If you were hoping to see a Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua mega-showdown for the Undisputed Heavyweight title later this year, you’re going to have to wait a while longer. This after Wilder announced on social media Tuesday night that he will instead be rematching Contender Victor Ortiz this fall.
Wilder, fresh off his one round destruction of WBC number one Contender Dominic Breazeale on May 18th, made his intentions clear:
Wilder v Ortiz II ?????
To all my fans,
I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly.
All my controversial fights
Must get dealt with ASAP‼️#BombZquad pic.twitter.com/RZs7vLEhaj
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) May 28, 2019
The date and the site have not yet been determined, but ESPN boxing insider, Dan Rafael, reported late Tuesday night, that it will be likely at Staples Center in Los Angeles. That’s where, Wilder narrowly escaped with a 12-round draw in his December title defense against Britain’s Tyson Fury.
It’s further being speculated by multiple outlets that the fight will probably be in September or October. The two reasons that this makes sense are: that Wilder needed very little stress and effort in this last fight with Breazeale. And, 90 days or so is more than enough time for Ortiz and Wilder to get ready and have the promotional buildup of the rematch to take place.
Wilder (40-0-1 with 39 KOs) and the Cuban Ortiz fought a wild battle in March of 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Wilder scored a 5th round knocked down, but then was in the most trouble of his entire career, when Ortiz (32-1 26 KOs) rallied in the 7th round staggering Wilder with a series of punches.
Although Wilder never went down, he was clearly wobbled and in danger of getting knocked down or worse. To his credit, Wilder weathered the storm, battled back and knocked Ortiz down, again, in the 10th round with a barrage of right hands. Ortiz rose fatigued and wobbly and Wilder finished him off a short time later with a right uppercut and a 10th round TKO.
Ortiz last fought in March scoring a 10-round decision over German Christian Hammer in a fight that he dominated. And, as we wrote, Ortiz immediately after he began lobbying to get in the ring with Wilder, again.
The biggest loser in this scenario is Fury, who will be completely left out now of fighting Wilder in a rematch in 2019 and maybe, beyond. Further, he is apparently is not on the radar for a fight anytime soon with unified the World Champ, Joshua.
Joshua is scheduled to make his U.S. debut Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York, against American Contender Andy Ruiz Jr, who is a late replacement. Even if he scores an early knockout, Joshua was not expected to fight the remainder of this year.
Fury had been offered a lucrative opportunity earlier this year by PBC/Showtime to rematch Wilder, but instead decided to pass on the offer and sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotion. Fury will fight later in June against unknown European fighter Tom Schwartz on ESPN. However, it appears that his decision to go with Arum/Top Rank has completely backfired on helping him get a title fight anytime soon.
Back to the Wilder-Ortiz rematch. Rafael also reported late Tuesday night that the fight will likely be a Fox TV pay-per-view broadcast. Wilder has frequently fought on Showtime and their pay-per-view in the past, including the Fury fight last December. Fox and Showtime both have deals with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions.
Wilder is a bit of a free agent for promotion and TV deals, as he previously agreed to a one fight deal with Showtime for the Breazeale title defense. He is now free to do whatever television or promotional deal he would like, next. But, it’s not surprising that he will stay loyal to Haymon and fight wherever and whenever PBC would like him to do so. Wilder has made 10’s of millions of dollars with Haymon/PBC over the past five years.
Fox, meanwhile did its first-ever boxing pay-per-view in March when Welterweight Errol Spence successfully defended his IBF title against former World Lightweight champion, Mikey Garcia in a 12-round decision in Arlington, Texas. PBC’s next huge boxing pay-per-view will be the Welterweight Title showdown with seven division World Title holder Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten WBA champ, Keith Thurman coming on July 20th.
As for the long-awaited Wilder-Joshua potential match-up, because of this announcement by Wilder and the timelines laid out above, the earliest it would happen would be Spring of next year.
And, that’s only if Joshua’s promotion, Matchroom Boxing and PBC can figure out an agreement that has yet to be consumated over the last two years despite lots of talks.