Heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder, who has been seeking a dangerous opponent, will get one.
Wilder will take on the much-avoided “King Kong” Luis Ortiz on Nov. 4 (Showtime) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Lou DiBella, who is promoting the card, has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in New York to make a formal announcement.
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), 31, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be making his sixth title defense and fighting for the first time since retaining his belt by fifth-round knockout of Gerald Washington on Feb. 25 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs), 38, a former Cuban amateur standout who defected and fights out of Miami, has long been avoided because he is a devastating puncher but a fighter with virtually no fan base and no economic clout. He made his name with a sensational performance in a seventh-round knockout of contender Bryant Jennings in December 2015. But when he faces Wilder, Ortiz will be coming off an 11-month layoff, caused in part because of a hand injury that forced him to pull out of an April 22 fight with Derric Rossy.
Before the fight was finalized, the matter of former world titlist Bermane Stiverne’s mandatory shot against Wilder, which was due, had to be dealt with. Ultimately, Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), 38, of Las Vegas, who was routed by Wilder for the title in January 2015, agreed to a step-aside deal.
Part of that deal includes a title elimination fight on the undercard. Stiverne will face 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs), 32, of Los Angeles, multiple sources told ESPN. Breazeale suffered his only loss by seventh-round knockout challenging world titleholder Anthony Joshua in June 2016 in London.
If a deal can be finalized, the card also will include the return of former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs), 30, of Brooklyn. Jacobs is coming off a razor-close unanimous decision loss to unified world champion Gennady Golovkin on March 18 in New York.