Earlier today, Golden Boy Promotions announced via press release that Tony Thompson has come to the rescue after Alexander Dimitrenko's abrupt exit, stepping up to face unbeaten Luis Ortiz on March 5th.
Ortiz's interim WBA title will be on the line.
Following his second knockout loss to Wladimir Klitschko, Thompson (40-6, 27 KO) reinvigorated his career with two straight stoppages of then-top-prospect David Price, the latter of which was marred by a failed drug test that did not come to light until two years afterwards. He's since gone 2-3, with two wins over Odlanier Solis amid decision losses to Kubrat Pulev, Carlos Takam, and Malik Scott. The last was particularly telling, as an overweight Thompson struggled with his much-younger opponent.
Not the best choice of foes for Ortiz (24-0, 20 KO), but considering how many opponents reportedly turned down "The Real King Kong," it's excusable.
The co-feature figures to be significantly more intriguing; the previously-announced matchup between Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas will serve as the opening act with the winner taking home the vacant WBO welterweight belt.
Ali (22-0, 13 KO) enjoyed a breakout 2014 that saw him not only dominate but stop the tough-as-nails Juan Carlos Abregu, but fought just once in 2015, winning a tough decision over Francisco Santana. Vargas (26-1, 9 KO) is in the same boat, only facing Timothy Bradley last year in a fight that nearly saw him finish "Desert Storm" in the final minute before ultimately losing a decision.
Heavyweights gonna heavyweight, but it should be a fun doubleheader.