Saturday, March 24, 2007

Boxing in UFC?

Ortiz will get his wish and fight an exhibition against White.

When Tito Ortiz ended a contract holdout and re-signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship last year, he did so demanding that UFC President Dana White include a clause: that the pair would one day have a legitimate boxing match.

On Saturday, former light-heavyweight champion Ortiz, 32, will fight his boss and former business manager in a three-round boxing exhibition in Las Vegas that is closed to the public but scheduled to be broadcast by Spike TV next month.

Although some UFC officials agree the event has a cheesy professional wrestling feel to it, both men have received boxing licenses from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and veteran boxing referee Jay Nady is scheduled to work the fight.

"This is not 'Stone Cold' [Steve Austin] and Vince McMahon doing predetermined stuff [for World Wrestling Entertainment]," said Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

White, 36, is a former amateur boxer who previously owned gyms and trained boxers. Ortiz, the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy," became estranged from UFC in 2005 because of contract disputes with White.

Ortiz has criticized the organization's leadership for being tight-fisted with dollars.

Ortiz fought twice after his UFC return before landing a Dec. 30 rematch against current light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who defeated Ortiz by technical knockout in the third round in Las Vegas.

White and Ortiz declined interview requests from The Times regarding their boxing match. Spike TV will record the fight and air it April 14.

Kizer said no judges will be retained.

"It's an exhibition," he said.

Kizer said two ringside doctors and an ambulance will be at the fight, which he and UFC officials said will occur before a small gathering at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas.

No comments: