Written By Bakari Simpson: The verdict is in and Luis is out! A week after failing a VADA issued drug examination the WBC has officially removed Luis Ortiz nicknamed King Kong (27-0, 23 KO’s) from the November 4th card at the Barclays Center. The announcement came by way of WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. The ruling was more formality than anything else. More than any other sanctioning body in recent date, the WBC has led the charge on clean fighting.
Out of this desire to clean up the sport, a liaison formed with the ridiculously effective VADA organization. Together, VADA and the WBC engineered the ‘Clean Boxing Program.’ Following this partnerships creation, a number of high-profile fighters have been busted. Given this overt push for a zero tolerance environment there was little room to give Team Luis Ortiz the benefit of the doubt. Especially when he is now a two-time offender.
For their part, Team Ortiz did not do themselves any favors.
Over the course of the past few years, Deontay Wilder has remained acutely vocal about cleaning up the sport. The Bronze Bomber has flat-out called Ortiz a cheat and regular PED’s user. There is no possible way on Earth Team Ortiz did not know Wilder and crew would not kick up dust about testing. One would think that VADA’s reputation would proceed itself. Right? I guess wrong. Only after being popped with two banned substances did Team Ortiz unearth a story about high blood pressure medication. It looked and sounded shaky.
Boy, Team Ortiz did themselves no favors!
In a surprising turn of events, after exercising his rage, Wilder endorsed Ortiz. Kind of. Perhaps tired of being denied his fight night, payday and justification for camp Wilder conceded. Rather than give Ortiz the benefit of the doubt he merely expressed his willingness to fight. Dirty or not, Wilder would lace up. And so, the stage was set.
VADA was giving a Maximus serious thumbs down. Luis Ortiz was claiming innocence by way of a bum ticker and doctor pills. Wilder just wanted to punch someone in the face. The ball was in the WBC’s court.
Murder was the case that they gave him…
Despite the last-minute, push by all parties the WBC made the political call that they were obligated to make. They removed Ortiz from the main event. In his place, Bermane Stiverne will answer the call. ‘If it’s meant for you, it’s meant for.’ Bermane was Deontay’s original mandatory opponent. Following a prolonged haggling period, Stiverne begrudgingly accepted step aside money so that Wilder/Ortiz could transpire. With Luis sidelined, Stiverne resumes his original position as Wilder’s next opponent.
Does Bermane get to keep the step aside money? Hmmmm…
Along with Luis Ortiz, Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KO’s) will also be riding the pine. Breazeale was slated to face Bermane, but Stiverne is obviously, suddenly unavailable. Being so close to the fight date it does not seem a replacement is likely.
Provided Bermane looks good the main event should be a fun one. That’s a sizable proposition though. Stiverne has not fought in two solid years and didn’t look showroom worthy when he did. His last bout prior to that was his sound 12 round unanimous decision loss to Wilder.
Stiverne said he was sick on fight night. Deontay says Bermane was infected with his Alabama power. To Stiverne’s credit, he is the one and only professional foe of Wilder’s to hear the final bell. To Deontay’s credit, he broke his right hand early in the fight. Now, it is time to settle-up and put this rivalry to bed, or compel a rubber match. Who you betting on?
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson