Luis Ortiz will defend his interim WBA World heavyweight title against Alexander Ustinov over a scheduled 12 rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, September 17, a co-feature of the Saul Alvarez-Liam Smith bout.
Ortiz, 37, was born in Camaguey, Cuba, but fights out of Miami. An undefeated six-year pro, “King Kong” (25-0, 22 KOs, 2 NCs) won the title last October by knocking out Matias Ariel Vidondo in the third. First-ranked by the WBA, the hard-hitting southpaw successfully defended his title two months later by stopping Bryant Jennings via seventh-round TKO. Ortiz most recently fought this March, knocking out Tony Thompson in the sixth.
“Alexander the Great,” 39, was born in Paustovo, Russia, but fights out of Minsk, Belarus. A pro since 2005 (33-1, 24 KOs), Ustinov’s sole loss came in September 2012, knocked out by Kubrat Pulev in the 11th. Third-ranked by the WBA, he won the then-vacant WBA International heavyweight title last October by knocking out Maurice Harris in the first. He last fought this past December, knocking out Konstantin Airich in the fifth.
The victor may well challenge for the WBA Super World title, taking on the winner of Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko. That rematch, however, originally slated for July 9, has yet to be rescheduled. Fury postponed the bout because of an injured ankle.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.