Bermane Stiverne responds to talk of possible eliminator with Luis Ortiz: “It isn’t happening”

By James Slater - 02/11/2017 - Comments

Former WBC heavyweight champ Bermane Stiverne has felt the urge to respond to the growing suggestions that he and unbeaten Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz could soon meet in a final eliminator for the WBC title currently held by the unbeaten Deontay Wilder.

The talked of match-up has intrigue to it and fight fans would certainly tune in to watch it, but it’s not happening – not according to Stiverne anyway. Taking to social media to let his thoughts be known, “B-Ware” wrote the following short, to the point message:

“Just to clear up the rumours and lies, a fight between Ortiz and I isn’t happening. We got bigger fish to fry.”

Just what “bigger fish” Stiverne has eyed for the future is anyone’s guess. An Ortiz fight, far from small and meaningless, would have replaced the final eliminator Stiverne was to have boxed against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin a while back (Povetkin failing a pre-fight drugs test as we all know) – so to turn it down flat as he apparently has, Stiverne must have something big in the pipeline. But again, your guess is as good as anyone’s when it comes to figuring out just what this might be.

As for Ortiz, the dangerous and avoided Cuban (is Stiverne choosing to avoid him due to how dangerous he can be?) is highly ranked with both the IBF and the WBA, not just by the WBC, and as his promoter Eddie Hearn stated earlier this week, Ortiz has plenty of options. Now that Stiverne is seemingly unwilling to play ball and fight him, Ortiz will look to go down the WBA or IBF route.

But at age 37 (38 next month) Ortiz doesn’t have too much time to play with. Come to that, neither does the 38 year-old, inactive Stiverne.

Fans of the heavyweights do have plenty to look forward to though. The April 29 showdown between Klitschko and Joshua will be here before we know it, while Wilder is set to return to action in a couple of weeks, and the division’s most active champion, WBO ruler Joseph Parker, meets fellow unbeaten Hughie Fury in an interesting fight on April 1st.