February 2, 2016
February 2, 2016
Bryant Jennings-Luis Ortiz

Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

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IT has been confirmed by ESPN.com that Cuba’s Luis Ortiz will face German-based Russian Alexander Dimitrenko on March 5. Southpaw Ortiz, 24-0(21) will be making the second defence of the interim WBA heavyweight title he won by stopping little-known Matias Ariel Vidondo last October. The 36-year-old who is known as “The Real King Kong,” is coming off a very impressive stoppage win over Bryant Jennings who he halted in the seventh-round in December.

Golden Boy Promotions, who look after Ortiz, have reportedly had a tough time finding a suitable, HBO approved, challenger for the Miami-based puncher; with Oscar De La Hoya tweeting last week how he knows of a number of top-rated heavyweight contenders who were/are unwilling to face his fighter. But Dimitrenko, aged 33 and with a good 38-2 (24) record, has stepped up and HBO have, according to the ESPN piece, approved the fight for their Boxing After Dark telecast.

Most well known for two losing fights – to “Fast” Eddie Chambers, who out-pointed him back in 2009 and Kubrat Pulev, who stopped him in the 11th-roiund back in 2012 – Dimitrenko also has some useful wins on his record. The 6’7-inch giant holds wins over Ross Puritty, Vaughn  Bean and Timo Hoffman, while at European title level, “Sascha” has defeated Albert Sosnowski and Michael Sprott. The problem is, Dimitrenko scored those victories some years ago and since the May 2012 TKO defeat at the hands of Pulev, he has beaten only so-so fighters; with two of his comeback six wins coming against fighters with losing records.

Boxing mostly in Germany, (with one fight taking place in the Czech Republic) Dimitrenko has fought whilst largely under the radar. It remains to be seen how much he has left to offer or what type of a challenge he can mount against Ortiz, a heavyweight some say could actually be the most dangerous of the entire division. Still, Dimitrenko is both taller and, at approx 254-pounds, heavier than Ortiz and maybe he can use his bulk and strength to test the defending champion.

Ortiz will no doubt enter the bout as a considerable betting favourite to win, but with 24 KOs to his name, Dimitrenko can punch some and he may well enter the fight with a “nothing to lose” attitude. Ortiz will score a notable win if he can topple Dimitrenko in quick fashion as he awaits the bigger fights – amongst them a WBA-ordered defence against another giant in Alexander Ustinov – he is convinced he can also win.

Ortiz Vs. Dimitrenko will take place at The DC Armory in Washington.