Misinformation travels across the internet at the speed of light. But unlike light, misinformation does not illuminate. Misinformation shrouds the facts in darkness.
One cannot always believe what one reads, and despite what you may have read on dozens of boxing websites, Saturday’s fight in DC between interim WBA World heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) and veteran Tony Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs) is not a title fight.
At the request of Golden Boy Promotions, the World Boxing Association granted special permission for Luis Ortiz to fight Tony Thompson on March 5, with the understanding that the interim title will not be at stake.
There are several reasons why the title will not be at stake.
The first is that Thompson, who is a tough competitor, is 44 years old and has lost three of his last five fights. The second is that he not ranked among the WBA’s top 15 heavyweights. And the third reason is that Golden Boy had been ordered to negotiate a fight between Luis Ortiz and Alexander Ustinov for the interim WBA World heavyweight title.
Tony Thompson was not included in the mix.
WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza announced in early 2016 that a tournament had been established with the sole purpose of establishing a single champion in the heavyweight division. This was long overdue and a welcome change from the somewhat confusing business-as-usual.
The resolution from the WBA Championships Committee regarding the heavyweight tournament was as clear as day. It stated that the winner of the fight between Ortiz and Ustinov will face the winner of the rematch between WBA Super World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former champion Wladimir Klitschko, who is currently ranked #3 by the WBA.
If Thompson defies the odds and defeats Ortiz, he will not take his place in the tournament and face Ustinov.
The WBA has no objection to a stay-busy fight, as long as it’s called a stay-busy fight and not misrepresented as a title bout, which appears to be the case.
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.