Wilder to de­fend against un­beaten Or­tiz in March

Manila Times - - SPORTS - NEW YORK: AFP

Un­de­feated Amer­i­can heavy­weight Deon­tay Wilder will de­fend his World Box­ing Coun­cil crown in March against un­beaten Cuban con­tender Luis Or­tiz in New York, pro­mot­ers an­nounced Fri­day (Satur­day in Manila).

The move comes amid re­ports that ri­val un­beaten cham­pi­ons Anthony Joshua of Britain and Joseph Parker of New Zealand are in fi­nal talks to fight in March and could set the stage for the win­ners to meet for an undis­puted crown later this year.

Wilder’s ti­tle bout will be staged March 3 at Bar­clays Cen­ter in Brook­lyn, the same venue where Wilder stopped Canada’s Ber­mane Stiverne in the first round last Novem­ber in the sixth de­fense of the crown he took from Stiverne in 2015, his three-year reign the long­est in the di­vi­sion.

Wilder is 39-0 with 38 knock­outs, his only fight to reach the dis­tance the bout with Stiverne three years ago, while Or­tiz is 28-0 with 24 knock­outs, his most re­cent bout a knock­out of Amer­i­can Daniel Martz last month.

“We are thrilled to wel­come the heavy­weight champ back to Bar­clays Cen­ter,” said Brett Yor­mark, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Brook­lyn Sports and En­ter­tain­ment.“Deon­tay’s lon­gawaited bout with Or­tiz is sure to be one of 2018’s best matchups.”

Joshua, the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion cham­pion, is 20-0 with 20 knock­outs and ac­cord­ing to the BBC nearly set for a March 31 bout at Cardiff against Parker, the World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion cham­pion who is 24-0 with 18 knock­outs.

Af­ter stop­ping Stiverne in Novem­ber, Wilder called out Joshua, say­ing,“I been wait­ing on that boy for a long time now. Lis­ten mate. I know I am the best. Are you up for the test? I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby.”

Joshua says his goal is to unify the ti­tles and fight all cham­pi­ons by the end of this year.

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