It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder. Two weeks ago, Wilder was set to fight Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz in a title fight at the Barclays Center on November 4th. Then, last week, it was reported that Ortiz had tested positive for a banned substance.
That meant the fight between the two was cancelled and a new challenger needed to be found. Today, Showtime Sports announced who that new challenger would be Bermane Stiverne. Stiverne is the man whom Wilder originally defeated to gain the belt back in January 2015, by way of unanimous decision. Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), is the only fighter to have made it through 12 rounds with Wilder in his career.
“The show must go on, as they say, and Deontay Wilder still plans to put on a show for New York City,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment and promoter of the stacked Nov. 4 event. “Considering Stiverne’s status as mandatory challenger, he was always going to be a roadblock in Deontay’s quest for heavyweight unification. Now it’s time to see if Deontay can clear that roadblock and continue on his path to becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion and the most recognizable and dominant force in boxing.”
The event will be the headliner of a triple-header of fights to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on the 4th. The show begins live on Showtime at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.