Earlier today, Keith Idec of BoxingScene.com first reported that negotiations are underway to end a fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) and undefeated puncher Luis Ortiz (27- 0, 23 KOs).
The two sides are trying to confirm the fight for the Barclays in Brooklyn for the November 4 date. Promoter Lou DiBella, who works with Wilder, has booked the Barclay for that date.
A few months ago, Ortiz brought in Al Haymon as his adviser – and that set the stage for a future showdown with Wilder, who is also represented by Haymon.
But there’s a big problem – Wilder owes a mandatory defense to Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs).
There appear to be ongoing discussions between Haymon and Don King, the Stiverne promoter, to work out a step-by-step deal – where Stiverne would receive a reasonable fee to allow Wilder-Ortiz to move forward.
Now it is revealed that Stiverne has hired the management team of James Prince and attorney Josh Dubin.
Prince and Dubin are best known for their work with light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, Olympian Shakur Stevenson, and heavyweight Bryant Jennings.
Stiverne and his administration have not given King permission to negotiate a passage quota – and furthermore, they have zero interest in crafting such an agreement. They want to face Wilder out of obligation as determined by the WBC.
Stiverne wants to fight Wilder and his handlers are willing to legally challenge the possibility of being outbid by Ortiz. They plan to do everything possible, according to the mandatory status of their boxer, to make sure that their fighter gets the first crack in the WBC title.
The big problem with doing Wilder vs Stiverne – is finding a television outlet willing to pay for it. Wilder earned a clear unanimous decision over Stiverne in January 2015 where he captured the title. He has made five belt defenses. Stiverne managers see the television situation as “their problem, not ours.”
Stiverne was due to face Alexander Povetkin in a final WBC tie last December in Russia. The fight was called off at the last minute after the WBC reported that Povetkin had failed a drug test prior to the fight.
Back on February 26, the World Boxing Council ordered the Wilder-Stiverne rematch. Stiverne has been out of the ring since the November 2015 win over Derric Rossey.