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The Heavyweight Scene

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  • The Heavyweight Scene

    Click image for larger version  Name:	dubois.PNG Views:	1 Size:	681.0 KB ID:	14845

    By Arne K. Lang

    The heavily hyped welterweight showdown between Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter at the L.A. Staples Center was as good as advertised. It pushed everything else off to the side including several significant developments in the heavyweight division.

    It was common knowledge that Deontay Wilder’s next fight would be a rematch with Cuban southpaw Luis "King Kong" Ortiz. Left hanging were the date and venue.

    On Saturday afternoon at a press conference inside a V.I.P. lounge at the Staples Center, it was formally announced that the bout between Wilder (40-0-1, 40 KOs) and Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) will take place at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Nov. 23. Wilder will be making the 10th defense of his WBC world heavyweight title.

    The fight will air on FOX pay-per-view. The “suggested retail price” wasn’t included in the details shared with reporters, but it’s a fair guess that folks will have to pony up $74.99 to watch it at home, as was the case with Spence-Porter. The pay-per-view may be a hard sell considering that Kovalev vs. Canelo will be available at no extra charge to DAZN subscribers earlier in the month. The two fights, spaced three weeks apart, will both unfold at the MGM.

    Tickets to Wilder-Ortiz II, available online, are scaled from $104 to $1,504.

    Deontay Wilder will be making his first appearance in Las Vegas since January of 2015 when he won the vacant WBC title with a unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne. This will be his third outing since he stopped Ortiz in the 10th round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    Wilder overcame a lot of adversity to win that battle. Ortiz almost had him out in the seventh round, a 10-8 round on all three cards although there was no knockdown. But Ortiz was unable to press his advantage and Wilder stormed back to pull the fight out of the fire.

    Ortiz has had three fights since then, bombing out no-hoper Razvan Cojanu (KO 2), stopping rugged but limited Travis Kauffman (KO 10), and winning a one-sided 10-round decision over Christian Hammer. More relevantly, in the 30 months since Wilder-Ortiz I, the Cuban hasn’t gotten any younger. Ortiz is now 40, perhaps even older.

    Heavyweight Young Guns

    There’s a new generation of intriguing heavyweights coming up the ladder behind Luis Ortiz (40), Kubrat Pulev (38), Deontay Wilder (34 next month), Tyson Fury (31), Dillian Whyte (31), Andy Ruiz (30), and Anthony Joshua (30 next month). Two of the young guns were in action this past weekend.

    At London’s venerable Prince Albert Hall, Daniel Dubois (pictured on the left) bombed out Ebenezer Tettah in 130 seconds. Dubois, who just turned 22 and doesn’t drive yet, improved to 13-0 with his 12th knockout.

    Tettah, from Ghana, brought a 19-0 record that was terribly misleading. U.K. boxing writer Phil Jay, commenting on his ring walk, made this observation: “Tettah was like a frightened child on his way to face Dubois and looked as if he’d found a pair of boxing shorts on the floor of an old gym.”

    Dubois’ signature fight, to this juncture of his career, was his fight before this with previously undefeated countryman Nathan Gorman. Dubois was favored to win, but the ease in which he dismantled his former sparring partner was an eye-opener. Nicknamed “Dynamite” (Triple G meet Triple D), the Londoner carries 240 pounds on a six-foot-five frame. He just may be the best of the new kids on the block.

    The following day, in Nantes, France, Tony Yoka advanced to 7-0 (6) with a third-round stoppage of Germany’s Michael Wallisch. Yoka, who stands six-foot-seven, turned pro in June of 2017 with Virgil Hunter in his corner after winning gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. His career lost momentum when he was suspended for a year for missing three doping tests.

    He knocked Wallisch down twice in the third round before the referee halted the contest. This was his second fight back after a 13-month hiatus. Ten weeks previously, he stopped behemoth Alexander Dimitrenko in the third frame, reducing Dimitrenko’s status from that of a journeyman to a trial horse.

    Yoka isn’t the only Olympic gold medalist in his family. In 2017 he married boxer Estelle Mossely, his longtime girlfriend, with whom he now has a son. Mossely, who won gold in the lightweight division in the Rio games before turning pro, is in action this coming Saturday when she meets Argentina’s Ann Guichapani.

    There are no odds on her fight, but maybe someday we will be able to bet a Mr. and Mrs. Yoka parlay.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel