2, 23 KOs).
The lead promoter of the event, Lou DiBella, has informed BoxingScene.com that his company, and Wilder's team, are not considering fighters who have a history with testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
In two out of his last three fights, Wilder's has lost opponents due to positive drug tests. Last May in Russia, he was scheduled to face Alexander Povetkin in a mandatory defense. The fight fell out, just a week before it was scheduled to take place, after Povetkin came up positive for a banned performance enhancer.
"We eliminated anybody from consideration who has a history of PEDs. We are not going to fight any boxer with a history of PEDs on a month's notice," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.
Ortiz tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone following a September 11 knockout victory over Lateef Kayode in Las Vegas. He was suspended, fined and had the result of the fight changed to a no contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
He was suspended for eight months from the date of the fight and fined him $8,000 (10 percent of his $80,000 purse) and he was even required to pay commission $450 for the lab test on his sample. Besides that, he was also required to perform 15 hours of community service...