On or about August 26, 2015, the WBA received a request from Golden Boy Promotions to sanction a fight between #7 ranked Luis Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs), from Miami by way of Camaguey, Cuba, and #15 ranked Matias Vidondo (20-2-1, 18 KOs) for the vacant Interim WBA World heavyweight title on October 17, 2015.
In light of Vidondo’s ranking, the WBA Championships Committee issued a notice of the proposed bout to the representatives of ranked heavyweight boxers to determine of there were any objections to the proposed bout.
The WBA received objections from the representatives of three ranked heavyweight fighters. They were Philippe Fondu from Hatton Promotions on behalf of #3 ranked Lucas Browne, Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Promotions on behalf of #6 ranked Bryant Jennings, and Queensberry Promotions on behalf of #7 ranked Alexander Ustinov.
The WBA Championships Committee granted Ortiz’s request to fight Vidondo for the interim title conditioned on the winner facing Jennings, with the winner of the Jennings bout to face Ustinov within six months.
Ortiz fought and defeated Vidondo on October 17, 2015, at New York’s Madison Square Garden and was KO’d in three rounds. Two months later, on December 19, 2015, at Turning Stone Casino & Resort in Verona, New York, Ortiz defeated Jennings by TKO in round seven.
“Subject to compliance with all other applicable WBA rules and the conditions previously referenced,” says Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, WBA Championships Chairman, “Ortiz must face Ustinov on or before June 19, 2016. If a purse bid is necessary, the purse bid split will be 50/50.”