After failing to come to terms in two previous negotiations, it’s all systems go for the clash between interim WBA champion Luis Ortiz and mandatory challenger, Alexander Ustinov.

On Tuesday, Golden Boy Promotions Vice President Eric Gomez confirmed that both camps have agreed on a deal to fight in August or September this year.

Purse Bid is Off

The WBA earlier ordered a purse bid on  May 19th at their headquarters in Panama to finally settle unending talks between Golden Boy Promotions and British promoter Frank Warren. The bid was worth a minimum of $600,000 with 60% going to the champion and 40% to the challenger. With the agreement though, that purse bid will be cancelled once the parties officially inform the WBA that they have reached an agreement.

While Gomez told media that a contract isn’t in place yet, he confirmed that the paper works will be done next week. But with GBP and Warren agreeing in principle to stage the bout in August or September, it’s as good as money in the bank.

Making It Happen

Ortiz has been pushing for the fight to happen the soonest and at age 37, he does have the sense of urgency. Known as the Real King Kong for his otherworldly punching power, Ortiz won the interim WBA title with a 3rd round KO win over Matias Ariel Vidondo last October. Ortiz is coming off back to back high profile wins over Bryant Jennings and Tony Thompson. With his stock rising in boxing’s premier weight class, the Cuban born Ortiz needs to make things happen while his window of opportunity is starting to close.

Ustinov, a 6-7 and 288 pound Russian behemoth, has won six fights in a row since losing to former title challenger Kubrat Pulev in 2012. The former kickboxer most recently knocked out Konstantin Airich in December 2015.

Heavyweight Tournament

The Ortiz-Ustinov bout is part of the WBA’s  heavyweight “tournament” where it hopes to crown one true champion. The WBA has a “super” champin in Tyson Fury and a “regular” champion in Lucas Browne while Ortiz is its interim title. According to the WBA, the plan is to pit the winner of Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko against the winner of Ortiz-Ustinov while Fres Oquendo is scheduled to face Lucas Browne.

The tournament suffered a blow when Browne was stripped of the title last week for failing a drug test. It remains to be seen what happens to that part of the bracket. However, the winner of Fury-Klitschko will be known in July and Ortiz would be more than happy to face the winner later this year, regardless of what happens to Lucas Browne. King Kong has been dying to get a big fight and with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua looking elsewhere, getting the Fury-Klitschko winner is the best move.

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