DC heavyweight Tony "The Tiger" Thompson will get his third opportunity at a world title when he faces "The Real King Kong" Luis Ortiz of Miami, FL for Ortiz's Interim WBA Heavyweight title on Saturday, March 5 at the DC Armory. The bout will be the main event on an HBO Boxing After Dark telecast.
For the 44-year-old Thompson (40-6, 27 KO's), this will be the first time he steps into a Beltway ring since a knockout win over Brandon Cabell on January 26, 2006 in Glen Burnie, MD. Thompson has fought in four states and five countries and has won four regional titles since that win and has challenged for world titles two previous times, losing to Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 and 2012 by knockout.
Ortiz (24-0, 21 KO's) is coming off his biggest win as a pro, knocking out Bryant Jennings in the seventh round on December 19 in Verona, NY. Ortiz's performance made it difficult to find opponents to face him for this contest. Five boxers turned the contest down flat and the most recent boxer -- Alexander Dimitrenko -- had agreed to the bout but then wanted more money and did not sign the contract.
There are three scheduled world titles on this card. As originally announced, Jessie Vargas (26-1, nine KO's) and Sadam "World Kid" Ali (22-0, 13 KO's) will battle for the vacant WBO Welterweight title. Also, Oscar Escandon (24-2, 16 KO's) will face Robinson Castellanos (23-11, 13 KO's) for the interim WBC Featherweight title. Gary Russell, Jr. is still recovering from an injury and can't defend the title at this point.
As also mentioned earlier, Beltway prospects Lamont Roach, Jr., D'Mitrius "Big Meech" Ballard and Kevin "K-Smoov" Rivers, Jr. are all scheduled to appear on this card.