After a breakout 2015, Luis Ortiz might have to take a step sideways.
Per the agreement that allowed Ortiz to face Matias Ariel Vidondo for the interim WBA heavyweight title, the unbeaten Cuban must defend his belt against gigantic Russian Alexander Ustinov by June 19th, 2016.
While this is a bit of a mismatch to say the least, the WBA are actually being pretty reasonable here. From the article:
In light of Vidondo’s ranking, the WBA Championships Committee issued a notice of the proposed bout to the representatives of ranked heavyweight boxers to determine of there were any objections to the proposed bout.
The WBA received objections from the representatives of three ranked heavyweight fighters. They were Philippe Fondu from Hatton Promotions on behalf of #3 ranked Lucas Browne, Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Promotions on behalf of #6 ranked Bryant Jennings, and Queensberry Promotions on behalf of #7 ranked Alexander Ustinov.
The WBA Championships Committee granted Ortiz’s request to fight Vidondo for the interim title conditioned on the winner facing Jennings, with the winner of the Jennings bout to face Ustinov within six months.
In short, this fight is a byproduct of the circumstances that made Ortiz-Jennings possible, the whey to its delicious Stilton.
Ustinov (33-1, 24 KO) is best known for being huge. Like, really, really huge. He stands over 6’7″ and regularly weighs in between 280 and 310 pounds. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as his game goes; he got obliterated by Kubrat Pulev in his lone step up three years ago and his best win since came against a shot David Tua, although he was briefly booked to face Tyson Fury at one point. It’s hard to imagine the big-punching Ortiz (24-0, 21 KO) having any sort of trouble against him.
But hey, it’s the modern heavyweight division. If this was the price for Ortiz-Jennings, it could have been worse.
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