It won’t be long before Kong gets back to wreaking havoc, it seems.
Luis “King Kong” Ortiz got word from the World Boxing Council that, as far as that sanctioning body is concerned, the Cuban-born hitter, residing in Florida, is free to fight.
The 27-0 boxer, age 38, had been in limbo after a November 4 fight with Deontay Wilder was scrapped, because he’d popped PED positive from a pre-fight test. Lab tests showed the presence of a diuretic in his system.
Usage of diuretics are on the banned list held by oversight bodies, like WADA, and the testing agency used in this case, VADA. A sample taken September 22 was announced to be red-flagged on Sept. 28; Team Ortiz protested, stating their case that the boxer suffers from high blood pressure, and medication to treat that condition introduced the diuretic into his system. He’d not used a diuretic to gain a performance edge, he declared. The WBC pondered and offered a ruling yesterday, Thursday, November 30.
The long and short of it: Ortiz, who hasn’t gloved up for real since December 2016, is free to fight again.
“In light of the information set forth above, however, the WBC concludes that the evidence available to the WBC supports a finding that Mr. Ortiz' ingestion of high blood pressure medication was directed to the treatment of an ongoing medical condition,” read a summation of the WBC finding.
“Therefore, Mr. Ortiz will continue to be tested based on a specifically designed testing protocol. As of the date of this ruling, Mr. Ortiz is available to compete in WBC-sanctioned events, and shall be confirmed in the WBC ratings in a position consistent with the recommendation of the WBC Ratings Committee.”
They’d withheld their stamp of approval for Ortiz to compete and being that he wishes to stay in good terms with them, he looked to find a common ground. The WBC ordered him to undergo a thorough battery of tests and procedures to gauge his health, and they found him to be in proper condition to compete. So…when? Versus who?
“Luis is thrilled,” his trainer Herman Caicedo told me, “and we’re tentatively on next Friday’s December 8 card in Miami. Opponent to be determined and we’re gonna move quick on it!”
Ortiz is, for the record, ranked No. 3 by the WBC, where Deontay Wilder is the champ. In the WBA, where Anthony Joshua reigns, he is No. 1.
And then, we’d presume, presuming a win, he’d look to target a bold-faced name?
“Wilder, we don’t want no one else. Anthony Joshua’s a pussy hiding behind the WBA!”
My three cents: I'm not sure if Ortiz can hop back into line and reinstate incivilities with Wilder. Dillian Whyte, also in the Eddie Hearn stable, with Joshua, is ranked No. 1 by the WBC, and Dominic Breazeale won a title shot eliminator over Eric Molina on November 4 in Brooklyn. Hearn is trying to make Joshua vs. WBO champ Joseph Parker, but they are hassling over pie shares, so who knows what direction that ship sails to. So, it's possible Ortiz will need to beat a fellow top tier hitter to regain his footing. Time tells.