Deontay Wilder will be defending his WBC title against Luis Ortiz on March 3 if the fight can get negotiated. The two heavyweights are planning on fighting each other Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Wilder-Ortiz negotiations are still underway for March 3. It’s a good fight for both, as well as for the boxing fans. Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will be making his 7th defense of his WBC title. Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) will count as a voluntary defense for Wilder. His next mandatory is expected to be #1 Dillian Whyte once the World Boxing Council chooses to order the fight. They’re taking their tie on doing that due to Wilder having knocked out his last mandatory challenger in Bermane Stiverne on November 4.
Ortiz had been scheduled to fight Wilder on November 4, but was removed from the fight after testing positive for banned substances. The WBC has subsequently cleared Ortiz after hearing his explanation for the positive test. Ortiz was using the drugs to control his blood pressure.
Luis Ortiz was back in action earlier this month in stopping Daniel Martz in the 2nd round on December 8. Ortiz displayed his awesome punching power in flattening Martz with a left hand to the head.
Wilder may have to use more tools in his tool chest for him to beat Ortiz. This is a very experienced heavyweight, who isn’t going to fold nearly as quickly as Wilder’s last opponent Bermane Stiverne.
The 32-year-old Wilder risks a lot by taking on Ortiz. If Wilder gets beaten, he’ll waive goodbye to a fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for 2018. Wilder wants a 50-50 deal for the Joshua fight. The money that Wilder lose by not facing Joshua will be huge. It’s admirable that Wilder is willing to fight a dangerous opponent like Ortiz, but it might not be the wisest thing for him to do. Joshua is taking a relatively non-risky fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for his next fight. The southpaw Ortiz is the far more difficult opponent than Parker in my estimation.