Deontay Wilder to defend title against Luis Ortiz in March

Deontay Wilder works out for the media in Northport Ala. | AP

Wilder, 32, will top the bill at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn in March and it's expected that the victor of the fight will take on Anthony Joshua.

The event is part of Premier Boxing Champions.

Before the first scheduled bout, Ortiz was found to have taken two banned diuretics that are often used as masking agents for steroids.

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He will be making the sixth defence of his title having in November stopped Bermane Stiverne when a match-up with Ortiz was cancelled after the Cuban, 38, tested positive for banned substances in a drugs test.

Wilder - the 32-year-old Tuscaloosa native - then fought Bermane Stiverne on November 4 in Brooklyn, scoring a first-round knockout. Ortiz returned to the ring in Miami Dec. 2, knocking out Daniel Martz in the second round. "I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby".

A victory for Wilder, however, is far from a gimme. While Ortiz has turned in equally dominant (a 2015 knockout of former title contender Bryant Jennings) and pedestrian (a sleepwalking decision over Malik Scott in 2016) performances in recent years, it wouldn't be blasphemy to label him the division's most skilled fighter.

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Not only can Ortiz box, he also possesses fight-changing power, particularly in his left hand.

Wilder returns to Barclays Center after recently scoring a sensational first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne on November 4th, last year and previously delivering a highlight reel knockout of Artur Szpilka in January 2016.

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