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Ortiz's interim belt won't be at stake against Thompson

Heavyweight banger Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz has not been forced to go the distance since an eight-round decision win in 2010 and will look to keep that streak intact when he faces former two-time world title challenger Tony Thompson on Saturday night (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) in the “Boxing After Dark” main event at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C., Thompson’s hometown.

However, Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) will not be defending his interim belt in the bout, as the WBA announced this week that it has declined to sanction the fight.

The explanation given does make some sense. The organization’s view is that the 44-year-old Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs) does not merit the opportunity, because he is 2-3 in his past five fights and coming off a 10-round decision loss to Malik Scott in October. He is also not rated in the organization’s top 15 heavyweights.

Ortiz is also supposed to face mandatory challenger Alexander Ustinov on or before June 19 as part of the organization’s mandated tournament to whittle its three heavyweight titleholders -- champion Tyson Fury, regular titlist Ruslan Chagaev or Lucas Browne, should he defeat Chagaev on Saturday in a mandatory fight, and Ortiz -- down to just one.

Should Thompson, who accepted the fight with Ortiz on only a few weeks’ notice when Alexander Dimitrenko backed out of the fight, win the fight on Saturday, he will not take Ortiz’s place in the tournament against Ustinov.

“The WBA has no objection to a stay-busy fight, as long as it’s called a stay-busy fight and not misrepresented as a title bout, which appears to be the case,” the WBA said.