Deontay Wilder the man called “Bomb Squad” has just had another fight canceled because an opponent has failed a drug test. This time a mega fight with unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz scheduled for November 4th at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Ortiz is ranked in everyone’s top five heavyweights and over the last three years has compiled sensational victories over names such as Malik Scott, Tony Thompson, Bryant Jennings, and Lateef Kayode. Ortiz Clearly would have been Wilder’s best opponent to date and many pundits viewed Ortiz as a real threat to dethrone the current WBC kingpin.
Wilder Is often criticised for not fighting top-level opposition, to be fair over the last three years, Ortiz has the better resume and Wilder’s best win came in his last fight against Gerald Washington, a fight in which it appeared he may have been loosing every round till he knocked Washington out in the 5th. Wilder looked lethargic and lazy at times till he finally landed. HIs level of opposition has earned him the nickname ‘Bum Squad” from detractors but is this fair?
This is the third time in the past 18 months that one of Wilder’s opponents has failed a drug test. The other two fights were also canceled. In February, Wilder was scheduled to defend his title against Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk. But Wawrzyk failed a VADA test. Wilder was scheduled to go to Moscow to defend against Alexander Povetkin in May of 2016 when, nine days before the fight, Povetkin tested positive for Meldonium in a VADA test, forcing the fight to be canceled. Wilder would be awarded $5 million in a breach of contract lawsuit against Povetkin who failed two VADA tests in eight months. It is unclear at this time if Wilder will pursue legal measures against Ortiz.
How much different would Wilder’s resume look if he had Wawrzyk and Povetkin on it? We wouldn’t be calling him “Bum Squad” maybe these guys looking at the crazy power in the Bomb Squad’s right hand and decided they needed some other type of advantage. So they did something dirty to try and get an advantage. Wilder is the best American heavyweight to come around in a loooooong time, and he showed the balls to say he will still take the fight. So let’s support him. If it doesn’t happen, here are five more opponents who can fill in for the cheating Ortiz on November 4th.
Dillian Whyte– This is the most logical choice. This fight was already rumored for the UK, Whyte is a top 10 heavyweight with a large fan base and he has already volunteered for the fight” Tweeting ” No excuses now @Bronzebomber I will take Ortizs place lets get it made @EddieHearn @premierboxing #ALWAYSREADY”
Robert Alfonso- If you want to replace Ortiz with a fellow Cuban heavyweight there is an option, a fairly decent option, Big Robert Alfonso. The “Bum Squad’s” detractors won’t like this little-known fighter but Alfonso is a big, tall, skilled, quick-fisted, heavyweight. He is very defensively responsible and could cause Wilder to get frustrated. He wouldn’t be much of a threat to knock Wilder out but if he stays on his feet could take rounds from the WBC champ and make it a really long night for him.
Andy Ruiz Jr– Everyone loves a fat guy in sports. This one would have a legit chance. Ruiz Jr is really good, his only defeat last year was a controversial one to Joseph Parker, where he literally flew to the other side of the world and lost a hometown decision to Joseph Parker who is making a habit of getting bogus decisions. Ruiz Jr would be a crowd favorite in Brooklyn and would be the toughest challenge of Wilders career.
Amir Mansour– At 45, Mansour may never get a chance like this again, and true a lot of the blame is on himself, but he also has had a lot of bad luck. Back in 2016, Mansour was beating the highly touted Dominic Breazeale into oblivion winning every round on every scorecard and dropping Breazeale, and a win in this fight would have put him in position for a Wilder fight. When a strange string of events occurred. Mansour inadvertently bit his tongue nearly in half during the second round and could not breathe through his mouth, nor his nose as he entered the bout with a cold. Mansour gave up on his stool.Contributing to the tongue injury, Mansour’s mouthpiece for this bout was fitted for his upper teeth only.It remained a mystery why the partial mouthpiece was even allowed by the C.S.A.C..Mansour underwent five hours of surgery and took 36 stitches in his tongue to put it back together. Mansour has since put together a solid victory over Travis Kauffman.
Andrew Tabiti- Has looked sensational in his last few fights first against unbeaten prospects Keith Tapia and Quantis Graves, then against former Cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham. It was how dominant he was against Cunningham that I think makes this fight with Wilder interesting. Cunningham was able to fight as a heavyweight and Tabiti could too, Wilder is only about 225lbs, which isn’t huge for a modern heavyweight. Back in 2009, Lucian Butte was left out of the Super Six Tournament and he cashed in on it. Tabiti could do the same here. Tabiti would have a massive advantage is speed and skill and has displayed plenty of power for a cruiserweight so he would have at least enough power to make Wilder respect him. Worst case is for Tabiti is if he loses, he just goes back down to Cruiser, take a tune up and wait for the winner of the tournament.