Ah, the craziness of boxing. The World Boxing Association (WBA) has put out a press release saying that Saturday's heavyweight bout between Luis Ortiz and Tony "The Tiger" Thompson at the DC Armory will not be for Ortiz's interim Heavyweight title.
According to the WBA, Golden Boy Promotions asked for and received permission from the WBA to let Ortiz face Thompson on the condition that the interim title would not be on the line.
Here is what the WBA said in the press release:
Thompson, who is a tough competitor, is 44 years old and has lost three of his last five fights. The second is that he not ranked among the WBA’s top 15 heavyweights. And the third reason is that Golden Boy had been ordered to negotiate a fight between Luis Ortiz and Alexander Ustinov for the interim WBA World heavyweight title.
Tony Thompson was not included in the mix.
WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza announced in early 2016 that a tournament had been established with the sole purpose of establishing a single champion in the heavyweight division. This was long overdue and a welcome change from the somewhat confusing business-as-usual.
The resolution from the WBA Championships Committee regarding the heavyweight tournament was as clear as day. It stated that the winner of the fight between Ortiz and Ustinov will face the winner of the rematch between WBA Super World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former champion Wladimir Klitschko, who is currently ranked #3 by the WBA.
If Thompson defies the odds and defeats Ortiz, he will not take his place in the tournament and face Ustinov.
The WBA calls this bout a "stay-busy" bout for Ortiz and it should be treated as such.