A week after Golden Boy agreed to a deal with heavyweight Alexander Dimitrenko to challenge interim titlist/division boogey man Luis Ortiz on March 5, he bailed on the fight.
Calling it a “stick up,” Golden Boy said that Dimitrenko came back asking for more money after having agreed to a deal, but having not yet signed the contract for the HBO-televised main event from the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
It was very hard for Golden Boy to get Dimitrenko to entertain the fight in the first place after already having been rebuffed by a number of opponents. Nobody, it seems, wants to tangle with “The Real King Kong,” a big-punching Cuban southpaw with good boxing skills, a good chin and a deep amateur background.
After the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Miami-based Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs), 36, drilled contender Bryant Jennings in sensational fashion in a seventh-round knockout win on Dec. 19, nobody is running to raise their hand to fight him.
Now add the 6-foot-7, 254-pound Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KOs), 33, of Russia, to a growing list of fighters (or their handlers) who have turned the fight: Andy Ruiz, Andrey Fedosov, Carlos Takam, Alexander Ustinov and former world titleholder Bermane Stiverne.
Golden Boy is now looking for a new opponent, although time is running short with the fight a month away. Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) is due to face Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) for a soon-to-be-vacant welterweight world title in the co-feature.
Promoter Greg Cohen, who brokered the deal for Dimitrenko, was disappointed that he did not ultimately sign.
“I thought we had a deal and expected the fight to be made,” Cohen told ESPN.com. “In the 11th hour unrealistic financial requests were made and I immediately notified Golden Boy of the change of heart. To their credit, [Golden Boy] did come up with a structure to pay him more money in an effort to keep the fight intact, but the kid was unwilling to sign a contract. Very disappointing.”