Deontay Wilder finally has an opponent for November 4th and it’s not Luis Ortiz.
Former WBC heavyweight champion, Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1), has been tapped to rematch Wilder (38-0) at the Barclays Center live on Showtime. Stiverne replaces Luis Ortiz, a feared Cuban heavyweight that was scratched from the bout after he violated VADA’s anti-doping laws.
WBC heavyweight title fight between Bermane Stiverne (champion) and Deontay Wilder (contender)
Manager to Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, Jay Jimenez, released a statement today when the news of Wilder’s new opponent broke to clarify the current situation with his fighter and the WBC’s decision to move to a new opponent.
“To clarify the Luis Ortiz situation, this is the real and only version of the current process. (WBC President) Mr. Sulaiman and the WBC have NOT suspended or removed Luis from their rankings. The WBC’s decision was as follows, they did not sanction the fight based off the fact that they are worried for Luis’ health. And to be honest, I must respect and admire their decision because I agree, the fighter’s health is paramount. So, the WBC will schedule a visit with one of their approved physicians to check Luis health, and make sure he is 100% healthy and fit to fight, and that the Blood Pressure pills will not affect him physically.”
The cancellation of Ortiz’s appearance is the second violation from Ortiz who also tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2014 before also testing positive for diuretics in 2017.
Luis Ortiz Pops Dirty For PEDs; Heavyweight Title Fight With Deontay Wilder Cancelled https://t.co/ykreaCa3c4
“Once Luis has passed all physical exams and is medically cleared to fight by the WBC, we will begin to work on a possible fight towards the end of the year,” said Jimenez. “Also, once all is resolved, we hope that we can reschedule the Wilder fight in the first quarter of next year. Wilder has shown much interest in fighting Ortiz, and the best fighters in the division, so I know it will not be a hard fight to renegotiate.”
Bermane Stiverne, who is Wilder’s mandatory WBC challenger, was paid a rumored six-figure payout to step aside and allow Wilder to fight Ortiz. Networks were apparently not initially interested in a Wilder vs. Stiverne rematch which led to choosing Ortiz who posed a great challenge to Wilder due to his heavy hands and proven KO power.
After Wilder vs. Stiverne I, Stiverne was hospitalized at University Medical Center in Las Vegas for severe dehydration and muscle damage. Stiverne bounced back with a win over Derric Rossy and has been advocating for a rematch since.
“Stiverne asked for it, so hes going to get it, Wilder said. Whatever happens happens. Ask and you shall receive. Im relieved to be getting my mandatory out of the way. At least now I wont have to deal with that down the road.”
Go behind the scenes and in the gym with heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne and unbeaten challenger Deontay Wilder as they prepare for their WBC Heavyweight World Championship bout. Get into the action with this ALL ACCESS full episode, and don’t miss the U.S.’s most anticipated heavyweight fight in a decade on Saturday, January 17 at 10PM ET/7PM PT on SHOWTIME.
Stiverne was scheduled to face Dominic Breazeale on the undercard of the bout and was already in shape for November 4th. Stiverne has always contended that the dehydration affected his performance in his first title defense during his January 2015 bout against Wilder. Now that lady luck has arrived at his door, he has the chance to prove if losing his belt was a fluke or a just outcome against a truly dominant Wilder.