By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Teddy Atlas had a birthday. Mikey Garcia won a lopsided junior welterweight 12 round decision over Adrien Broner this past weekend and set himself for a mega fight with Terence Crawford for the WBC and WBO World Super Lightweight Welterweight titles at 140 pounds if he wants it, or any other mega bout or opponent he wants. The bottom line is what sells.
The heavyweight division remains in a murkier state. Anthony Joshua will give Wladimir Klitschko his mandatory rematch. Klitschko, age 41, has not won a fight in over two and a half years-yet remains ranked second in the world on BoxRec as the big money draw-for now.
Looking in greater detail under the heavyweight microscope, however, reveals a deeper picture which includes a trail to the undercard of Mikey Garcia. WBO NABO regional heavyweight titleholder 18-0-1 Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller stopped Gerald Washington in the eighth round. Miller, age 29, turned pro in 2009. Meanwhile, 29-0 Cuban American heavyweight Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz, a former WBA regional heavyweight titleholder, recorded a No-Contest in a WBA interim World title bout in 2014 after testing positive for a banned substance. Miller and Ortiz are at the top of the list of heavyweights waiting for a title shot. Jarrell Miller expressed interest post fight in fighting Dillian Whyte before wanting to challenge Deontay Wilder.
Luis Ortiz was offered to fight Deontay Wilder, however, the WBC mandatory Bermane Stiverne refused the step aside money and that fight is delayed at the moment until the situation with Stiverne and the WBC is sorted. Stiverne hired manager James Prince to negotiate a better deal to step aside and let Luis Ortiz fight Deontay Wilder.
The substance of the argument is this: Miller and Ortiz both deserve a world title shot. Aging Shannon Briggs, with a bunch of wins over nobodies, was supposed to fight the long inactive Fres Oquendo for a piece of the WBA regular heavyweight title before failing a drug test. Now Alexander Ustinov will fight Oquendo instead. Alexander Povetkin holds the WBO International and the WBA Continental heavyweight titles. Deontay Wilder holds the WBC World Heavyweight title. Kubrat Pulev holds the WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title. Lucas Browne held WBA World Heavyweight title, and after testing positive for clenbuterol and ostarine, won a comeback bout last month, and wants to challenge for Joseph Parker’s WBO title, but he will have to wait. Joseph Parker will defend his WBO World Heavyweight title against Hughie Fury in September. Christian Hammer holds the WBO European Heavyweight title. Carlos Takam holds the IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title. Mariusz Wach holds the IBF East/West Europe Heavyweight title. Amir Mansour holds the WBC USNBC Heavyweight title. Miller now hopes to fight on the undercard of Deontay Wilder’s next titular defense, and then get a shot at Wilder’s WBC title. With a such a rich treasure of heavyweights, Ortiz and Miller are still waiting for a title shot.