Ortiz v Ustinov: Purse bid heads to May 19 with $600k minimum

Luis Ortiz

Ed Mulholland

Because representatives of interim WBA World heavyweight titlist Luis Ortiz and challenger Alexander Ustinov have been unable to reach terms for a title match, the WBA has ordered a purse bid to take place at the sanctioning body’s offices in Panama on Thursday, May 19. Aurelio Fiengo, WBA treasurer, will direct the bidding.

Ortiz, 37, was born in Camaguey, Cuba, but fights out of Miami. An undefeated six-year pro, “King Kong” (25-0, 22 KOs, 2 NCs) won the title last October by knocking out Matias Ariel Vidondo in the third. First-ranked by the WBA, the hard-hitting southpaw successfully defended his title two months later by stopping Bryant Jennings via seventh-round TKO. Ortiz most recently fought this March, knocking out Tony Thompson in the sixth.

“Alexander the Great,” 39, was born in Paustovo, Russia, but fights out of Minsk, Belarus. A pro since 2005 (33-1, 24 KOs), Ustinov’s sole loss came in September 2012, knocked out by Kubrat Pulev in the 11th. Third-ranked by the WBA, he last fought this past December, knocking out Konstantin Airich in the fifth.

Ortiz-Ustinov is intended to be part of the WBA’s heavyweight tournament, in fulfillment of its promise to have one world champion per division, including among the heavyweights.

The minimum bid is $600,000.

The purse split is 60% to the champion and 40% to the challenger.