After recently parting ways with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions, the World Boxing Association’s interim heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz is back in action against French-Cameroonian contender Carlos Takam.
The fight is scheduled to take place on November 12 in Monte Carlo, Monaco in what is forming to be an exceptionally interesting and action packed month for boxing.
Takam (33-3-1-25KO) is looking to get back into the top echelon after losing a close bout with now IBF mandatory Joseph Parker in initial the eliminator bout back in May.
Ortiz (25-0-22KO-2NC) is one of the heavyweight divisions skilled boxers and hardest hitting punchers. After dismantling veteran Tony Thompson in March, things have stalled for the Cuban fighter however.
A fight scheduled with Russian Alexander Ustinov fell through over reports over money and drug testing requirements. Ortiz’s two no contests were quick knockout victories overturned due to failed drug tests.
The Ustinov-Ortiz match was in itself supposed to be an eliminator bout for the winner of the now also cancelled Wladimir Klitschko-Tyson Fury rematch, to wear down the amount of champions recogniwed by the WBA in the heavyweight division.
Tyson Fury is the “Super” champion with Australian Lucas Browne seen by the sanctioning body as the “Regular” champion.
A match between Browne and Ortiz may be likely in the near future due to the tournament like arrangement of belts at the moment.
Browne (24-0-21KO) has been battling alleged doping allegations of his own; initially he had been stripped of the title after failing a drug test following a knockout victory over Uzbekistani Ruslan Chagaev.
In a strange twist of events Chagaev (34-2-1-21KO-1NC) who was awarded the belt, was also stripped himself in a dispute with the WBA over title sanctioning fees.
He later retired due to concerns over an eye injury.
Despite Ortiz’s age, 37, his counter punching skills, extensively dominant amateur pedigree from Cuba, and sheer brute force in the ring, make him to many still one of the most feared and avoided opponents in the heavyweight division at present.
Takam, while not seen is an elite heavyweight, is viewed even after the Parker defeat as a challenging, tough and skilled gatekeeper who very well could be in title contention with a victory of Ortiz.
The Ortiz-Ustinov bout could still be in play too depending on how the WBA wants to handle the purse bid in August. Also in question is the role of both Fury and Browne, the recognised WBA title holders at the moment.
Fury is currently in limbo regarding mental health and narcotics problems and Browne having recently been cleared to fight, is tipped (although not confirmed yet) to take on Puerto Rican Fres Oquendo.
The undercard, although also not officially confirmed is rumoured to be WBA (regular) super-featherweight champ Jason Sosa versus Stephen Smith, with Arthur Abraham versus Martin Murray in the super-middleweight division.
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